Archive for Wednesday, November 16, 2011

School board approves hires, holds off on others

November 16, 2011

The Tonganoxie school board approved hires in the THS athletics department at Monday’s regular meeting.

The board approved Jon Snapp as THS assistant boys basketball coach and Jenna Meyer, THS color guard coach, by 7-0 votes.

Recommendations also had been made to the board to hire Ryan Scott and Brad Shelton as assistant THS baseball coaches. No action was taken for those positions.

Board member Leana Leslie said after the meeting the board wanted to ensure the opportunity for the positions was made available to all district staff. She also noted there was substantial time to make a decision, as the baseball season doesn’t start until the spring.


ruserious 2 years, 5 months ago

The last three paragraphs of this article are disturbing. They define our lack of leadership. They define our lack of desire to be competative not only in sports but in education as a whole . Both men who applied are district employees. Both coach other sports in the district. Those openings for baseball have been known to district employees since last May. 2 assistant coaches left for better opportunities.

This attitude is what permeates the board and stagnates progress. The fact that administration cannot convince them to make a decison would indicate that they are concerned for their jobs.

I was a huge supporter of the bond issue that did not pass. After reading the comments of Mrs. Leslie, I am so thankful it did not pass. Can we honestly trust this board to handle 25 million dollars when hiring an assistant baseball coach becomes an issue.

Our district has been the subject of numerous "black eye" incidents for the past 5 - 6 years. Tonganoxie schools have been in the news much too often for negative events in that time frame. The common denominator in all these events - 4 board members.

I do not know the process of getting board members ousted or if that is even possible, but do we have the time to wait for them to make Tonganoxie the butt end of another joke?


gotongie 2 years, 5 months ago

The community has had opportunities to change the face of this school board and has failed to act. Two of the biggest problems on the board (Leslie and Baragary) ran unopposed last spring so Tonganoxie will get to live with this for 4 years. It is too bad some other folks didn't step up and at least provide patrons with a choice. You add Smith with those two and you get a party of agenda driven self interest.


gotongie 2 years, 5 months ago

This post relates to the entire board meeting minutes, and there is a common theme--poor board leadership.

  1. "Roof work at Tonganoxie High School will be needed in the near future, USD 464 maintenance director Larry Easter told the Tonganoxie school board Monday. Portions of the Tonganoxie High School east campus need repair, Easter said. One section, about 10,000 square feet, had an estimated cost of repair of $120,000 as of 2009. The other, covering about 16,280 square feet, carried a 2009 estimated price tag of $294,000."

Too bad the superintendent and board decided to reduce the capital outlay mill levy in August. That would have come in handy in trying to complete this project.

  1. "Approved the hires of Jon Snapp, THS assistant boys basketball coach; Jenna Meyer, color guard coach; and Melinda Gee, special education bus para."

Why would the district choose to rehire a former employee that was terminated for unprofessional conduct?

  1. "Recommendations also had been made to the board to hire Ryan Scott and Brad Shelton as assistant THS baseball coaches. No action was taken for those positions. Leslie said after the meeting the board wanted to ensure the opportunity to fill the positions was made available to all district staff."

So, an individual board member did not like the two options presented to her and wants administration to keep looking until she is presented with something she prefers. This would be typical board micro-management of building administration.

I hope folks in Tonganoxie start paying closer attention to the leadership decisions being made for their schools. Most of what I am reading in this article is far from impressive and warrants some public questioning


changetime 2 years, 5 months ago

I find it very interesting that you take this no decision as a lack of leadership. I see it as a lack of confidence in the high schools administration and the actual candidate for the position. As was stated in a prior post that the school has such a black eye, isn’t that caused from the foot ball staff that Brad Shelton is a part of? Not to mention as a parent to have to see the interaction and leadership by that same football staff is disgusting.
I understand that this same coach, Brad Shelton, was in an altercation with a fan/parent after a game. I am not saying that is the right reaction by the fan, but I would however think that the football coaches would address it with their players, since it was seen and heard by a few of them, and take that as a teaching moment. But no it was used as an excuse to attack or defend the coaching staff for their poor performance throughout the season, to the point of having it made fun of at their end of the season awards banquet. I was also told that the same banquet to honor the seniors, underclassmen, and the season as a whole turned into an excuse fest about how bad they coaches had it and a rallying cry to establish more reasons for the poor season. How about looking into the off season work of the staff and dedication they have to the growth of the program. As for the baseball opening I would hope that the board sees this as an opportunity to help out a young head coach with a better options to build his program instead of allowing him to use retreaded un-productive coach that has been part of the problem not part of the solution to repair the black eye!

