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June 29, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For June 29-30

Where’s the transparency?

The Greater Clark County School Board amended its agenda at the beginning of its last meeting to add the hiring of new athletic directors at Jeffersonville High School and Charlestown High School.

The two men hired, Chad Gilbert and Todd Satterly, both of whom are relatives of either current or former board members, replace Lisa Stemler and Kim Carroll, who were “involuntarily transferred,” according to Superintendent Andrew Melin.

Melin was quoted as saying, “None of this had anything to do with gender issues. It was all about moving our athletic departments to a higher level and [hiring] those people with administrative contracts to hold our athletes and coaches to a higher level of accountability.”

The new positions will be given administrative contracts rather than teaching contracts, according to Melin. In addition, the board approved job descriptions at an earlier meeting for “associate athletic directors” who will assist the athletic directors.

It appears that even though the new athletic directors have an administrator’s license, they will need an assistant to do the job previously done singularly by Ms. Stemler and Ms. Carroll. The taxpayers of Clark County should be scratching their heads on that one since money is supposedly tight and teaching positions are being cut.

While Mr. Gilbert is apparently well-qualified to be an athletic director and presumably Mr. Satterly is as well, it seems that the removal of Ms. Carroll and Ms. Stemler had no real basis other than they apparently don’t possess an administrator’s license.

I assume that the athletic director at New Washington does have this license, right? Or are we only focusing on JHS and CHS? Does New Washington count? Do we not want to hold their athletes and coaches to a “higher level of accountability” as well? And why would Dr. Melin even mention “gender” in his comments if he didn’t feel that discrimination might be an issue?

Although Mr. Gilbert was recently quoted as saying he is happy for the “opportunity” to return to his alma mater (CHS), it appears that this “opportunity” was not a real opportunity at all, but a position that was created by involuntarily removing someone who was well respected and doing a good job. To involuntarily remove someone just to create an opening for someone else is not an “opportunity,” but a travesty. While I wish Mr. Gilbert and Mr. Satterly well in their new positions, this is not the way that I would want to obtain a new job.

And, lastly, why were these positions added at the last minute to the agenda on the night of the board meeting? It is quite hard to believe that the people hired for these positions were not known in time to get placed in the board documents. This tactic was also used for the hiring of two new maintenance/groundskeeper positions that were highly controversial.

The public deserves better than this.

— Alice Butler, Jeffersonville

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