When Brian Swinehart took over as the new athletic director for the Walled Lake Consolidated School District, one of the first things he did in the fall was implement an athletic advisory council comprised of parents, students, coaches, and administrators to give feedback on athletics and the department overall.
“It serves as a sounding board on topics we have, such as the Code of Conduct, adding sports, and budget cuts,” said Swinehart, who recently gave a presentation about the advisory council to the Walled Lake Schools Board of Education. “I can bounce ideas off of them to get input on any changes we might make in the athletic department.”
One of the main things the council accomplished this year was creating a survey, which Swinehart hopes to repeat over the next few years.
“Through that survey, we hoped to take the pulse of the community for the overall satisfaction with the athletic department,” he said.
According to Swinehart, one of the main questions asked related to participation fees and whether families understand why the district has them.
“A little over 75 percent understood, but they wanted to know where the money went to, so this helped us gain some direction,” Swinehart said.
Also included in the survey was a chance for the community to establish core values — such as teamwork and self worth — and a mission statement for the athletic department.
“We don’t just want to build champions on the field, but for life — to enable them to do well in the community, classroom, and on the field,” Swinehart said.