Mr. Tompkins Lowers the Athletic Department Debt

Christina Freiberger


Mr Tompkins sits at his new desk as Athletic Director with a large pile of work in front of him
Mr Tompkins sits at his new desk as Athletic Director with a large pile of work in front of him

New Athletic Director, Bill Tompkins, along with the help of many people in the community, lowered the debt of the athletic department at Walpole High School from a suffering deficit of $65,000 to $8,678, an achievement that should not go unnoticed. After being commended for all his effort by Mr. Connolly at the School Committee Meeting on February 8, Tompkins thanked the coaches, parents and Boosters Clubs for their continuous support.

From the day he started out at WHS, Mr. Tompkins has always been a thorough and determined teacher and coach.  When he was a gym teacher at the high school, his organization of the lock distribution was put in a notebook that was extremely detailed. For the many years that he has been part of the school system, his scrupulous sense of organization has provided stability in the lockers rooms, in his classes, and on the field. Knowing that a person with these traits has taken over the job of athletic department, and Mr. Tompkins has not proved us wrong. He appoints and guides the people in charge of sports on ways to save money, which has lead to many sacrifices and commitments made by everyone. Although Mr. Tompkins is not the sole person that is responsible for this frugality in athletic spending, his stringent oversight over all athletic budgets has allowed programs to avoid cuts.

Mr. Tompkins stressed that he does not deserve all of the credit for putting the athletic budget in the black. While Jim Erker was interim athletic director, he set up a plan to get the costs back to even.  Mr. Erker decided on the new costs of the athletic fees, raising them by about $50, which helped to reduce the deficit drastically. When asked about future increases in athletic fees, Mr. Tompkins responded by saying, “hopefully not” because so far, the increase for this year has worked out.

Many sacrifices were made with transportation to and from meets or games, allowing the school to be more stringent with the costly buses.  The parents helped drive their kids to and from closer games, or home from further away ones so the bus does not have to wait.  With just a little help from the parents, we were able to save about a third or half of the bus fee cost every game. For example, many of the track athletes’ parents drove their kids home so the bus did not have to be paid for waiting around for three hours. And for the spring season the baseball team, along with many other sports teams, will continue helping save money for the department by not riding a bus to and from games in closer towns, such as Natick and Norwood.

Mr. Tompkins also allots credit to the coaches for they have become more “thrifty” this year. He says, “we’re lucky the coaches do what they do.” The coaches’ communication with parents and transportation, has helped Mr. Tompkins and the rest of the system achieve their financial goals.  Along with the coaches, the Boosters have been “hardworking” as well and have raised money in order to make their sport more self-sufficient.

Mr. Tompkins’ ability to keep the community involved in his plans for raising and saving money has brought everyone together to begin fixing a problem that has been present in Walpole for many years .If everyone continues to help, we will be able to completely get rid of the remaining deficit —a success that we know everyone has helped accomplish.