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Lake George board lets go soccer coach

LAKEGEORGE-Dozens of students, parents and community members turned out for a Lake George School Board meeting Tuesday, June 14 to protest the board's recent decision not to re-appoint Joel Gordon as girls soccer coach and assistant track coach at the school.

About a dozen students and parents aired their objections to the board's decision, characterizing Gordon as a dedicated, inspiring coach full of enthusiasm.

Gordon has led his soccer teams to a string of unprecedented league championships since he began coaching in 2008.

To date, the board has refused to disclose why they are seeking to replace Gordon, and they haven't told him any reason, as well, he said Monday night.

Pat Flaherty, a parent of a student, said Gordon was an outstanding coach, and the board should reverse their decision, which she said had "hurt and devastated" the team members. "Joel Gordon is a gentle and kind man," she said. "He has earned the utmost respect form parents and students, and he has been treated unjustly. We deserve so much better from the board, and so do our children."

Sophie Bruno, a student, said Gordon coached with energy and enthusiasm.

"He's able to really connect with all the kids," she said, noting he was involved in community charitable events, and he encouraged students to do so also.

Bruno said he set an example of leadership, devotion and personal discipline that was an inspiration to her and her peers.

"I intend to follow in his footsteps and pursue a career in high school athletics," she said.

Senior Caroline Murphy said Gordon had earned utmost respect from students and parents.

"He possesses qualities of extreme trust and character, traits our administration has strayed from after this incident," she said, calling for the school board reverse their decision, and in doing so, live up to the school's tradition which stresses integrity and honesty.

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