Superintendent’s First Pitch: Create a Comprehensive Athletic Director’s Post

By Cary Shuman

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Incoming Superintendent of Schools John Macero has created a new athletic director’s position that has been retooled as director of physical education (grades K-12), wellness/health education, and athletics, and transportation coordinator.

Macero said advertising for the newly created position has begun and the application process will involve a screening committee that will interview candidates and recommend finalists to him. He will then make his decision after reviewing the committee’s recommendations.

The chairmen of the screening committee are School Committee members William Holden and Todd Sacco. The other members are Middle School Principal Martha Kelleher, WHS Assistant Principal Robin Kostegan, middle school physical education teacher Jason Preble, and WHS girls soccer coach Tracy Martucci. A soon-to-be-named seventh person will be added to the committee.

Macero said part of the new athletic/physical education director’s duties will be evaluating the performance of physical education and health teachers, as well as sports coaches.

“I’ve expanded the [athletic director’s] position to also be the director of physical education and wellness,” said Macero. “The reason is because the Department of Education is coming out with new evaluation tools and I would prefer to have a director of physical education evaluating a physical education teacher as opposed to having somebody who’s not accustomed to physical education.”

Macero said the newly selected director will be considered the “athletic director” for Winthrop High School in addition to his/her other responsibilities.

Rob O’Leary is the current WHS athletic director and transportation coordinator. He said that he will apply for the new position.

O’Leary was the recipient of the Ted Damko “Athletic Director of the Year” Award for the Northeastern Conference and District A. It is given to an athletic director who has served three to five years in the position. O’Leary has been the Winthrop AD for three years.

O’Leary said he is proud of his record of service.

“We started a lot of good things over the past three years,” said O’Leary. “The sailing program has taken off. It won a league championship in its second year of existence. Through our eighth grade waivers, we’ve added freshman baseball, softball, girls basketball, and football. Together with the fact that we’ve lowered the user fee and we have more kids playing sports, I feel over the past three years we’ve definitely moved in the right direction.”

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