TH Receives State Sportsmanship Award

On Monday evening, August 31, DIAA Executive Director Kevin Charles dropped by our Fall Sportsmanhip Rally to present Headmaster Chris Wheeler and Sportsmanship Committee Chairperson Patty Marshall a banner for their fourth consecutive State Championship in Sportsmanship. Parent and trustee Linda Boyden also addressed  the gathering of more than 150 Tower Hill parents and all the fall student athletes. Click the article title for Linda's remarks.  The rally included a cookout sponsored by the Green and White Club and a preview of some great fall weather. Altogether a great launch to what we anticipate to be a very successsful fall season.

 Parental Sportsmanship            

Congratulations Jack, Patti, coaches, and athletes on receiving the State Award for Sportsmanship. I’d like to share with the parents -here at the Fall Sportsmanship Rally- some thoughts on Parental Sportsmanship and its impact on the school’s reputation.  To put that into context, we need to understand that Tower Hill is currently in a terrific position among the local independent schools.

Just think about it…

  • Over the last 10 years, we have completely renovated all our facilities. The most recent renovations to the athletic facilities are visible to anyone passing our campus and have had a very positive impact.
  • We have surpassed our enrollment projections for the upcoming school year, while other independent schools are struggling.
  • We are launching a new program for 3-year-olds this fall, and just completed a very successful kick-off to our summer program.
  • There are dramatic enhancements planned for the curriculum in all three divisions of the school beginning this year.
  • We continue to have an incredibly talented and committed faculty and staff throughout every area of the school.
  • And we have an unmatched tradition of academic excellence.

We should all be very proud of our school and these accomplishments!

Our success in providing these opportunities for our students places us in a position of leadership in the community. A leadership that requires us as parents to be very aware when we are gathered as a school community, especially at athletic events, so that our conduct is consistent with the excellence in sportsmanship our student-athletes have earned.

We are lucky to have an athletic director who has made sportsmanship a priority at Tower Hill.  Jack “has seen it all” and if you have ever heard some of his true stories of outrageous behavior by parents at athletic events, you begin to understand the dramatic impact it can have – on the individual, the family and the school.  Jack ends every story with compassion, recognizing that these parents are good people – who are embarrassed by their behavior after the fact. They allowed the parental instinct to protect their child, along with the emotion and stress of the moment, to take control of their behavior.

So what can we do as parents to keep our control when faced with an intense moment? The answer is to practice good parental sportsmanship at every event. Just as our children have been taught to follow the rules of good sportsmanship, we need to be good sports in the stands. Everyone is human – the players, the coaches, the referees, the parents, the spectators - and we all make mistakes. I am the first to admit, I have made my share of mistakes, but I understand now how important it is to practice good parental sportsmanship and to do so at every athletic event I attend for Tower Hill. If we make a conscious effort as a school community and support each other, we can greatly improve our relations with the schools we compete against.

So I ask you to join me, and make a real effort to practice good parental sportsmanship:

  • Take the time to express appreciation to the referees for officiating the game or match.
  • Strongly support our team and its members - but refrain from insulting, demeaning comments towards the opponents or officials.
  • Be conscious that your actions in the stands affect those around you.
  • Provide support for the parent who has just witnessed their child as the recipient of an “unfair” call or physical aggression.
  • Remind the fan who is on the verge of crossing the line, to regain control.
  • And remember that you are a representative of the Tower Hill community and that your words and actions affect the school’s reputation.   

By being conscious of our behavior in the stands and on the sidelines, we can create a reputation of immense school pride - and acknowledged respect for our officials and competitors.

I will be looking for your support in the stands -and you can count on mine.  Thank you and best of luck to all our coaches and athletes this fall!