I support the board and am glad they are finally saying enough is enough!!!


gotongie 2 years, 5 months ago

Actually, I do see it as a lack of leadership but I think that it is a lack of leadership on all levels from staff, to administration, to board. Good people in the right positions are critical. Unfortunately, there are few options for coaching candidates because no one wants the job. Who wants to be underpaid and overcriticized by perpetually dissatisfied parents and fans. Fewer and fewer people are willing to step into this leadership role. Much of the same can be said about school administrators who are also undervalued and underappreciated.

The statement about "looking at off season work of the staff and dedication they have to the growth of the program" is ludicrous. Most coaches work with athletes 12 months a year. They voluteer their time all summer trying to make kids better. If you don't believe it go to the weight room, gymnasium, football field, or track almost any day during the summer between 6-10am.

My biggest point to make is this--administrators are paid to screen, interview, select, and recommend personnel to the board. The board's job is to either vote for or against the recommendation brought to them. You don't get to pick and choose who gets pulled off the list, you just vote, even if it goes 4-3. Why is it that issues like this only occur when they are hiring coaches. What about the SpEd bus para--where was board on that one? Remember, the one who had been previously fired? How does that happen? I see this as a significant leadership problem.


changetime 2 years, 5 months ago

I think we agree on the overall lack of leadership within Tonganoxie High School. As for the re-hire of someone they fired, that is beyond me as well. That was before my time following things closely but I can say it doesn’t surprise me.
As far as my comment on the off season, I do see that there are workouts with kids and I also hear the complaints about the lack of pay; I think that is part of being a coach. Additionally, I think you put 60 plus kids in a weight room at once you will not see the results needed to become successful on and off the playing fields. I know of multiple kids that start on varsity teams that have not experienced gains in their strength or speed in their multiple years under the current strength program.
If we look to our east a few miles we see a school that has developed their athletes in all sports because of their strength program. They have been blessed with a great class of athletes, but they out work us every day during the off season and in season with their strength program. I think time spent is not the solution, my point is that we need more quality and productive time spent and maybe the 6-10 am workouts should be broken up to multiple workout times allowing more individual attention with the student-athletes. This means the coaches may have to spend more than 4 hours a day creating a work environment and habit that breads success in order for our kids excel.
Thirty years ago when I was a high school athlete our strength program had a 6-9 am session and a 5-8 pm session so we could gain more focused time on our strength and speed. Have we progressed so much that in a smaller weight room and more kids we can gain more by less? I think not, we come up with the excuse “we don’t get paid” and thus punishing the kids. Why don’t the coaches turn that around and set an example of how much work and dedication it takes to become successful, that’s leadership not always making excuses!


Wonderful123 2 years, 4 months ago

Wow changetime aren't you Tatia Shelton ex-principal of Tonganoxie High? Enough said.....


TaShelton 2 years, 4 months ago

Since I don't really have the time to sit and read these wonderful entries, I have to thank a friend of mine for making me aware of this post. Wonderful123..... Nice try at grasping for straws and trying to create some sensationalism. You confuse me for someone who cares more than simply being mom to my two wonderful children. They are the sole reason for my being in Tonganoxie. So, no, Changetime is not Tatia Shelton; in fact, I take great offense to that allegation. I wish for nothing more than to quietly sit in the background and enjoy watching my children grow into the fine individuals they are becoming. Every chance people get, they try to bring my name up, trying to create controversy, and it just reaffirms my feelings about this community I am stuck living in. I have been truly blessed with some wonderful friends here in Tonganoxie but it is person's like you, who hide behind a screen name, that gives this town a portion of its black eye. I'm sure you are one of those persons who live in a glass house and are absolutely perfect and can cast whatever stone you think is best. I have a wonderful life, two amazing kids, great friends, and the love of a truly, truly great man. I don't need to hide behind any screen name. But thank you for thinking of me. Now, please leave me out of this.


changetime 2 years, 4 months ago

WOW is right. I am not Tatia and that one post makes me realize how jacked up this entire school district along with the community is. Time to look in the mirror and figure out why Tonganoxie is stuck in the past when it comes to education!


tshelton 2 years, 3 months ago

Tatia is right...if you can't use your name, instead of a screen name, your comments should be thrown out. It's easy to blame someone, when you can hide behind another name. I think the bunch of you need to grow up, and if you can do a better job than the coaches and teachers....please apply, or put a sock in it.


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