Huntingdon School Board modifies board policy to hire non-certified coaches

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The approval of so many high school school sports has caused the Huntingdon Special School District Board of Education to modify its Extracurricular Activities Policy.

In the April 15 meeting, board members modified the policy to say that each student activity shall be under the guidance and direction of a staff member and all extracurricular activities at the school level shall have the approval of the principal. The former policy stated that each student activity must be under the guidance and direction of a certified staff member. With the adoption of the amended policy a non-certified coach may be hired.

“It is getting harder and harder to fill these position with a certified staff member as the schools get more and more teams at the high school,” said Director of Schools Pat Dillahunty. “This will give our principals more flexibility.”

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Board member Morgan Butler said a non certified volleyball coach has recently put on social media that she has already been hired for the coaching position at the high school.

Butler alluded to the fact that it was confusing.

“We are just approving this policy,” she said. “We already have someone non certified who says they have been hired, so what are we doing first? That’s what I am concerned about.”

Dillahunty said she has not hired a coach yet, but there are conversations out.

“Anytime a team (volleyball) is added like was done last month you have to go out and look for a coach,” she said.

Butler said with the person confirming that she was the official coach violated the just enacted school board policy.

Board member Tim Tucker said he thought the board policy just passed should have been reworded to the affect that a certified person should be sought first.

However, Dillahunty said after awhile there are only so many folks to choose from.

Board chairman Lee Carter said board policies would be followed despite contentions.

In other business, board members:

• Acknowledged the retirement of fifth grade science teacher Delano Miller at the middle school and the resignations of high school cafeteria employee Tina Hicks and primary school educational assistant Bobbie Jo Sykes.

• Discussed the purchase of property near the primary school and authorized Dillahunty to negotiate with the owners.

• Agreed to invite bids for resurfacing the high school gym floors.

• Granted approval for board chairman Carter to run again for TSBA Northwest director.

• Set the next meeting for May 20 at 5 p.m.