Coach Jim Pulchine. Photo/Danielle Curtis of The Falconer
By Gray Coyner Upperville
The local news sources have recently featured articles about the retirement of several school employees whose service is of significant note to the citizens of Fauquier County.
I would like to draw attention to one of those employees, Fauquier High School Strength Coach James Pulchine, although I know he does not want the attention and would prefer the student athletes be the focus.
In his 40 plus years of service to the youth of Fauquier County, Coach Pulchine has built a strength and health program at FHS that rivals the programs of most small colleges and a few large ones. Many people do not realize he has built this program using a public/private partnership that has only recently come into vogue at most universities. Coach Pulchine had the foresight, with the approval of the FHS principal and athletic director, to open the school weight room to adults for use after school hours. In exchange, the adults paid a fee for this privilege and these funds were used to purchase more sophisticated workout equipment.
This win-win project created and maintains a very modern strength and conditioning facility for student athletes and allows adults the opportunity to feel they are helping the students while participating in a healthy exercise program themselves. Under current operations, most of the equipment repairs and maintenance are performed by the adult users who have the sophisticated training necessary to maintain this equipment at no cost to the school system.
With Coach Pulchine’s retirement, the weight room will be closed to adults. At a time when all schools are facing budget restrictions, many are using public/private partnerships to overcome any short falls. Fauquier County is going the other direction and asking the taxpayers pay more.
Many believe this decision has been made by the Fauquier school administration to make sure that the voters are punished for not giving them all the money they want for their budget wishes. Once again the arrogance of academia is effectively saying “throw more money at the problems and it will work out.” As a long-time Fauquier taxpayer, I realize that idea is not working and we need some innovative thinking by the school administration; maybe even public/private partnerships!
If I owned an exercise facility in the Warrenton area, I would rush to engage Coach Pulchine in a consulting agreement for that facility and urge him to bring the 50-plus adult FHS members with him.