By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (April 18, 2016) — A new athletic director, administrator contracts and cheerleading highlight the agenda for Stephenville ISD school trustees, whose regular meeting is 5:30 p.m. Monday at Bond Auditorium.
Superintendent Matt Underwood will present a lone finalist for the athletic director’s position after interviews with all finalists were conducted last week. The position has been open since February, when Alan Haire resigned to become athletic director and head football coach in Salado, his hometown.
Multiple sources have reported the lone finalist is current interim athletic director and girls track and field coach Mike Copeland. A Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor member, Copeland has spent four decades teaching and coaching at SISD and was athletic director from 2000-02 when he also served as head football coach.
Sources say six candidates were interviewed for the position, including three from within SISD, one from Tarleton and one each from Fort Worth Castleberry and Madisonville.
Underwood would not confirm the lone finalist on Friday, when other candidates were informed they did not get the job. Copeland declined to comment until the process is complete.
Votes on the athletic director and on the renewal of administrator contracts won’t come until near the end of the meeting, following a closed session.
Cheerleading has been a hot topic for the board of late. A called meeting in March included more than three hours in closed session as board members discussed criteria to use retroactively for cheerleading tryouts held before spring break for the 2016-17 school year.
The board made changes in March that added one cheerleader to the varsity squad and two to each of the junior high teams, but the item is up for discussion and possible action again. It’s the second straight year cheerleading has been brought before the board, including a level three grievance hearing that did not result in change in 2015.
Immediately following the cheerleader tryout discussion is once concerning extracurricular activity teacher evaluations. Parents speaking to trustees in the March called meeting claim teachers were not properly instructed how to fill out their evaluations and were not told how important their opinions were to the cheerleading tryout process.
Trustees ultimately threw out the teacher vote when adjusting the criteria to add to the teams in March, and several teachers have expressed concerns. On the other side of the coin, Trustee Sherrie Evans was sponsor of the Stingerette Dance Team during her career as an educator and said she would never allow teachers to dictate who made her team.
Trustees and others said in days following the March called meeting the cheerleading issue was far from over, though specifics were not shared.
Roofing is back on the agenda after SISD granted bids for most of its roofing projects at the marathon called meeting in March. Local roofers were given a second opportunity to place bids to roof the administration building and the concession stand at James T. Young Baseball Field.
Roofing will be done across the district over the summer months and is expected to be complete in time for the start of the 2016-17 school year. New roofs have been needed since the intense storms of May, 2015.
Monday’s meeting will begin with proclamations recognizing achievements of students at Hook Elementary, Henderson Junior High and SHS.