Residents at school board meeting call for Roosevelt principal Trevor Long to resign; Long and Superintendent Martin Foster respond | MyWindsorNow.com

Residents at school board meeting call for Roosevelt principal Trevor Long to resign; Long and Superintendent Martin Foster respond

Bobby Fernandez
bfernandez@greeleytribune.com

During a regularly scheduled Johnstown-Milliken Re-5J School District Board of Education meeting Wednesday, more than 100 residents packed into a meeting room at the district office, with much of the crowd asking for the resignation of Roosevelt High School principal Trevor Long after four years on the job.

While other concerns were raised about Long, a prominent portion of the discussion focused on the insinuation that Rough Riders football coach Noland Eastin was forced out by administrators, notably Long.

Long and Superintendent Martin Foster responded, saying Eastin resigned as coach by choice Monday.

"I don't want him to leave, nobody does, but it's his choice," said Foster, who said he spoke with Eastin on Tuesday and Wednesday. "We owe respect to him to do what he wants to do, to give him a break, to let him take some time off. I think he'll coach again. I'm sure he will. … Mr. Long didn't fire him. Mr. Long didn't threaten him."

Multiple residents said their dissatisfaction with Long goes beyond whether he put pressure on Eastin to resign.

In response to Foster, Nathan Eastin — Noland's brother and one of his assistant coaches — commented from the back of the meeting room.

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"I think we're OK with the resignation by coach Noland, my brother," said. "The problem I have is the unethical behavior by our leader in the high school (Long). That's the No. 1 bottom line. We need change."

Earlier in the night, Nathan Eastin was the first of six residents to step to the podium during the public comment portion of the meeting.

He said he was told by Long in the preseason if he wanted to coach, he had to sign a letter with certain requirements placed on him as a coach.

Nathan Eastin said, later, when he asked to review the coaching file that Long had on file for him, he was provided a fabricated, falsified file.

"This is just one example of unethical behavior I have dealt with for the past four years with Trevor," Nathan Eastin said.

He asked those in the room who desired Long's resignation to stand up, at which point about a dozen residents stood.

Also during public comment, resident Ryan Byers raised concerns about Long's handling of an alleged incident of harassment between two students.

Long addressed residents after public comment, denying he has done anything wrong.

"Some of the comments tonight are completely false," Long said. "I do not work that way. I won't address (the accusations) specifically. We will have more integrity than that. (But) they're not true. … I want to assure you, I work every day with integrity."

Residents requested further meetings with Long and Foster to address their concerns. Long and Foster said they are willing to have those meetings.

Roosevelt's senior quarterback Cameron Hurtado, Noland's nephew, gathered with a group of students in a hallway of the district office after public comments concluded.

Hurtado acknowledged a sort of disconnect between students and Long, saying Long hasn't always responded to student concerns in a timely, professional manner.

"It's hard for us students to come to talk to (Long)," Hurtado said. "I do still respect him because he's our principal, but we (students) do have disagreements."

Recent complaints

Roosevelt High School principal Trevor Long has drawn criticism from Johnstown-Milliken residents on multiple occasions in recent months.

» On Monday, football coach Noland Eastin resigned after 17 years with the program, the past six as the head coach.

While saying he had a multitude of reasons for resigning — speaking primarily of his desire to spend more time with his family — Eastin acknowledged not always seeing eye to eye with administrators.

“I really do respect the school and the school district and the school board. I really do, because I know they have a tough job,” Eastin said Tuesday. “But, as any coach would tell you, (we coaches) have a vision and a direction that I think we need to go, and we haven’t always went that direction and not always been on the same page (with the administrators).”

» Eastin is the second popular Roosevelt coach to depart in the past four months.

Long and Rough Riders Athletic Director Joe Brown acted quickly and fired baseball coach Sean Lydon on Oct. 17 after Roosevelt’s program was placed on restriction by the Colorado High School Activities Association. The Johnstown-Milliken school district self-reported CHSAA violations stemming from “payments made to the Roosevelt High School baseball coaches that were not stipulated in school district contracts,” as described in a letter from CHSAA Assistant Commissioner Bert Borgmann to Long.

CHSAA initially banned the Rough Riders from the postseason this spring but has since temporary lifted the restriction for the upcoming season after Lydon was fired.

Still, residents, including some at Wednesday’s board meeting, claim Lydon’s dismissal was handled improperly.

» Long was also met with scrutiny from residents in September after failing to immediately notify parents about a credible threat to the Roosevelt High School student body. A student threatened to shoot students on Sept. 1, and many parents learned about the threat in a Sept. 8 Tribune news story.

During the Sept. 14 board meeting, district administrators apologized for failing to notify parents about the threat.

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