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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Credentials Pending

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

As the parents of Salpointe student athletes who have participated in the school volleyball program, we believe we can make an objective contribution with regard to the issue of Coach Amy Johnson's dismissal.

Although our children devoted every off-season to private volleyball camps and training, they did not receive substantial playing time under Coach Johnson. Rather than register complaints with the Salpointe administration, we honestly felt (as most sane parents would feel) the most important issue relevant to their development as young adults would be to encourage them to accept it, work harder, and support the team 100% at all times.

However, we know for a fact that parents of other Salpointe volleyball players chose to do the opposite ... they went directly with their complaints to Mr. Gruensfelder and Ms. Sullivan.

We have heard of those other scurrilous complaints leveled against Coach Johnson (i.e., the "bullying" issue) and we can categorically state that these rumours are unfounded and totally without merit.

Our kids have been eyewitnesses participants in every volleyball practice and game over the past four years and at no time would Coach Johnson ever allow negative attitudes or inappropriate behavior by any student athlete.

She always coached in the best interest of the team and the volleyball program as a whole, while flatly refusing to acquiesce to the ridiculous, selfish, and self-serving demands of well-heeled, well-connected parents.

In fact, Coach Johnson ran the volleyball program the way Ms. Sullivan SHOULD have handled this entire situation.

Sadly, Ms. Sullivan possesses neither intellect or sense of fairness required to successfully oversee an athletic department when she permits a vocal minority to essentially take control of an entire program.

There are many that have been unfairly and unjustly punished.

Coach Johnson: Named Southern Az Volleyball Coach Of The Year this past season; 13 years of outstanding coaching and leadership in the Salpointe Athletic Department; A remarkable winning percentage whose teams are perennial qualifiers for the State Tournament.

The Athletic Department at Salpointe: The dismissal of Coach Johnson sends a very chilling message to all coaches at the school. If any wealthy, powerful parent chooses to complain about them to Salpointe administrators, they should immediately be prepared to lose their jobs.

All Salpointe Student Athletes: If your parents are not rich & powerful, you may very well be the victim of a program which blatantly favors the children of wealthy & well-connected parents.

Needless to say, it is a sad time for high school athletics in general and Coach Johnson.

41 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Salpointe High School Parents on 06/20/2013 at 4:40 PM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

That's a load of BS if I've ever heard it. Sorry you had to deal with that crap, coach. You deserve a whole lot better than that!! BOOOOOO!!! One very unhappy alum here, and I think after playing mens volleyball at a pretty high level i have a decent idea what I'm talking about. salpointe got rid of one of the very few H.S. volleyball coaches that actually has a clue. I will always love salpointe but this just isn't right. Love you Coach :)

-Pat Tunnell

41 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Patrick Tunnell on 06/20/2013 at 8:57 AM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

Thank you Brian for this article that successfully shows the stupidity of a school's administration.. My Alma Mater has made a HUGE mistake. Amy Johnson had such heart and compassion for the game, the kids, the school, their parents and everything in between. She gave everything to that school! Such a sad day for SCHS athletics!

41 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by formerplayer on 06/20/2013 at 8:03 AM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

Salpointe "President" Kay Sullivan is an absolute idiot...a typical "empty suit" administrator who has neither the gumption nor character to stand up to a couple of clueless parents who think the private school tuition they fork over gives them the right to dictate the lives of coaches (and teachers, for that matter) who refuse to cow-tow to them.

Sullivan: If you had any conscious at all you should be ashamed of yourself.

Net Effect: Salpointe has fired a Coach with an an outstanding winning record and a proven track record as a mentor to hundreds of student athletes for 13 years.

Signed, A Salpointe Parent

37 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Salpointe Parent on 06/20/2013 at 12:52 PM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

Typical salpointe... As a graduate you couldn't pay me to send my child there... The principal was stealing money from the school all year in 2004 and instead of confronting and exposing it, they swept it under the rug and let Jensen walk away clean

36 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by 04fcksalpo on 06/20/2013 at 8:21 AM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

What a shame. We all loved Coach Johnson and you can be damn sure if one of us was bullying another player, Coach would have been on it immediately. She didn't allow crap to go on in her gym like that, and she was a great coach. She's left a big legacy for the new coach to try and live up to. Thanks for all the support over the years Coach!!

