Central Whidbey community members successfully raised enough money to fund the athletic trainer position at Coupeville High School for another school year.
The athletic trainer position, currently held by physical education teacher Jessica Caselden, was eliminated as part of a series of budget cuts approved by the Coupeville School Board last month. Coupeville Sports blog writer David Svien organized a GoFundMe campaign to raise the $8,600 needed to fund the job.
“Jessica’s work was hugely instrumental in Coupeville athletic teams having one of the most injury-free years in the 30 years I have written about sports in the town,” Svien wrote in the fundraiser description.
The GoFundMe came close to raising the full amount needed; as of Monday, it had generated over $7,100. A car wash that took place Sunday raised another $1,300, and private donations made up the rest of the $8,600 raised.
Svien said the money will be donated to the school district through the Booster Club to fund the position this coming school year.
“Jessica will be where she should have always been — helping and inspiring a new generation of prairie kids — and we couldn’t have accomplished this without Wolf Nation rising up together,” Svien wrote in an email.
Coupeville Superintendent Steve King said that while nothing official had come in as of Monday afternoon, the district would open the position through the athletic department if a grant for the position came in through the Booster Club or another nonprofit organization.
“The district appreciates the community support for programs like these that help our students experience more success,” King said.
King said that the district is doing what it can to be as efficient as possible with its budget and expenses.
“There will be ongoing monitoring of the budget throughout the year in order to make decisions for following school years,” he said.