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LETTER: LHS Grad Supports Ash, AD Martin

A recent Lexington High grad says Naomi Martin 'was one of the most professional and enthusiastic members of the faculty I encountered at LHS.'

Editor's Note: John Bernstein, a recent Lexington High graduate, wrote this letter to Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash in support of . 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 . 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.

Sincerely,

John Bernstein
10 Ingleside Road, LHS Class of 2010

Sean Segreve February 11, 2013 at 08:58 PM
How did this even make the Patch
Aron Levy February 12, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Try re-reading the beginning of the article.
Patrick Ball (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 02:59 PM
It was a letter, provided by a Lexington resident who asked that it be posted to Patch. So it was posted as I would post any other letter to the editor. If you have additional questions, feel free to email me at Patrick.Ball@patch.com or to contact me by phone at 781-530-0029. -pb
TypicalLexingtonParent February 12, 2013 at 08:05 PM
John, Thank you for your letter. However, you clearly don't support LHS athletics and clearly don't understand whats going on behind the scenes in high school athletics. Ms. Martin was in charge of the middlesex league for track and field cross country ect. The reason why she was at your events was because it was her job. It is great that she has mad the LHS now a bunch of hucking fooligans. The fact that the frisbee team is a "varsity sport" but still called the hucking fooligans is a joke. Now, I understand that many people on here are calling for her dismissal because of her personnel decisions but I for one am not. I want her out because she has made our athletics program a joke. Her lying only makes me question all the decisions that she has made. Am I upset about the firing of legends Farias and Tighe? Of Course! Anyone who is not upset about those firings is not a fan of LHS athletics. However, I am more upset that I can no longer trust where my money is going. I understand a "typical" lexingtonian doesn't care about the subject of athletics. But there is a good deal of people who do. Don't worry LHS will have plenty of science, math, chess and debate championships like we always do but athletics championships are now going to be far and few in between. If this was a town that cared about athletics it would be in an uproar. Imagine if Watertowns fh coach or Readings hockey coach, Woburns football coach got fired. Hopefully we will still be able to dominate Stoneham!
LifelongResident February 12, 2013 at 10:36 PM
TypicalLexingtonParent, Please explain why you are still upset at the firing of Farias. If social media existed in the 80’s and 90’s his actions would have created a firestorm greater than the one we are witnessing here re: Ms. Martin. His was a personal agenda, one that was based not solely on winning, but also on making sure the spotlight was on him because he believed that he was the show. As for player development? Sure the basketball camps he ran did teach young players the basic fundamentals of the game, but once in high school those same players were thrust into a system where Farias’ true colors were exposed. His tactics of employing power politics in determining playing time based upon his relationships with the parents of players was harmful to the development of many individuals. Nevermind the daily “dressing down” we would be forced to endure prior to every practice as he would perform his monolgue that he believed was humorous. Several assistant coaches moved on after witnessing his agenda up close, as did some players. They came to the sad conclusion that his ways and means simply weren’t looked upon as proper coaching, but rather furthering a selfish agenda that brought with it a culture polluted with negativity. I have no regrets when it comes to playing in “the program” but I am certain that Farias does not want the truth to be revealed as it pertains to his actions now that he is uninvolved and no longer the center of attention.
TypicalLexingtonParent February 12, 2013 at 11:10 PM
LifelongResident, Did you play from 80-99? You seem to be an expert of all these years? If Farias did something as bad as you make it seem he would have been fired. However, that did not happen. For ever one of you there seems to be 5 players that support Farias. For the record, I am upset that the LHS basketball and football teams are being coached by men that have no clue what they are doing. End of story the players know it, parents know it. If LHS hired coaches that knew what they were doing it would be a different story. Many people were in position to take over after Farias and Tighe actually retired however all of them got passed over. If you think Brinklow and Sullivan and Allen have the same coaching style as Farias then you simply don't know the man. As for the football coach don't get me started. Best team since 2004 in 2011 and they were awful.
Lex Resident February 14, 2013 at 10:15 PM
TypicalLexingtonParent, You seem to have missed John's point. By saying that "athletics championships are now going to be few and far between", you're referring only to football and basketball, while neglecting the many sports that have prospered under AD Martin's leadership and that the writer refers to. Soccer, swimming, tennis - and yes, cross-country, track, and frisbee - have all contributed recent league championships and continue to be state contenders. While basketball hasn't performed as well as it did in the recent past, the football team has not been a powerhouse in several years, well before Martin took over. More importantly, by assuming that football and basketball are the only measures of this school's athletic success, you are no more a sports fan than the writer.
LifelongResident February 15, 2013 at 04:58 AM
TypicalLexingtonParent, please allow me a moment to understand your “logic” as it pertains to firing school personnel. Currently, in the case of Ms. Martin, according to you and others she should suffer the consequences simply due to the court of pulic opinion, but it’s a different situation in the past because Farias was so privileged to have Athletic Director Ralph Lord provide protection in order that he keep his coaching job regardless of the complaints made to the Department of Athletics by parents and students alike. Also, for you to attempt to devalue or discredit my experience simply because Farias was not dismissed as a direct result of my mistreatment is simply naïve if not outrageously disrespectful. Farias used intimidation and other machiavellian strategies in order to keep people from talking. Student-athletes, fellow teachers and parents all gave him a wide berth simply because they knew they would not have their statements of concern heard objectively and without prejudice. Your claim that for every one of me there’s five former players that support Farias is also shortsighted in that my classmates’ silence does not in any way indicate that they are in allegience with him. Finally, your statement that “I simply don’t know the man” completely disregards my earlier posts where I have stated that I have personally known Farias since before Lexington High School promoted him to head coach, nevermind playing for him at LHS.
TypicalLexingtonParent February 15, 2013 at 03:26 PM
When I stated that you simply don't know the man I was talking strictly about Brinklow, Allen and Sullivan. I understand that your experience with Farias was not as great as other players and that people may have complained about different tactics. I understand that your experience was not as great as the rest of his players. I just simply believe that coaching legends should be allowed to leave THEIR program when they see fit. The man, along with Tighe, gave their life to the program. Unless he did something so unethical that got him in trouble with the law he should be allowed to coach until he rides off into the sunset.
Matt Scully February 16, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Dear LifelongResident, You asked why someone might still be upset about the removal of Coach Farias. For those of us who grew up with Lexington Basketball in the ‘80’s/’90’s, hoops was everything. Looking back, I was a good baseball player, starting catcher as a sophomore, caught a couple John Wells’ no-hitters and proud to be a part of the first baseball squad to make the state tournament in 17 years in 1993. But as a kid in that era, all I’d ever dreamed about was the chance to play Lexington Basketball. Coming up at that time we had watched the great teams of the ‘80’s with the Middleton brothers, and then Lloyd, Tommy Brinklow, and Shawn Matthews – led squads. My senior year I had the opportunity to make the varsity basketball team and I wouldn’t change anything that happened for that year. Coach Farias believed in me as an athlete, but much more importantly he supported me and my teammates and friends through the ACE Program. Sure there were times he was tough on us, but that was exactly what we needed – and it made all of us better people for it. It’s unfortunate that you had a tough experience with Coach Farias, his approach might not work for everyone, but for those of us who it did, we’ll forever be grateful.
TypicalLexingtonParent February 26, 2013 at 02:56 AM
Whos the boys basketball team playing in the state tournament? Oh ya right

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