By JEROD CLAPP
NEW ALBANY —
Though the board made no decision concerning his position, more than 1,000 community members signed a petition and eight more spoke to keep Aaron Lambert, New Albany High School’s band director, in his role.
The New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. board of trustees heard the testimony of students, band booster members and parents at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Tom Jones, the treasurer for the school’s band boosters, said while no official action has been made or slated, students and others wanted to support Lambert publicly.
“We felt like we shouldn’t wait for the issue to go before the board for a vote to speak up,” Jones said after the meeting. “We felt as soon as we learned about it through the corporation website, that we should speak up and get it in the public eye at this meeting.”
Daisean Brooks, a sophomore at the high school, said he first met Lambert while he was attending Scribner Middle School in sixth grade, playing trombone. Now, he plays percussion and said he sees Lambert as one of his best shots to get a band scholarship.
“Mr. Lambert is more than just a teacher, he’s like the father I never had and a brother I wish I had, too,” Brooks said. “In fact, he might be my only way of going to college and being successful in life.”
D.J. Hines, board president, said Lambert’s position was not on the staffing report for this month’s board meeting, nor did he know if it would come to the board.
The board also hired a new boys’ varsity basketball coach for Floyd Central High School — Mark Lieberman, who served as an assistant coach for Rick Pitino at the University of Louisville in their 2010-2011 season.
Rebecca Gardenour, board member, asked whether he was licensed to teach in Indiana. Louis Jensen, director of high schools, said he’s seeking an emergency license while he completes a transition to teaching program.
Mark Boone, board member, said he didn’t understand why Gardenour had asked the same questions she had answered via email earlier this week. She maintained she had a right to ask those questions publicly.
“It’s almost to the point where we do this every month to embarrass someone,” Boone said.
Gardenour said she thought too many issues were discussed amongst the board via the Internet and would like to see more of those discussions happen publicly.
Boone said it made more sense to do one or the other, rather than go over the same details as a courtesy.
Gardenour said she disagreed and wanted the most up-to-date information possible public.
“We’re going to make a game show of meetings going forward guys, because I can do this, too,” Boone said. “Go ahead.”
The board passed the hiring of Lieberman 5-2, with Gardenour and board member Jessica Knable opposing.
Read more about Lieberman in today’s sports section.
The board unanimously passed the purchase of 1813 Shelby St. for $31,500. The district has bought several properties in that area to help expand parking for New Albany High School.
The board also approved a new policy on service animals for the district and approved the superintendent evaluation tool and metrics. The measure passed 6-1 with Gardenour opposing