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Rye Brook Parents Weigh Future of Athletics Boss

RYE BROOK, N.Y. – Members of the Blind Brook community weighed in on the retirement and possible replacement of long-time school district employee and current Athletic Director James Spano at Monday's board of education meeting.

At its March 5 meeting, the board accepted Spano's retirement and mulled the possibility of eliminating the full-time position from the district entirely. At this week's meeting, Edward Kulik from the district's athletics advisory committee argued strongly against instituting a part-time replacement.

"We need a full-time educator who is also a manager, who delivers full-time service to our children. We, as parents of the athletic advisory committee, think and believe that it would be very short sighted to change this to a part-time role," Kulik said.

Rye Brook resident Dick Hubert, who previously suggested eliminating the position, likened the district's salary inflation and inefficiency to the current state of the New York Knicks.

"It is such an example of salary bloat in this district," Hubert said. "I'd like to remind our sports friends that the New York Knicks have recently found out that salary bloat does not give you a winning team. They're making due with Jeremy Lin and sitting out their multimillion dollar stars. I'd like to bring that analogy back to Blind Brook."

Board member Jeff Diamond believes that the two opposing factions are not as far apart as they appear.

"Many people may not be aware but the current director teaches a leadership class at the school," Diamond said. "I know that the board is very committed to a robust athletic program, but that doesn't mean if we have an opportunity to be a little more creative and think outside the box that we shouldn't do that."

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