Scott Tunnell

35 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Scott Tunnell on 06/20/2013 at 9:22 AM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

Thank goodness for an article outing the truth about this ugly situation. As a Salpointe alum who played volleyball all four years I can say wholeheartedly that Coach Johnson was one of the most influential people of my entire life.
She taught me volleyball, but she also taught me confidence, patience, teamwork, and more than anything she taught me how to be strong and work hard.

She was the coach who had us work out our arguments with a team sleepover in the gym. She was the coach who had us do secret sisters, bringing each other goody bags every home game. She was the coach who had us dress up in themes at school to advertise home games and gain support. She was so good at team building and teaching us teamwork, that I find it impossible to believe that she would allow bullying. I also want to add, if the parent or child is unhappy, why don't they just not play volleyball. I'm sure the football coach would not be fired if a couple parents were "unhappy." Something to think about there...

Parents and kids need to understand that to get a spot on the Salpointe volleyball team, is an honor, not a right. This is varsity athletics, you are not going to play if you are not good enough. I can tell you as a player who sat the bench almost an entire year, that I still felt honored to put on that uniform and cheer my team mates on during the games. I was just as important cheering my butt off, as they were on the court and I understood that. I supported my teammates through practices and spirit and I never complained once (okay maybe once, but not to the administration!). I believe I owe this to good parenting as well as to coach. She never made me feel less important because I wasn't a starter. In fact not cheering loud enough on the bench is one of her pet peeves.

These entitled parents need to understand that their kid is going to learn just as much sitting on that bench, as the kids who are starting. Heck, I may have learned more than the starting kids. I learned that in life you have to work your butt off to get what you want. Coach taught me that. And guess what, I cheered and worked my butt off all season, I trained all summer, and Senior year I EARNED that starting position. My parents didn't threaten to take the tuition money away so I could play volleyball, and I learned one of the most important lessons of my life. Thank God, I have parents who allowed me to learn that lesson.

I know that was a long ramble, but I just want to say that the administration made a huge mistake firing Amy. It is so sad to see money play a more important factor than the children's education. As a Catholic school you would think morality and character would play a bigger role in the minds of the administration. I thought Jensen was just a bad egg, I may have to rethink that; Sullivan and whoever else handled this situation, put more than a bad taste in my mouth. I used to imagine one day sending my kids to Salpointe, but it's not looking too likely now.

I hope everyone knows how AMAZING Amy Johnson is, and how horrible this situation is. I love you Coach, thank you so much for everything you have given to Salpointe and its players over the years. Sorry that was so long, but I am just soooo mad. Thanks again, Coach.


-Sara Gotchey '06

34 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Sara Gotchey on 06/20/2013 at 7:33 PM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

I am a Salpointe Alum, played volleyball there all four years. Coach Johnson was the fairest and truly the best coach I have had in my life of playing any sport. This saddens me to know that so many other high school players will not have the opportunity to play for a knowledgable, fair, legendary Tucson coach. I wish Coach Johnson the best, and hope that Salpointe sees the error in their ways.

34 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Zach Glicksman on 06/20/2013 at 9:46 AM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

If your child is playing HS varsity sports it's time for you to sit back, be quiet and enjoy the game. If your kid is upset about playing time, or anything else for that matter, they (not you) should take it up with the coach. When did parents start going to the President of a school over an issue with athletics? What a shame that this happened to Coach Johnson who gave her heart and soul to the Salpointe volleyball program. Thanks for all you did for both my kids when they played for you, Coach. I know your former players (and their parents) support you and love you!!!

32 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by former Salpointe contributor on 06/20/2013 at 10:20 AM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

Gee, in looking down the list of reader comments and counting up the "likes" and "dislikes," there are many, many "likes," but it basically seems one person went down the list and tapped all the dislikes. Kay Sullivan must have been very busy last night.

