My name is Angela Johnson. I am a graduate of Oak Harbor High School Class of 2012 and was previously a swimmer for the North Whidbey Aquatic Club. My concerns are for the swim team and the firing of Neil Romney from last autumn.
I don’t know whether to call this a complaint but my concern is the values that Neil always taught his swimmers. From my knowledge, the reasoning behind Neil’s termination has been thrown up in the air and that he is not allowed to come back to the John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool.
The values that he always taught kids were to take initiative, be a sport, be helpful, be spirited for friends and competition, to give others respect, and to be diligent or hardworking in everything you do. These values were the very core of the NWAC swim club and are what made the team the pride of the island in 2009 in article “Pride of the Island, North Whidbey Aquatic Club” written by Tim Adams.
The team gave anyone who joined the environment of acheivement through hard work, a family setting with parents helping out, fun activities to do on the weekends or after practice, and all the friends they make whether it was here in town or from afar on our many out of town swim meets. The relationships that were had between everyone on the team including the coaches, other parents and other teams other than NWAC. The very core of the team was stripped in terminating Neil Romney because he gave everyone that opportunity to better themselves which people with these values that he taught are lacking in society.
Many can account for that in this generation there is a lack of respect for others, determination and effort in the youth who will soon take the position of leading. Coach Neil Romney gave the community of Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island and Washington state a grasp on attempting to give good leaders and community members. I find it a shame that someone who has inspired not only youth, but adults all around the community should get fired in such a manner.