Under the platform that high school athletics promotes positivity, Superintendent Dr. Jim Watson has accepted a place on the North Carolina High School Athletic Associationâ€™s Board of Directors.
Watson will replace Dr. Gene Moore, superintendent of Cleveland County schools, on the board. The former Western Carolina graduate will fulfill the final year (unexpired term) of Mooreâ€™s term, then will serve a full four-year term of his own.
Moore will move into the role of vice president of the NCHSAA. Watson, in his new position, will represent the sixth education district of North Carolina consisting of Lincoln, Gaston, Cleveland, Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Stanley, Rowan and Union counties.
Watson feels strongly about the purpose sports play in our society.
â€œAthletics plays a large part of our high school environment. We have literally hundreds of student-athletes in our county participating alone,â€ he said.
â€œIt (athletics) teaches our kids about life, competition and striving to meet goals,â€ Watson said.
Watson speaks with fervor and passion on how important he feels sports are in our county.
â€œWe all know itâ€™s very important to have our students involved in positive activities. Hopefully, serving on the governing board for the high school athletic association, I can provide input in the decisions we face and make our association grow stronger,â€ he said.
The Lincoln County superintendent points to past studies conducted pertaining to an athleteâ€™s academic performance compared to a non-athlete.
â€œItâ€™s been documented that high school athletes have better attendance and that they have better grades during the season in which they participate,â€ Watson said.
He feels this is the case due to several factors.
â€œThey know they have to maintain their eligibility through making good grades and they have a coach checking in on their grades. Because of the regimentation of time management it helps them organize their time,â€ Watson said.
The nomination is something that Watson does not take lightly.
â€œTo be able to serve in that capacity, Iâ€™m honored to be selected,â€ he said.
Watson believes that his previous experience on different levels throughout the school system will be a helpful aide in his new endeavor.â€œWhen there are appeals that are given to the board, since Iâ€™ve been a coach at the high school, a teacher, as well as a principal â€” I think that helps me understand the issues better,â€ he said.by John Mark Brooks