28 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Isadoro Duncan on 06/21/2013 at 8:52 AM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

Kay Sullivan isn't qualified to be President of this great school, or any other school from the first grade up. If she were qualified, she would have told those idiot wannabe parents to take their money and stick it where the sun doesn't shine. . . .

24 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by James Kidd on 06/20/2013 at 4:02 PM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

This is a true loss for Salpointe. The greatest times I had in high school were being a part of her volleyball program and being coached not only by Amy, but several SCHS alumni hand picked by Coach Johnson. Between running the snack bar during home games, earning King/Queen of the Court shirts during her summer camps, going to YC's and In n' Out after tournaments in Phoenix, and the bus rides for those long away games, there are a lot of great memories and people to look back on. It's a shame that future players will not be able to have the volleyball experience my fellow teammates and I did.

Thanks for everything Coach. You deserve all the respect and appreciation shown in these comments and much more! I wish you the best of luck wherever you end up.

-Eric Hebeisen '08

23 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Eric on 06/20/2013 at 10:53 PM

Re: “Cut a Check

Sounds like Brian might be kind of jealous of those Salpointe parents and the community. Oh, and remember that girl he divorced that went to St. Mary's? Don't worry about her. I went on to happily marry a Salpointe graduate. Heck, if we wanted to we too could donate money and stand on the field. Sounds like I got the better end of that deal!

22 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by KC on 10/04/2013 at 3:38 PM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

As a former schs alum, I know Voach is an amazing coach and mentor! She does what is best for the kids. Too msny parents think they know better and start all the nonsense politics. Just let the kids play! Schs has lost too many good coaches because parents don't know when to zip it and sit back! In this world we need to learn if we have questions or concerns, start with the source and not try to go above and beyond. Remember, we are all here to get a good moral catholic education!

Sincerely,
Embarrassed Alum

22 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by SCHS Alum on 06/20/2013 at 9:11 PM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

It is all about the money!

22 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by nam6870vet on 06/20/2013 at 12:26 PM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

The amateur parent gets in the way of the educational professional.
Is this another example of how the private sector does it better than the public sector?
Thank you, Brian, for this story, and shedding some light on how, believe it or not, private education has its weak points.
I know I am going to print this and mail it, with comments, to Sullivan. I invite others to do the same.

21 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Isadoro Duncan on 06/21/2013 at 8:44 AM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

Money talks, folks, so if you have been a donor to this parochial school, next time they call or write, tell them NO and tell them WHY you are declining to support them.

19 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by SonoranWinds on 06/21/2013 at 2:01 PM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

Coach Johnson wasn't great because of what SCHS offered her, it's what she did for all those athletes who have come here to support her that speaks volumes about the kind of person she is and will continue to be. What Salpointe has to worry about is if she decides to coach somewhere else. I feel sorry for SCHS volleyball as you have let go of a great leader and created a worthy adversary. Good luck Amy and woe to SCHS when they see you build a VB program at another area school that consistently wipes SCHS little behind every time you meet.

13 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dan Martin on 06/22/2013 at 4:42 PM

Re: “Pedersen on Sports

Oh Kay, you're being feverishly out voted. Better get some Ben Gay for that itchy finger.....

I think a school that charges full varsity admission for a second team freshman football game should be ashamed of themselves.

Parents need to realize their precious little darling may not be as good as another player, regardless of how many camps they attended or how many private lessoned they wasted money on. Life isn't fair like that.

13 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Justa Coach on 06/22/2013 at 3:37 PM

Re: “Have you prepared yourself for the impending invasion?

Seriously? This part-cowboy will soon be responding to Mr. Pedersen's misguided understanding of the essence of what makes Tucson, Tucson. Soccer is awesome. But compared to the Fiesta de los Vaqueros? Please. Not even close.

11 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Miguel Ortega on 02/14/2014 at 3:16 AM

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