September 23, 2023
Don Keelan: The place unusual service is a typical advantage

This commentary is by Don Keelan of Arlington, a retired licensed public accountant.

Within the Nov. 4 Wall Road Journal, Jayson Homosexual detailed Miller Bugliari’s accomplishments. In per week or so, Coach Bugliari may have accomplished his 63rd 12 months as Pingry College’s soccer coach in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. On the earth of highschool soccer, the coach is famous. 

Nearer to dwelling, on Nov. 2, 2022, the Vermont Division 4 boys semifinal soccer match ended. The boys from every workforce met at midfield, gave one another the high-five, and moved on. Todd Wilkins, the longtime Arlington Memorial Excessive College coach, and his associates adopted their gamers. 

For Wilkins, his stroll throughout the sphere was full of combined feelings. It was his final midfield trek, ending 18 years because the Arlington Memorial Excessive head soccer coach.

In Arlington soccer, two names are synonymous: Coach John Werner and Todd Wilkins. The previous was legendary in his personal proper, regionally, statewide, and nationally. When Wilkins was a scholar at Arlington Memorial, Werner was his coach. Little did both of them know that Wilkins, regionally generally known as Sgt. Wilkins of the Vermont State Police, would proceed the Werner legacy for almost 20 years.

Vermont highschool teaching isn’t any straightforward process: The project begins months earlier than the precise play commences; a number of days and evenings are blocked off every week for observe and video games; and with Vermont’s college measurement and placement, long-distance journey goes with the job. 

All too usually missed is the sacrifice of a coach’s household. Put one other approach, a coach’s dedication have to be augmented by his or her household; in any other case, it doesn’t occur. In Wilkins’ case, that dedication stretched nearly 20 years. 

Don Keelan: The place unusual service is a typical advantage
Todd Wilkins, a Vermont State Police sergeant, has additionally been a soccer coach, college board chair, and selectboard member.

If teaching have been all that Todd Wilkins and his household gave to Arlington, that will be greater than sufficient. But it surely doesn’t finish with teaching. Todd has been a member of the Arlington College Board for years and is at the moment the board chair.

Anybody with any college connection is accustomed to the struggles to fight Covid-19 and the ensuing problems with scholar attendance and trainer and administrative staffing. Beneath Wilkins’ management, the Arlington College District saved distant studying minimal in the course of the Covid pandemic. 

Arlington has all the time been dwelling to the Wilkins household, together with his partner and three youngsters. Whereas serving as a coach, college board member, and Bennington County patrol commander with the state police, Todd noticed that the city of Arlington wanted to vary to draw new companies, households and guests. He knew he needed to be in town’s governing board to assist that happen. In 2020, he was elected overwhelmingly to the Arlington Selectboard. 

Todd and his partner, Kerry, have handed down the DNA of service. Later this month, their eldest son, a two-year veteran of the U.S. Air Pressure, will go away along with his unit for an undisclosed location within the Mideast.

Paraphrasing the late fleet admiral of World Warfare II, Chester A. Nimitz (1885-1966), after he witnessed what occurred on Iwo Jima, a wonderful technique to describe the Wilkins household is “the place unusual service is a typical advantage.”

On Nov. 2, Todd Wilkins hung up his teaching whistle; nevertheless, scores of former gamers and their households are without end grateful for his management, compassion and dedication. Additionally, a deep gratitude to the Wilkins household for giving Todd the chance to educate and serve the city of Arlington.

I hope Coach Wilkins is not going to reevaluate his choice and return to teaching to eclipse Miller Bugliari’s 63 years and counting. 

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Tags: Arlington Memorial Excessive College, Coach John Werner, Don keelan, college board, selectboard, state police, Todd Wilkins


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