Parents complain to school board about coach

GLOVERSVILLE – Several parents of student athletes at Gloversville High School criticized a coach and other athletic staff at a meeting last week.

Tonya Duma, the mother of Samantha Edgar, a sophomore on the girls junior varsity basketball team, told the school board during the public-comment session that coach Robyn Guzielek removed Edgar from the team with three games left in the season in February.

During the meeting, Duma told the school board she thought the removal of her daughter from the team was excessive. She acknowledged her daughter was disrespectful to the team, but that she should have been given a second chance.

Duma sent a letter, dated Feb. 8, to Principal Richard DeMallie, Guzielek and Athletic Director Mike Demagistris acknowledging Edgar removed her shoes before a game had ended and had not attended a team discussion in the locker room. Later, Edgar missed a tournament game over the holiday break, the later stated. In the letter, Duma said the coach’s demand to turn in the jersey with only three games left was excessive.

Following meetings with Demagistris and Superintendent Michael Vanyo, Duma says nothing was done.

“Why is this athletic director allowing this irrational coach to continue to abuse our children?” she told board members.

Duma called for a written apology from the coach and asked the school board to review the situation.

Among others who complained at last week’s meeting was parent Lori Patterson, mother of girls junior varsity basketball player Megan Patterson. She told the school board her daughter had participated for several seasons. She said her daughter notified Guzielek she would have to miss a practice. The next game, she was benched. According to Patterson, the practice session, scheduled for a Sunday, was not mandatory and her daughter could have played,

When approaching Demagistris, Lori Patterson claimed she was referred to as “the person who brought up the Title IX,” referring to a civil-rights complaint filed in January 2011. Patterson said she was not the parent who filed that complaint. Patterson said she feared students are being mistreated based on conflicts with parents.

Pete Semione, school board president, said in an interview this week the board would not be involved in these types of complaints and the board stands by the coaches.

“It comes down to a personal feeling that the child didn’t get enough play time,” Semione said.

Semione said the situation would be an issue for the athletic director to handle.

Neither Vanyo nor Demagistris returned calls seeking comment for this story. Guzielek could not be reached for comment.