By DAVID GREEN
Nearly all of Morenci’s fall and winter season coaches are in place following board of education action Thursday. Only wrestling and competitive cheer remain vacant.
The board’s Personnel Committee met before the regular meeting to iron out some concerns, said newly-elected board president Scott Merillat. By hiring all coaches for a particular sport at once, he said, the head varsity coach can “sign off on approval” of the entire staff.
“The idea is so we can become more cohesive,” said committee member Carrie Dillon, with “a head coach who supports the program down to the seventh and eighth grade level.”
It’s tough to get coaches, noted superintendent Kyle Griffith, and he considers this year’s effort a huge stride in development of the athletic program.
FALL—New head football coach Tom Saylor will have Nate Parker as an assistant; Matt Bostick as JV coach and Ryan Love as JV assistant; Lance Thompson as a volunteer assistant; Travis Kruse and Joe Farquhar as eighth grade coaches; and Fred Love and Dan Hoffman as seventh grade coaches. Board member Phil McCaskey cast the only “no” vote among all the coach hirings with his opposition to Hoffman. Board member Cyndee Sanders was absent from the meeting.
Brad Brown will return as cross country coach.
Dennis Owens will return as head volleyball coach and his staff includes Shana Love, JV volleyball; Emilie Yatzek Beach, eighth grade volleyball; and Holly Ramsey, seventh grade volleyball.
WINTER—Although Jim Yatzek stepped down as varsity girls basketball coach after eight years, the duties will be staying in the family. His son, Tim, will move up to serve as head varsity coach and his daughter, Emilie, will take over as JV coach. Jim will serve as eighth grade coach and Ryan Love will take the seventh grade team.
Tim Bovee returns for a third year at the helm of the boys basketball program. Mark Lamley will serve as a volunteer assistant, John Craig returns as the JV coach and Austin Wolf will serve as a volunteer assistant. Jim Bauer will coach the eighth grade team and Joe Farquhar will lead the seventh grade squad.
CUSTODIAL—C&D Cleaning service was hired to clean the high school for the 2009-10 school year.
Board member Gary Ries said there were some concerns and problems when the service first started the job last year, but once the cleaners had a better understanding of what was expected, they did a good job.
McCaskey asked if any other firms applied. Ries said there were, but the committee recommended staying with C&D since they’re familiar with the job and were offering the service at the same price.
BUS—The board accepted the high bid of $6,850 from Northpoint Services for the sale of the 2001 International bus with 89,000 miles. Three bids were received.
HANDBOOKS—The board approved changes to student handbooks, including the addition of language prohibiting the sharing of lunches and charging à la carte items. In addition, lunches may be charged for only one week and then cafeteria personnel have the discretion to refuse additional unpaid meals.
McCaskey was concerned about refusing to serve a child and asked if it’s the fault of an elementary school child to not have adequate funds.
Finance director Erica Metcalf said there has been some abuse of the old policy and noted that contact with the home is made regularly when an account runs low.
It’s not a black and white policy, Griffith added, since cafeteria workers are given the option to extend credit.
A change to the middle school handbook forbids markings or writings on a student’s body since they are a distraction and not appropriate for school.
Rules against bullying were added to the student harassment policy. Bullying includes not only physical abuse but repeated taunting, teasing, spreading rumors, excluding or ignoring others in a mean way, taking money or belongings and sending mean-spirited notes and e-mails.
The elementary school handbook now prohibits all toys from school due to the distraction they can cause.
In the high school handbook, a policy that prohibits athletic competition on the day that a student is “written up” for a discipline problem now includes more flexibility.
Consideration for participation may be based on the severity of the offense, the athlete’s history of disciplinary action and the opportunities the athlete has to correct the behavior.