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Letter – More about SEBHS coach resignation

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     After reading the article written with regard to SEB head football coach and his announcing of his resignation which was his choice, on Thursday before the last game and senior night was again his judgment call, neither the Board nor I knew this or had any input into his decision. We have honored the coach’s decision and wish him well. The following is additional information:
     • 1. SEBHS coach was a former assistant football coach and was named an interim head coach, appointed by the former principal, in the Spring. The coach knew the staff he had, and he determined the needs even before he was named head coach by the new principal.
     • 2. Including himself, he had three certified teachers paid an assistant coach’s supplement, and he had six additional assistants, paid as lay coaches. Lay coaches must meet the Georgia High School Athletic requirements/training in order to coach, and they did. Lay coaches provide valuable assistance-every school we have in 6-12 utilize lay coaches. All coaching is done after school, thus, extracurricular. There are no “fulltime” coaches.
     • 3. All coaches and assistants are the principal’s decision, because these are extra curricular positions. I do not make the decision nor do the members of the Board of Education with any extracurricular positions. All schools operate in this manner, because the principal of the school determines the needs of the school.
     • 4. All “certified” coaches are hired as fulltime teachers first and must be highly qualified by federal law in their teaching area. Coaching is an extra curricular assignment. All coaches who are certified teach a full load. This pays for their teaching position. Teachers are hired to meet student instructional needs. Coaches are then assigned to meet extra curricular needs. I do not know of any 6-12 schools that pay for fulltime coaches who do not teach. If a system does this practice, then the coach’s full salary is all local money. Bottom-line is a system would pay for a fulltime coach at teacher’s pay with a supplement to coach a seasonal sport.The Board provides funding to the 6-12 schools in our county to make athletic decisions at their school site-the same as math team coach, chess coach, etc.
    • 5. The SEB coach has never been to see me, or as I know the school administration to express concern about “noncertified coaches.”
    In closing, I appreciate all our coaches, certified teachers as well as lay coaches, in all extracurricular activities who are willing to help with the development of our children/young adults. I appreciate coaches who are positive role models, and who teach and/ or who coach with dignity. We are indeed blessed in Bulloch County, public and private schools, to have remarkable adults who put in tremendously long hours, who help get athletic/ academic scholarships, and who are not self serving.  
Jessie Shields Strickland, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Bulloch County Schools
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