October 01, 2022

A few things NV needs as we begin to heal

It’s been a rough week in our Nodaway Valley communities.

We try and deal in facts. That is, after all, why we’re in the newspaper business. That being said, there’s not much to share as of this writing.

The school board was set to meet Wednesday. I’m writing this Tuesday. It’s hard to know how that meeting will go. You’ll likely know the result before you read this.

What we do know is that head football coach Seth Comly was put in administrative leave Friday, Sept. 2. That’s literally all we can report at this time. We’ll wait to hear the facts. I’ve heard many of the rumors you have, but we don’t deal in rumors, we deal in facts.

It seems there’s a lot of finger-pointing going on from many sides of it all. Not all, but many sides. It’s my opinion that doing so isn’t in the long-term best interest of Nodaway Valley.

As I look at the situation, there’s a couple of things I would like to see come out of all this. I really do believe that good can come out of bad situations like these, and I hope you do too.

First of all, we need answers. It’s hard telling before the school board meeting whether the hard discussions will be in open or closed. It’s my understanding that it is possible for the hard conversations to be in open session, but you rarely hear it happening.

The school administration has actually been very professional with me in giving me reasons why we can’t talk about personnel matters, etc, during all of this. I reached out to Comly for a comment last week and he was very professional as well, basically saying he needs to stay out of it right now, and he denied the chance to comment at that time.

The second thing that I hope we see out of this is that whoever is in the wrong owns up to it. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but as they say, growth only comes when we admit our failings. I hope that time in this situation has done its part in simmering emotions. I hope that through that, the answers that are uncovered for all involved will lead to change.

Speaking of change, the third thing I feel we need is a clearly communicated path forward for all involved. A comprehensive overhaul of our school. I’m not at all saying people need to go. I’m saying ways of doing things might need to go, whether we thought they were good or thought they were bad. It’s just something you have to be willing to do every once and awhile. In my opinion, we don’t heal from something like this by simply getting rid of people. We heal from a situation such as this by knowing where we all stand, how things are supposed to be done across the board, and holding each other accountable from there.

I was on the sidelines Friday for our football game. It was a frustrating outcome on the scoreboard, but I saw a lot of guys giving it their all out there. I’m heading to a volleyball match tonight (they’re home finally) and I’m sure I’ll see the same there. Same goes for our cross country kids and all those who study at Nodaway Valley or participate in extracurricular activities there.

It’s like Red Green says — we’re all in this together. That’s the only way we’re going to grow and heal from something like this.

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.