Editor:

We have known Levi Stout since he was twelve years old. We developed a close personal relationship with him when he was 18. He is a young man who greatly benefited from a strong wrestling program during his teenage years. Consequently, he has worked to build that kind of strong, beneficial, successful program to support young athletes at PVHS; his way of paying forward. What a shame it would be to remove such a positive, strong leader and father-figure from this program he has worked so diligently to build.

As former coaches in the Farmington Municipal School District and other youth programs, we are aware of the challenges a coach faces when working with teen athletes. Constant vigilance to rules of conduct, oversight by administration, pressures from parents and support of the coaching staff must be balanced with what will benefit the athlete's physical, personal and ethical development. Mr. Stout forms a close bond with each wrestler and concentrates on his athlete's well being, often adjusting to their family conditions.

Levi Stout is not an educator working in the classroom, but a man who has a career outside the school system. He sacrifices personal and family time and gets minimal pay for the season, which he extends throughout the year at his own expense, for the opportunity to work with these athletes who benefit from the privilege of learning from him. This benefit extends to area schools and the community. This is what education is all about building toward the future. The seven incidents should be questioned, explained and resolved. Then, focus on the positive and move ahead with support and encouragement, oversight and communication, not throw away a valuable asset.

We feel that Levi Stout has proven to be a dedicated mentor is wilting to sacrifice to support the community. He is the of young man we would be proud to call our son.

BILL AND PAULA NICKERSON

Farmington