Covington BOE hears request for swim team

By Aimee Hancock

ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com

COVINGTON — The Covington Exempted Village Board of Education heard a request for the formation of a district swim team during the open forum of Wednesday’s regular meeting.

Valerie Mullikin, grandmother and caregiver of seventh grade student David Pierce, shared that David participates each year with swim teams through the YMCA and Tecumseh Woods. She explained that the sport is not only fun for David, but is crucial to his overall mental and physical well-being, noting that there are other students within the district who may benefit from the creation of a team, as well.

“I’m asking you guys to consider all of the potential benefits of allowing students to represent this school district,” Mullikin said.

In July of this year, Covington teacher Kelly Thomas and Miami County YMCA swim coach Pam Fulton, approached the board with the same request. Mullikin said she has been “thoroughly impressed” by Fulton and by the YMCA of Miami County’s swim instruction.

“We have a great partner in the YMCA here in Miami County. The problem is when they get to high school, they can’t compete,” she said. “There’s a period of time during high school season that our high school-aged kids just get to go to swim practice; they don’t get to compete if they don’t have a team for their school. We need to change that.”

Mullikin said she recognizes the hurdles that come with the creation of a swim team, including money and paperwork, but said the positives outweigh the negatives.

BOE President Dr. Dean Pond said the board will consider the request, and Superintendent Gene Gooding added that he is in the process of gathering all information pertinent to the formation of a swim team at Covington, which he will then pass on to the board for consideration.

“The BOE appreciates all input from our community members,” Gooding said in a statement Thursday. “At Covington, we are dedicated to providing our students with an excellent well-rounded educational experience that includes strong extracurricular and co-curricular activities. The board takes all suggestions to improve those offerings very seriously.”

Following the open forum, the board recognized Holly Beasley during the Student Spotlight segment of Wednesday’s meeting.

Holly is a senior at Covington this year and participates in several extracurricular activities, according to Principal Josh Meyer, including drama club, band, choir, and karate.

“Holly, simply every day, has a smile and every day when you say good morning to Holly, she always responds and always has a greeting for you,” Meyer said. “She’s also so strong academically and takes her academics seriously and performs very well in the classroom. Holly is very deserving of this honor.”

Holly’s teachers and advisors shared similar sentiments.

“Holly demonstrates incredible musical, as well as personal, leadership skills in both band and choir. Holly is an integral part of our music program and excels as both a soloist and section player,” said Marching Band Director Jessica Moore. “She is consistently looking for ways to improve individually as a musician, as well as ways to make the whole band better. She has respect for fellow students, as well. When Holly speaks, they listen and respond because of her leadership skills.”

Holly said she plans to attend college at either the University of Cincinnati or Miami University to major in music education.