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Lehigh Valley

Lacrosse spurs huge turnout at BASD board meeting

BETHLEHEM TWP. Pa. - An enthusiastic and swelling crowd consisting mainly of Bethlehem Area School District athletes livened the normally placid Bethlehem Area School District Board of Directors' meeting Monday night, to show their support in having the sport of lacrosse receive official district support.

More than 150 students made their case that the sport, currently holding club status because of challenging budgetary constraints, has more of an impact on a student's development than just taking notes.

Joseph Sexton, president of the Liberty High School's Girls and Boys Lacrosse Club, spoke passionately about the sport and how it improves the lives of the student-athletes he coaches.

"It's a fabulous sport to watch," he told the board. "...It provides tremendous teamwork and leadership."

The presentations were summarized with thundering applause and standing ovations by the athletes in attendance, turning the board meeting momentarily into a raucous event reminiscent of a sporting event.

Two of the longest and loudest rounds of applause were saved for comments made by directors Eugene McKeon and Basilio Bonilla, Jr., who said on Monday night that they plan to support the initiative to give the sport district support.

A vote on the subject is expected in June.

In other business Monday night, the board voted to approve three separate facilities items focusing on repairs.

The largest item was for roof replacement for the Spring Garden Elementary School gym and roof repairs for the SPARK building and Liberty High School at a cost not to exceed to $230,100.

Also, Heather Bennett-Knerr was named principal of Clearview Elementary School effective July 1, 2014. She will be paid $101,849 annually.

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