Former WCS principal receives more support

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in regards to the latest happenings around the removal of the administrative duties of Wade Oberg.

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My name is Linda Tarala and, although I no longer live in Weyburn, I still have contact with friends and family who live there. I moved there in 2006 when my husband took a position with the SECPSD as it amalgamated.

My husband, Tim Tarala, was employed in the education system for close to 30 years. He worked in several school divisions around the province as a teacher, vice-principal, principal, director, and lastly as a superintendent and assistant director in the SECPSD. He also was a board member for a few years, which gave him an even broader experience and knowledge.

He loved being a part of the education system regardless of what his job title was but the one thing he always kept in mind was what was best for the students. He had a great skill in seeing talent and gifts in the people around him, often before they saw it themselves. He was always looking for that particular person who could be successful at the principal position, since few people want the job and responsibility of administration.

Out of all the positions that my husband held, he felt that being a principal was one of the most difficult. As a principal you respond to the needs of the board, the senior administration, the teachers, the support staff, the students, the parents, as well as the community, especially in a small city with only one high school. From the time we moved to Weyburn my husband was always a great supporter of Wade Oberg as an educator and an administrator. He saw his organizational abilities as well as his dedication to the students, school and community.

None of our children had the chance to attend Weyburn schools, but once we moved to Weyburn, I started attending different sporting activities and artistic performances as well as volunteering at the leadership conferences.

I noticed how WCS was such a hub of activity from the many different athletic tournaments, choir performances, musicals, student leadership conferences and annual fowl suppers. One visible face at all of these events was Wade. Whether it was on the bench coaching or doing cleanup from putting 600 people through the fowl supper food line, he was always there to support students and staff and make sure everything went smoothly.  

When I heard the news that Wade had lost his career as principal of WCS surrounding a disagreement with a community coach, and that he didn’t have the opportunity to defend himself to the board before the decision was made, it didn’t make any sense.

From what I understand, he has taken responsibility for making a mistake in how he approached the situation with the coach. I don’t understand how the senior administration and board could not work through this situation with their principal who has an impeccable record and reputation. How couldn’t SECPSD see their way to support their dedicated and loyal employee of 25 plus years?

The punishment does not fit the crime.This appears to be aglaring misconduct in the due diligence to investigate all sides and angles of theallegations.

It is my understanding that as the principal of WCS, Wade was responsible for the supervision of the community coach and that the only problem was that his daughter was involved. If another parent had come to him concerned for the treatment of their child, he would have been expected to deal with the coach. It was his responsibility to see that any coach who is working with WCS students were treating students fairly and with respect. 

Wade has had four children go through WCS and they have all been involved with athletics. He has coached for many years, sometimes with his daughters on the bench, all without any issues. I had three children that played several sports and at elite levels.

The coach and parents dynamic is always a tricky one. Trying to balance the emotions of the players and the protective nature of the parents, all the while trying to produce a competitive team, presents a difficult and emotional situation. This is definitely an important skill to develop. WCS has had a high profile in several sports and they have been held in high regard throughout the province. I believe this is due to strong coaches and strong leadership. 

In closing, I feel that in order for the Board to earn back the trust of the community that it represents, they should reconsider their position and all of the information that has been presented not only by the senior administration but by all parties involved. Allow Mr. Oberg to be treated in a fair and just manner, have a reasonable opportunity to defend his position, and to have the subsequent course of action reevaluated.

Linda Tarala, Saskatoon