Editor's Note: John Bernstein, a recent Lexington High graduate, wrote this letter to Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash in support of Athletic Director Naomi Martin, who was recently suspended for a week for doctoring an email sent to Middlesex League athletic directors. Bernstein asked that his letter be posted to Patch.
Dear Superintendent Ash,
I am a recent Lexington High alumnus, former track and cross-country runner and current collegiate athlete at the University of Rochester.
I wanted to provide a word of support for Naomi Martin on behalf of the many athletes she has helped and supported throughout their high school careers. As a captain for several teams and sports editor for the high school paper, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Ms. Martin on several occasions.
I first met with Ms. Martin when she was just a few months into her new instatement as athletic director at Lexington. Upon beginning my interview with her for The Musket, I was shocked that not only was Ms. Martin willing to meet with me, but eager and enthusiastic. Upon graduating, I could safely say she was one of the most professional and enthusiastic members of the faculty I encountered at LHS.
While many athletic directors today feed solely the sports of fanfare, such as basketball and football, Ms. Martin has complemented those efforts by devoting a laudable amount of energy to teams who’ve traditionally gone largely ignored. I distinctly remember her attending several of our major cross-country championships, but also smaller duel meets that attracted only a handful of supporters. Her commitment to the expansion and development of the track and field programs has only increased my pride in being a former Minuteman. She has even worked to designate the ultimate Frisbee team, for which my brother is a captain, with much-needed varsity status.
I understand and respect your decision to suspend Ms. Martin for the week given her actions. What I do not respect, however, is the efforts of others to remove her from her post, as John Igoe did [recently]. If you read comments left by supporters of Mr. Igoe’s petition, you’ll see that many of the supporters remain embittered about personnel decisions Ms. Martin has made, specifically related to the release of Coach Farias (decisions which, as you and the principal have stated, are ultimately in your hands, not Ms. Martin’s), and have simply leapt on this chance for some form of vengeance.
I am grateful that you have not acted on these brash and harsh demands, as to do so would be to remove an athletic director this school is lucky to have.
10 Ingleside Road, LHS Class of 2010