The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Former associate director Stefanie Foster denied athletic director position, why?

Kassandra Aguirre
Athletic Director position left vacant following previous AD Brian Barnes transfer.

Former athletic director (AD) Brian Barnes left West Covina for Downey High School at the end of the last school year, leaving the position open. The athletics program remained safe under the security of associate director Stefanie Foster. Despite student and coach speculation, Foster did not assume the AD position, leaving it unfilled for two months. As the fall season began, many athletes were ineligible and teams were left without coaches. 

Foster joined the athletic department as the girls’ basketball coach 15 years ago and also worked as a WCHS’ career counselor. She is currently in her ninth year as a P.E. teacher; athletics has been her long-time passion. Foster was approached a year and a half ago by Barnes and former principal Ryan D’Errico to advance as associate director alongside her position as a varsity basketball coach.   

“I’m just passionate about athletics in general. I’ve grown up playing sports. I played soccer, volleyball, and then track and field. I’ve done everything… knowing what it’s (sports) done for me in my life span and my close friends and stuff like that, like, it’s just more than that it is,” said Foster. 

The AD is responsible for certifying the organization of school sports within the realm of their seasons. This includes attending meetings with other schools and athletic organizations, ensuring students are eligible to compete, creating schedules, arranging safe transportation to games, and handling any disciplinary issues within sports teams. In a school of 1,923 students and 33% of them participating in sports, according to Principal Dr. Charles Park, it’s necessary work. As associate director, Foster was tasked with helping Barnes with the more tedious aspects of the job; however, she took the opportunity to fully envelop herself in the school’s athletic department. Joining the Foothill Athletics Association and the CIF basketball advisory committee, Foster’s involvement quickly surpassed that of an assistant. Following Barnes’ transfer, Foster voluntarily continued the duties of an AD to ensure all the work required of their respective positions continued over summer. 

“There’s stuff I had to figure out, but to me, I wanted to figure it out. I just took it and ran with it and have been doing everything since June… I felt I was the only one who knew what to do just because he (Barnes) taught me the ins and outs of the paperwork and stuff. I chose, I volunteered and there’s just stuff you need to be done,” said Foster. 

Becoming a familiar face for the WCHS community during her long-spanning career, Foster built close relationships with student athletes beyond those she coached, leading to student frustration. 

“Why didn’t she even get it, like, she was here last year, here with Barnes the entire time? She loves our sports and everything and it’s, like, people deserve to know why she didn’t deserve the job when she’s already associate director… She’s been here and knows how we work. We could have had all the stuff we were behind in done during the summer, but now we’re behind and everything,” said ASB president and varsity track captain Jenelle Zanger. 

One of the questions asked by both students and Foster is why she did not get the position. Especially following the two rounds of seemingly fruitful interviews, it was never said why the administration chose to continue searching elsewhere. 

“A hiring process is not something we can discuss, it’s confidential even in terms of candidates and specifics of the interviews,” said Park.

Since the position remained open, assistant principals Melanie Wong and Sean McCallon were temporarily tasked with fulfilling the duties of an AD. However, the assistant principals were preoccupied with tasks fitted to their positions and much of the AD work was left undone. 

“Clearances need to be done early and on schedule; the fact we were without an athletic director I would say for a couple of weeks, yes, Ms.Wong and Dr. McCallon were filling that gap (but) in no way are we a replacement for a full-time athletic director who is knowledgeable of these things,” said Park. 

The administration did not neglect the issue and announced on Aug. 30 that Randy Bell from Monrovia High School with over 20 years of experience would be assuming the AD position. 

Appreciative of the administrative response, but still uncertain of how to process Foster’s denial, only Foster and those who know her are left to speculate. Foster plans to continue teaching P.E. at WCHS, but doesn’t deny the possibility of pursuing other career ventures.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All WCHS Insight Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *