New program helps student athletes with academics

Macey Verner, Reporter

   A new academic coordinator program has kicked off this school year and shown great success for students in athletics. The new program was implemented at the beginning of the school year and is being overseen by Coach Jeremiah Butchee. The focus of this program is to help students who are in athletics to stay on top of their academics.

   “The purpose of the program is for teachers to be able to provide real-time feedback whenever a student-athlete is struggling in class whatever that struggle may be,” Butchee said. “What we are finding through the first six weeks is that when teachers and coaches are on the same page and heading in the same direction, housed in an environment of constant, real-time communication, the benefits can be outstanding.”

   Teachers have other work to do and this is one way for coaches to help teachers concerning students in athletics and their academics, as well as allowing for better communication between them.

   “The main thing here is that it wouldn’t take away from teachers doing their jobs and coaches to be a support system for those teachers as we promote what they do the best we can,” Athletic Director Coach Jerod Womack said. “Any time you make communication easier, it’s simple for teachers to communicate and not be weighed down by a long process of tracking down coaches, discipline, and turning in assignments.”

   The process is smoother with someone to help reach student-athletes who need academic attention by contacting their coaches so they can help the student.

   “The teacher contacts the Academic Coordinator through their individually designed “Athletic Roster” and I, in turn, notify the coach of the athlete, as well as what class they are struggling in and the teacher of that class,” said Butchee.

   Once a student is added to the list his/her coaches and teachers can then work to help them with whatever it may be they are struggling with.

   “As long as an athlete remains on the list, they are sent to either a teacher or myself during Action to get additional help, retake a test, or complete missing assignments,” Butchee said.

   The program is designed to help teachers and coaches communicate,  but the focus is to help student athletes be more aware of their academics.

   “The new program helps me stay on top of my grades and pay more attention,” Maya Saldivar said.

   At the end of the day, the students are in school to learn, and what better place to learn than at a school like Stephenville High school.

   “We’ve got to make sure these students are here to get the best education they can from one of the best high schools in the state of Texas. A lot of times that comes with the discipline of time management,” said Womack. “What Coach Butchee is doing is helping the students understand time management when it comes to how to prepare, how to study, how to get homework done and how to have accountability.”

   The school is known for excelling in every area, and it all comes down to the teachers and coaches being united in making their students successful.

   “Our coaches, our head coaches, and all of our assistant coaches are team players when it comes to supporting our teachers and our teachers do the same with our coaches. I think that’s what makes Stephenville so special and why it is so successful in different areas,” said Womack.“ It’s because everyone is in stride and moving together in the same direction”

   The coaches are working hard with the new program to meet their goals for the athletes.

   “All the coaches and I have talked to have been fired up about the program’s early success and are working hard to meet our goal of 100% athlete academic success, freshman through senior, Boys, and Girls,” said Butchee.

   The program is said to be doing great and the hope for the future is bright.

   “Anytime you are great,  you try to be better and choose the right steps to take to make this place the best place it can be,” Womack said. “And I feel like we are doing that now with this new program.”