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Conference questions continue

After hearing from concerned parents, the School Board suggested Tuesday that those parents take their concerns about Citrus schools pulling out of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference back to the schools.

The board said parents should start with the enhancement committee, a group at each school that under Florida law makes recommendations to principals. At least 51 percent of the committee must be parents, members of the business community and other people not affiliated with the school.

Also in the works is a plan to replace the lost conference awards. Citrus county athletic directors and principals met Tuesday to discuss other ways to establish awards for athletic and other competitions, according to Citrus principal Mike Mullen.

"We're hoping to have a plan ready by this Friday if all three schools agree," Mullen said.

Mullen said the county hopes to create an all-county award patch that will be given to top students who compete in any activity, including all sports, band, drama, academic teams , ROTC and choir.

"I don't know if we are going to call it a conference, but we are going to have an association," he said "We have a bigger vision than just athletic. Our vision is to give awards to all top county performers.

"A lot of clubs compete, as do academic teams that should get recognition that don't. There is so much more competition out there that doesn't get 5,000 people in the stands."

While the Citrus county athletic directors and principals met, two Lecanto parents, Nanette Lewis and Brett Roth voiced their concerns.

Roth said he would personally write a check if that's what the schools needed to stay in the conference.

"These are good kids," he said. "They are going to be the base of our adults in another 15 years. Why show them that something they want can be jerked out that easily? Not behind closed doors, without any type of discussion.

"If it was done at the beginning of the school year, that's fine. If it was determined at the end of the school year, that's fine. I don't understand the logic behind it."

Lewis questioned what kind of example the schools are giving, when they exited the conference later than the conference's May deadline. Both want the Citrus schools to rejoin the GCAC.