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Search is on for new SHS football coach

Scottsboro High School Principal Brad Dudley addressed the Scottsboro Board of Education Thursday night regarding the Scottsboro High School head football coach vacancy. Dudley stated “We have experienced a really good influx of people contacting us about this job. We closed business yesterday with 20 names of people who have contacted us. Last night we met to sort of sift through the paperwork to see who might be a viable candidate. Several names really stick out to us, including several well established head coaches, top notch assistant coaches from successful programs. We’ve been really encouraged and really pleased with the turnout at this point. We have not set interviews yet, we’re still in that process, just sifting through to see what might be a good fit for us. We’ve also had some names that didn’t’ directly contact us. I think as many of you might know, the best person for the job doesn’t always contact us, they have good jobs already. We wanted to make sure we didn’t leave any stone unturned in that category. We plan on meeting again to update again, in the meantime we are doing our homework on six to eight names that really stand out to us.“

The search comes after Coach Patrick Nix’s hire at Pinson Valley.

Spivey stated, “A couple of things to add to that, in hiring a head football coach, assuming this person is new coming into the system, we’re hiring a teacher who is going to be supplemented as a football coach. We have intentionally not posted a teaching position right now. First of all we have things covered in house for now. We’re figuring out what flexibility we have. I think we have a good bit of flexibility. We hope to be at a place in the next couple of weeks, where we can post a teaching position. The other piece of this, which is coincidental that this is happening at the same time, we have a salary schedule for teachers, and we have a supplement schedule. We have compared ourselves to neighboring systems, and systems in the northeast region and state who are similar to us. There are about 10-12 of those that compare to us. Friday before last, that project was completed and emailed to me. The plan is at the next work session, to present that research project to the Board, but I think it is enlightening , looking to see the difference in our pay scales and supplements. If there is discussion among the Board to increase or decrease the supplement, we would need to know that so we can report that to potential candidates. Especially if there were a desire to reduce it. I’m not bringing any recommendations along those lines, but this would be a good time to hear that discussion.”

Board member Holly Thompson requested a comparison for soccer coaches. Spivey stated that soccer and tennis coaches aren’t on the comparison, but they can be added. Spivey explained that when a coach leaves in the middle of the year, it is prorated, so if a new coach is hired, they would receive the remainder of the pro rated 12 month supplement.

Board member Patricia Cobb Stewart questioned, “Back in 2012-2013, there was a policy KH1- gifts to school systems, is that still in our policies? It was passed, can someone check to see if it’s still in our policies, because I’d like to know what it says. From what I understand, it was set up so that when teachers get awards, it would run through the schools.” Spivey stated, “Recently we got new information from the ethics commission that we distribute to our employees, regarding the amount of gifts employees can receive, it was around $25. They’ve kind of backed up a little bit, but it’s still the general rule. The ethics commission recently discussed it to revisit it because there was so much question and controversy.”

Stewart then questioned who is currently covering football. Dudley replied that the remainder of the staff is covering. Spivey explained that there were three classes that are also being covered with certified teachers, including two virtual classes and one history class.

Board member John Esslinger questioned, “What’s the interview process?”

Dudley explained, “That has not been set. But, the interview process would be that they come to us, we would interview in house. “Esslinger questioned, “Us meaning?” Dudley replied, “Meaning system and district administrators.”

Spivey stated, “One of the things I’ve told Mr. Dudley is I’m pulling myself away from the table. I don’t really need to be involved in the interview process. I’ve given him guidance, that my suggestion is to handle this the way we handle other things. He’s gotten input from stakeholders. But at the end of the day handle it the way we do anything else. Mr. Dudley is very good about keeping me informed about what’s going on. He’s already began that with this process. Unless there’s a request to handle it a different way, that’s what I’ve asked him to do. “

Spivey responded to a question about how Scottsboro’s football supplement compares to others. She stated, “For the head football coach supplement, about half of those (we used for comparison) we have a number and about half of those it says “not listed” for reasons I just explained. For the ones that we have, the next highest one listed is several thousand dollars less than half of what ours is, and the next one to that is about $1,000 less than that. and then it jumps down to four and five times less than what ours is. It’s by far the highest listed and far exceeds those listed. Ours is 38 something and then there’s a 15 something and a 14 something and then it drops down to $8,000; $7,500; $4,250 is on there. With the comparisons we can verify, it’s far higher than others.”

Spivey went on to say, “The conversation he (Dudley) and I have heard is that there is discussion about increasing this. Either way, up or down, I feel like we need to know. I did suggest to him, depending on what we hear from the board members, is he could explain we are having discussions about all salary scheduled including supplements. If there were to be any suggested changes, we would keep them informed in the process. We played with numbers last night, and compared their teaching experience. We then looked to see what overall salaries would be, and it was all over the place, but it’s based on what the teacher brings to the table. The supplement is such a large part, any change greatly affects that.”

Stewart questioned, “Other places allow booster clubs to funnel money through the board to supplement coaches and then others have contracts. Can you find out how that works?”

Spivey stated, “There are arguments to be made all over the place. One of my big things is, I just want us to be sure we have iron clad policies, there are employees throughout the state, who have gotten into trouble, I don’t want to put our employees or the community in a place where they get into trouble.”

Stewart replied, “That’s what I’m saying. Do we have a policy where a booster club can raise the money and donate the funds to the school system?”

Also, a group of Scottsboro Junior High School students were recently recognized at the meeting. The students were recognized for showing impressive results for the Global Scholars Testing. They have shown high achievement and great improvement.

The board also approved additions to the substitute teacher list; a revision to board policies; changes to the supplement list; approved the contracts for the after school program nurses contracts; and approved a Memorandum of Agreement for property from the City of Scottsboro.

The next board work session will be held on February 16 at 4 p.m. and the next meeting will be held on March 2 at 5 p.m.

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