FALLSBURG— Mel Feldman and Paul Marsden received the highest honor that Fallsburg Athletic Coaches can attain when they were inducted into the FCSD Wall of Coaching Distinction on January 18, …
FALLSBURG— Mel Feldman and Paul Marsden received the highest honor that Fallsburg Athletic Coaches can attain when they were inducted into the FCSD Wall of Coaching Distinction on January 18, 2023, at the Board of Education meeting. Unfortunately, Mel was under the weather and he was well represented by his family. Paul Marsden came up from his home in Florida with his wife Jill and two of his children.
Superintendent Dr. Ivan Katz welcomed the two families and detailed the impact that the two coaches had on their student athletes, on the school district and on the Fallsburg community. Their accomplishments are truly worthy of the prominent recognition of a Wall of Coaching Distinction Plaque. Letters of support for the two men extolled their virtues as teachers of the different sports they coached, as mentors to the young women and men they taught, and as role models that instilled in them a sense of humility, good sportsmanship, and prepared them for successful lives after high school.
Dr. Katz added that as recently as the night before the event, he received emails from retired coach Donna Rae Robataille and current FCSD staff member Lisa McAdoo praising the two coaches as role models to their athletes as well as the adults and fellow coaches. BOE President Mike Weiner also thanked Mel Feldman and Paul Marsden for teaching him to remember the responsibility of a coach is to be a teacher of young men and women. He carried this guidance with him as a long-time coach at Fallsburg Central High School.
Coach Marsden began his acceptance speech by acknowledging how much he learned about coaching at Fallsburg from Mel Feldman. He was an exemplary coach and totally appreciated by his student athletes. Coach Marsden was humbled to receive this honor and acknowledged how special the thirty plus years of coaching at Fallsburg were for him. He thanked the student athletes he worked with, several that were present, and those who nominated him. He was most grateful for his wife Jill, who took care of their young children as he was busy preparing his teams for practice and games, including trips to sectionals and state tournaments. He closed his speech with a special thank you to Coach Jack Halchak for mentoring him and teaching him so much about coaching and about life.
Standing next to his sister Marci Ronik and brother Stefan Feldman, Coach Feldman’s son, Mark, read a hand-written letter from his dad. He thanked the people that nominated him for the award, and he thanked all those students that played for his teams over the more than thirty years at Fallsburg High School. Without them, he would not have received this honor. His dad was so happy to have this special recognition for his many years as a coach and physical education teacher in the school district. The family was honored for their dad, and they were so pleased to see several of the athletes that his dad coached in the audience, Lisa McAdoo, Theresa Trujillo, and Maribel Pomales. Mark informed this writer that when he gave Mel the plaque, his spirits rose, and he was feeling much better.
At the end of the presentation, BOE member and FCSD Alumna Regina McKenny-Snead presented a special treasure for each coach—a specially wrapped piece of the old gymnasium wood floor that had been replaced two years ago.
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