Santoro leads Braves in ongoing war

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 21, 2004

With the recent hiring of new Warrior Academy headmaster John Santoro III, the ongoing battles in Eutaw have ended, but the war continues.

The summer’s events have left severe destruction within the Warrior community. Many have been wounded, some fatally, while others have defected, yet the school still stands, and come August 16, it will open its doors.

Santoro, who has been an adapted physical education teacher and the Athletic Director at the Oak Hill School in Tuscaloosa for the past three years, replaces headmaster Jimmy Barlow, who recently resigned his position at Warrior to take over as headmaster at Central Christian Academy in Selma.

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With the hiring of Santoro, order looks to have been restored at Warrior, as Santoro will not only take over as the school’s headmaster, but as its junior varsity head football coach and athletic director as well.

“I know it’s going to be a challenge,” Santoro said. ” But it’s a challenge I’m up for. I have been wanting to get into administration for some time now, and this will give me that opportunity to see if it’s something I would like to pursue further.”

But though order has been restored, the events of the past couple of months have left quite a mess.

According to Barlow, the aftermath of the summer’s events are of the most disastrous the school has seen in its 39-year old history.

One-third of the school’s students have been lost. As of today, there is not a single junior or senior student registered at Warrior for the fall. And if pursued, the school could pay out as much as $11,000 for contract violations with the AISA. But the biggest effect of the summer lies in the school’s credibility.

“The problems that have risen throughout the last couple of months have literally splintered this community,” Barlow said. “People are now concerned if their kids can and will receive a quality education at Warrior.”

“Credibility is the school’s biggest problem right now, and restoring that credibility has to be the school’s number one priority”.

But Barlow does feel that Santoro can restore that credibility, and if given the chance will do great things for Warrior.

“I believe John can really change things around here,” Barlow said. “I know that once he gets the people rallied behind him, he’ll do great things at Warrior.

“I’m just glad it’s all over with. It’s been a long two months for me.”

Barlow is set to begin at CCA, August 2.