New P.E. head finds his days short on hours Wiles now watches over 461 coaches and one son

January 26, 1993|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Staff Writer

Rick Wiles helped his 9-year-old son, Richard, build a soapbox car for the Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby at Oak Hill Elementary School last week, but never got to see him race.

His son won three heats and made it to the final, but his dad's new job as the county coordinator of physical education kept him away. It's something the family is learning to deal with.

"My wife [Linda] and son have been very supportive of the hours I put in," he said.

Wiles, a 19-year veteran of the county school system, succeeded Paul Rusko, who held the position for almost 25 years before retiring at the end of the 1990-91 school year.

The county budget crisis delayed the naming of a successor and Rusko returned in the fall of '91 on a personal contract basis until November, when Wiles was named acting coordinator. Wiles held that position until December of 1992, when he was named permanent coordinator.

Upon taking the position, Wiles said he hoped "to maintain the level of integrity established by Paul [Rusko] and Jean [Boyd, retired assistant to Rusko]."

Wiles knew in order to do that, he would have to work over 60 hours per week.

"I think sometimes the public doesn't realize the number of hours and responsibility levels [of administrators and supervisors]," said the 42-year old Wiles, whose day begins at 7 a.m. and usually doesn't end until after 9 p.m.

Wiles oversees 113 county schools (12 high schools) in physical education, dance and extracurricular athletics. He is responsible for 204 teachers and 461 coaches.

Wiles says he attended 96 meetings from November 1991 to June 1992.

"You don't understand how busy the job can be until you've been there, and I believe in management by walking around to see people and being there," said Wiles.

The job is one for which Wiles is well-qualified. While at Millersville Elementary, Wiles was the Anne Arundel County Teacher of the Year and state runner-up in 1987 and the 1988 Maryland Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year.

A 1968 graduate of Andover High, where he played four years of baseball and two years of soccer, Wiles played both sports at Anne Arundel Community College for two years before joining the National Guard.

After his military stint, Wiles graduated from Towson State, where he played soccer, and and got into baseball umpiring as a means of making some spending money.

His first teaching position was at Overlook Elementary in Linthicum. From there he had stops at Belle Grove Elementary in Brooklyn Park, Four Seasons in Odenton, and 11 years at Millersville Elementary.

Wiles' only concern with his new job is getting to spend time with his family, but he's working hard on that too.

"I have to put things in a delicate perspective, and balance it [his time] as well as I can," says Wiles.

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