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A.D.’s Corner: May 22, 2009

Checking in With Your Athletic Director – A “Man on a Mission”

Being the Athletic Director for Glen Cove Schools is one of the most exciting and challenging positions I have held.

I was reflecting the other day on the many undertakings I have taken on and the reasons for doing so. Without a doubt, my mission is all about producing the best possible physical education, health and athletics environment for our Glen Cove Students.

Just the other day we had some wonderful speakers from Glen Cove Cares talking to students in our health classes about skin cancer prevention. The students were genuinely interested in learning about this disease. It was a sobering but extremely effective presentation. Knowing our students may prevent skin cancer from this day of learning gave me great joy.

I am happy to report some of the other progress that has been made in the district’s PE, health and athletics program, much of which cannot have been achieved without the support of Dr. Camhi, Mr. Wurtz, Dr. Aronstein and our board of education.

What were the greatest developments in Glen Cove so far?

It’s tough to say. My student athlete leadership program has been a success. It has grown from seven students last year to 26 students this year. To see athletes who are excellent citizens represent our school and city among 25 other schools and learning to be leaders from former professional athletes brings me great joy and pride.

Dance. The dance program has to be up there as a great program for our district. At my last district, I worked hard to bring in a dance program. At Glen Cove, to accommodate student interest, we started a dance program with Dr. Aronstein’s blessing. The best part was I formed an alliance with one of our parents who works at C.W. Post in their dance department, Cheryl Halliburton-Beatty. Through this alliance, we worked out having a visiting consultant work with our physical education teachers. This has enabled our physical education teachers to build upon their learning. The culminating event this year was a visit to C.W. Post by approximately 15 Glen Cove students to experience college life for a day. In the evening, students performed and were judged on their performance.

Danish Basketball. One of our more interesting experiences was the visit I set up with a Danish basketball team. We welcomed almost 60 students from Denmark to visit our school for the day. Afterwards we scrimmaged their teams and had a pot luck dinner sponsored by the booster club, an invaluable asset to our athletics program! A good time was had by all and I intend on bringing the Danish students back again next year.

Fitness Room. I also am proud of our fitness room. Through a relationship I have developed with a large health club chain, I have secured free equipment. With this equipment I have put together a fully functioning fitness room at the high school with strength training and cardiovascular equipment. This is essential for the school because of the whole obesity epidemic. Students need the exercise and opportunity for as large a selection of choice as possible. This increases motivation to participate. This year we implemented an elective style curriculum at the HS that includes such popular units as dance, yoga, weight training and cooperative games.

Cycling. Recently, I contacted the local police department about receiving a donation of unused and unclaimed bicycles. I had a vision of receiving these bicycles and starting a cycling program at the high school and middle schools. Much to my pleasure, Lieutenant Bruschini and Sergeant MacDougal helped us land approximately 45 bicycles. The local bicycle shop is in the process of tuning up the bikes and when complete we should end up with enough bicycles to start a PE class in safe cycling. This will carry over into an after school cycling club.

Camps. We are also going to host several sports camps this summer. This will be a new summer camp program for Glen Cove Athletes for baseball and basketball. This program will employ our students and generate income to our booster club to help aid athletic expenses. A big thanks goes out to Mrs. Perlman and the rest of the booster club members for sponsoring this.

Concussions. I am in the process of assembling a concussion team that would implement a program called IMPACT. This is a computerized baseline test that all of our athletes would take once. If they suffer a concussion, the test is re-administered and if a child does not “pass” their doctor is alerted. This prevents a second more severe concussion from possibly occurring. I will help administer the test with our athletic trainer. The community can rest assured, we are taking as many precautions as possible to ensure the safety of our athletes.

Hockey. At the middle school, through a relationship with the Islanders, we have secured free equipment for an entire floor hockey curriculum. We were invited to participate in a competition at the Nassau Coliseum and received free tickets to an Islander game. Being a competitive hockey player myself, this brought me great joy to see our students at the coliseum representing Glen Cove.

Yoga. Several of our elementary teachers including Mr. Checola and Ms. Serani received grants for a yoga program. This was a result of a professional development held early in the year on obtaining small grants.

Nutrition. Recently, our wellness committee held a nutrition contest districtwide. Winners will be announced soon. Judging the display of creativity brought us great joy. Proper nutrition is important and seeing our students demonstrate what they have learned is exciting.

Team performance. Our athletic teams have been steadily improving. Girls basketball won more games, girls soccer won their division, football made it to the playoffs, our lacrosse teams are both winning. We have a good bunch of coaches who dedicate countless hours to improving our teams. I have an open door policy with players, coaches and parents. My philosophy is to always open communication lines up to ensure all issues are dealt with directly.

Cuts. I am also happy to report we now have a second Middle School Baseball, Softball and volleyball team. This helped reduce the need for cutting and increased our athletes at the middle school. The future looks bright for our JV and Varsity teams.

New Track. We have a beautiful new track slated to be installed. Future track meets will be held here.

Grounds. The baseball fields scoreboard is up and running along with several other repairs. We have a great new batting cage at the softball field donated by Mr. Cornelis, and a large amount of brush has been cleared ensuring maximum safety for our students. I have a to-do list I am working on based upon feedback and my own observations. This is all part of my continued goal to continue and build upon Glen Cove pride in athletics.

Web Site. I am also proud of our athletics web site. With the help of our district technology department, I am able to access and run the site including immediate updates. This is helpful in increasing communication with the community. This includes game cancellations, schedules, scores and a district link to newspapers’ high school sports sections. Please visit us at and click on athletics. We have had over 10,000 hits since November!

After these developments, what’s on the horizon?

Well, I like to be progressive. Although there is always something to work on, my wish list includes: 1) Crew Team; 2) EMT certification; 3) black belt in martial arts, lifeguard certification, CPR, First Aid certification; 4) Swim team; 5) Health and Fitness Fair.

The sky’s the limit!

Coming up in the following weeks: Introduction to sports performance enhancement — goal setting for success in sports.

Dr. Silverman is the districtwide athletic coordinator for Glen Cove schools. He has a degree in sport and exercise psychology from Boston University. He has worked with high school to professional athletes on performance enhancement and has appeared on a number of sports programs discussing the topic of youth sports. He has a passion for making athletics the best possible experience it can be for all young athletes, as well as ensuring all youth have an opportunity to use sport as a learning tool about life and health. Dr. Silverman is a fitness buff who still is an avid ice hockey player.