Grain Valley School District employee Pete Carpino was recently nominated for the Community Profile in Grain Valley News. Coach Carpino is about to begin his 31st year in public education. He’s worn may hats during that time.
Tenures in rural, urban, and suburban school settings have led Carpino to believe that kids are the same regardless of where they come from. That view is clad in time spent as a strength and conditioning teacher, special education teacher, as well as a football and girls basketball coach.
Carpino believes that respect and competition are two important parts of any education a student receives. “Treat people with respect and be hard on them when it comes to expectations, and they’ll respect you. My wife and I raised three girls, and we had a rule in our house that you had to be involved in two activities during the school year. As long as you are involved, you are better off. Research shows that students who are involved in school do better academically than those who don’t,” Carpino said.
The University of Kansas is among those institutions that have conducted research cited by Carpino. A study performed by Lumpkin and Achen during the 2011-2012 school year found that students involved in athletics or activities had higher attendance and graduation rates, lower drop-out rates, and higher assessment scores than those not involved.
“I’m a huge fan, and I know all of our coaches are, of students who are three sport athletes. We don’t want kids to concentrate on one thing year around. For one thing, I think it creates injuries. It’s something that’s unwanted. Especially, in a kid who’s fifteen, perhaps doing the same repetitive motion for 12 months continuously. We’ve got kids in the band or that cheer that are in the weight room. It helps them all. They know I’m receptive to it. I love having them in there and seeing them work to get better,” Carpino said.
Spending time near the sideline or court leads one to notice the pride Carpino has in being a Grain Valley Eagle, along with his passion for coaching. These attributes are echoed by head coaches David Allie and Randy Draper who lead the Eagle football and girls basketball programs respectively.
“Pete is firm, fair, and caring. The kids like him because they know what they are going to get and it’s consistent. Coach is also quick to praise and quick to correct. He’s a good communicator and a great football mind. We both love football and have similar personalities. It’s awesome to coach with someone who’s your best friend,” Allie said.
Draper was also complimentary in his summation of Carpino. “Caring and genuine are two words I would use to describe Pete. He wants to do a good job, and the kids know he’s invested in them doing well. He’s also hilarious, and the kids enjoy his sense of humor.”
Coach Carpino is starting his sixth year at Grain Valley High School. He’s quick to light up when talking about Eagle Time Advisory Period or his teaching philosophy for strength and conditioning when asked about things he’s most proud of about being an Eagle.
“The community is outstanding. There are so many good people here. We have a session during the week called Eagle Time where we mentor twenty or so kids through their high school career. Get to know them, do enrollment with them, and provide advice or counseling. My wife being a local OBGYN, two-thirds of that class was delivered by my wife. It’s really cool to have multiple connections with that group of individuals. This is the best school district I’ve ever been in, and I’ve been in some good ones,” Carpino said.
“I also went through a paradigm shift about fifteen years ago when I went to the University of Southern California when Pete Carroll was the head football coach there. I spent several days with their staff, and a large portion of that was in the weight room. What I learned from them that’s always stuck with me is that they preached they were building athletes not refrigerators. I started teaching more ground based explosive lifts to build better athletes in the weight room. I’m also fortunate to have several guys on staff who have weight training experience that I can lean on for advice as well.”
Longevity within a profession tends to have several ingredients. A career that spans across three decades no doubt involves applying what you’ve learned. Carpino credits well respected and retired educator Bob Tavernaro as someone who had a profound impact on him.
“The best advice I’ve ever received about doing well on the job came from Coach Tavernaro. He encouraged you as an educator to be fair in what you do. When you go home, look in the mirror and know that what you’ve done is the right thing. Be nice to the custodians. Be nice to the secretaries and don’t send your kids to the office all the time and you’ll be okay,” Carpino quipped with a smile and a chuckle.
Having the good fortune to be around someone who influences you to do positive things is a blessing. Coach Tavernaro is a member of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He, just like Coach Carpino, enjoyed watching young people succeed during his time in education. It will be interesting to see who picks up the torch of motivating young people in the future with the Eagles that flock to the sideline or the court during the remaining tenure of Coach Carpino’s time in Grain Valley.
Have a nomination for the Community Profile? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org