Tipp BOE OKs spring athletic coaches

TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Board of Education held a special meeting to approve supplemental positions for spring sports staff on Thursday, Feb. 9.

The main goal of the special meeting was to approve the list of spring athletic department supplemental staff members that has been on the board’s agenda since the Jan. 23 regular session meeting of the Board of Education. There were additional agenda items that were discussed and approved, including the submission of fraud risk assessment questionnaires from the Ohio State Auditor and the release of a letter of non-renewal for Superintendent Mark Stefanik’s contract.

The discussion of supplemental positions was removed from a consent agenda and then tabled from a previous meeting. By tabling the discussion, the board inadvertently created an issue regarding the track team. The special meeting was called to approve the supplemental positions so that the track team coaches were able to attend the track meet the weekend following the special meeting.

Board member Theresa Dunaway voted against approving the supplemental positions because during the 2021-2022 school year, after the board had approved the list of spring athletic supplemental positions, two coaches took it upon themselves to change their positions from junior varsity coach to varsity coach and vice versa. She raised her concerns that this would happen again this year without board approval because the supplemental list has those same coaches listed in their original positions, before the switch, from 2021-2022.

“In my opinion, they can’t do that. It’s board approved as is. So, last year in spring sports we had a coach that did that (moved from varsity to junior varsity or vice versa) and in my opinion it was completely unacceptable. If the coach was going to do that, he needs to come back in and say ‘Hey, I’m moving this coach down to JV,’ and whatever the reason is and then the board votes again,” said Dunaway. “Those people are on this paper, they were approved this way last year, and then a coach took it upon themselves to reallocate those positions and that’s not what you do. That has to go back through the board and it has to be board approved.”

The list of supplemental positions was approved 3-1 with the understanding that the list will more than likely be returning to the board to approve changes.

The fraud risk assessment questionnaires were discussed due to a misunderstanding last year. The board approved a motion to authorize all members to fill out and submit a fraud risk assessment questionnaire to the Ohio State Auditor.

Lastly, the board authorized President Simon Patry to send written notice of non-renewal of contract to Superintendent Stefanik by noon on Friday, Feb. 1o.

Other items on the agenda were already tabled at the Jan. 23 meeting and were set to be discussed at the work session on Monday, Feb. 13, and were tabled again at the special meeting by a motion made by Patry because they were set to be discussed at the next regular session and member Amber Drum was not present at the special meeting.

Dunaway voted against tabling the remaining items because it is not necessary for all board members to be present, provided the board reaches a quorum, and because she has had to miss meetings where items she was exceptionally passionate about were still discussed and voted on by the remaining board members.

Despite Dunaway’s protestations, the items were tabled by the board until the work session on Feb. 13, at 5 p.m.