Emma Sims, Mary Kennedy, and Daniella Superlano
Just as Ted Salmon hangs up his phone, he receives an email regarding the Dominion District athletic events of Chesterfield. Later that day, he is in charge of putting together a meeting with the school administrators, and until then, he must schedule various athletic events, consult with the activity director from Clover Hill High School, and do a plethora of other behind the scenes tasks that coaches, teachers, students, and administrators alike never have to worry about, but Salmon is nearing the end. Salmon has worked as an athletic director for 42 years and is finally laying down his title to enter into a well deserved retirement.
Salmon first became an activities director at age 24 after graduating from ECU where he played football. In Chesterfield, he started teaching a government class at Clover Hill High School before becoming the head football coach. Six years before coming to Cosby, Salmon was promoted to activities director at Clover Hill, preparing him for an even larger role to come.
He then moved to Cosby High School in 2006, marking his 42nd year as an athletics director. “Moving from Clover Hill to Cosby was a very different job,” says Salmon. To start, Clover Hill was already a well established school with thirteen teams total. At Cosby, however, he was in charge at a brand new school and he had to build many of the activities and programs from the ground to make them successful.
Salmon says, “Expectation levels of what people expect high schools to provide has changed dramatically.” These growing expectations require a larger budget; however, without the necessary funds from the county needed to meet these expectations in full, it is a growing challenge for Salmon to surmount the obstacles of finances in order to allow Cosby to function to it’s fullest potential.
Salmon estimates he works nearly 60 hours a week, that’s 13 more hours than the average American work week of 47 hours. “You have to be very organized and be willing to spend the time and put a lot of hours in,” says Salmon.
His job is not a relaxed one, either. “I’m responsible for everything in activities as well as athletics, as well as transportation, and the calendar, and building use,” he says. This includes everything from football games, to concerts, to field trips. With the responsibility of coordinating so many activities, comes a lot of paperwork; Salmon’s least favorite part of the job is the paperwork.
However, there are numerous positive parts of his job as well. “My favorite part of my job is actually being at the ball games, and watching the students perform. I have been to the cross country conference meet, and I’m going to a football game tonight.”
Another part of the job Salmon enjoys are all the relationships he is able to build with people that are connected to Cosby in one way or another. As an activities director, Salmon works with other athletic/activities directors, coaches, teachers, students, and parents on a regular basis. In fact, Salmon listed these relationships as one of the things he will miss most when he leaves Cosby.
Cosby, as a whole, has progressed dramatically over the years, changing and growing in ways no one could have anticipated when it first opened its doors. Ted Salmon has served our school faithfully since the beginning, developing all the athletics and activities of our school into what they are today. He now looks forward to retirement, awaiting a much calmer life in which he can do all the things he enjoys and begin “taking life a little easier.” He says, “It’s a matter of stepping back a little bit, not stepping all the way out.”