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Board splits on rehiring head football coach

By Charlotte Heldenbrand

Overton Press editor

After a little more than an hour in executive session Monday night, March7, the Overton Independent School District board of trustees narrowly approved rehiring their athletic director and unanimously terminated four Overton Middle School employees.

Mike Rogers made the motion to retain head football coach Bo Talkington another year, David Proctor the second, and Pam Raney joined them in the motion. Kelvin Darden, Jerry Luster and Scott Florey voted against, and Talkington’s contract was approved when board president Scotty Moore voted for it to break the 3-3 tie. When OISD hired Talkington last February, Moore had to break the 3-3 tie then as well. At that meeting, Rogers made the motion, Luster the second; they and Raney voted for the hire. Voting against were Darden, Florey and Proctor. The Mustangs football team posted a 2-8 record (1-4 in district play) last season.

Rogers made the motion to terminate four middle school teachers, Proctor the second and it passed without opposition. Those terminated include: Aaron Reed, health, math and science; Barre Gonzalez, English, reading and theater; Marcus Lulamandier, special education and athletics; and Daniel Kern, life skills.

Three teachers resigned and those were unanimously approved, with Darden making the motion and Proctor the second. Resignations included: Cassie Bayless, art; Marsha Richardson, fourth and fifth grade math; and Robin Zell, secondary math.

The board unanimously approved one-year extended probationary contracts for teachers Susan Bobbitt, Nina Rankin and Leann Mackey. Luster and Raney made the motion and second.

Rogers made the motion to approve 12 one-year probationary contracts, Raney the second and it passed without opposition.

Raney made the motion to uphold the district’s decision in a Level III student grievance, Proctor the second and it passed unanimously.

In a non-action item, Jack Finkle, site supervisor with J.E. Kingham, gave an update on the gym construction. He said they have “finished 99.9 percent of the interior masonry. They’ve started on the bricks on the exterior. On the 24th, they finished the roof. We’ve been working on the football field this morning.”

Florey asked if there was not going to be a concrete sidewalk on the west side of the field. “The end, to me, being so tight; why didn’t we move it? We talked about it at a meeting.”

Finkle said, “There’s no room to move the field east or west.” Florey replied, “I know, now.” The site supervisor said the sidewalks are almost on the edge of the hill: “The northern section of that west end (concrete) has been poured since back in the summer from the old concession stand toward the middle.”

Superintendent Alan Umholtz said they will need to put some padding on the fences at each end zone to protect players. He added that he believes the fence is in the same place it was prior to the construction project.

In his report, architect George DeJohn with Claycomb Associates said the distance between the fence and end zone “is not unreasonable with other districts’ (football fields).” On another subject he reported that they are cutting costs where they can and rerouted some conduit.

The superintendent invited board members to come by his office and he will accompany them on visits to the construction site. Proctor said, “I guess it’s best to come by here first because I went up there inside the (gym) building and everybody looked at me like I had dirt on my face.”

Umholtz complimented the site supervisor for “watching the contractors” at the job site.

Before they approved the financial report, Rogers asked what the notation regarding former superintendent Mark Stretcher was about. Umholtz said, “When we get (reimbursement) money we send a certain amount to the insurance company. The rest stays here.” Later in the meeting during his report, the superintendent said they had received a $55 check from Stretcher. “I think that’s the minimum he can pay,” Umholtz said.

Trustees unanimously approved payments of $310,784.36 and $31,949.78 to J.E. Kingham. Luster made the motion and Florey the second.

Florey made the motion and Luster the second to make a $12,765 payment to Claycomb Associates. It passed without opposition.

The 2011-2012 school calendar was passed with Luster making the motion and Florey the second. First day of school will be Aug. 22 and the last day will be June 1. The superintendent said the calendar is very similar to this year’s.

The board also approved calling the election for May 14, with Rhonda Watson the early voting judge and Mary Pat Eaves the election judge on May 14. Textbooks were approved unanimously, as was a budget amendment and Update 89 about online training.

3 Responses to “Board splits on rehiring head football coach”

  1. Mark says:

    You have got to be kidding me! How is it that half the freakin school board is voting against Talkington? I smell something fishy. Smells like some folks have got some sort of prejudice against Bo. What’s wrong, coach didn’t start your baby boy or something?

    With all the problems facing our school we don’t need to be screwing around with a new AD. That’s the only part of our district that’s NOT screwed up right now. You want to shake something up with the administration why don’t you look at the top? I’m still waiting on the track that we were promised.

  2. JAY says:

    And by “the top” you mean the school board I hope. Never have I seen such a set of incompetence in all my life. Look at other boards and you will see bank presidents, million dollar business owners, and other people that are capable of running a business “school” the right “logical” way with good decisions. Here is a group of people that has no college degrees and the only real business owner is a lawn mowing business. What a joke.

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