Irontong Board of Education hears debate

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

Normally, Ironton Board of Education meetings — particularly special meetings — are not well-attended affairs.

But Monday evening’s special meeting drew approximately 25 people, many of whom wanted to know why the board had two meetings scheduled in one week — and if any of the evening’s discussion would center on last week’s retirement announcement of high school football head coach Bob Lutz, who said he will step down after 34 years at the school.

Allyn Vass was one of those who came to hear the board’s reaction to the past week’s activity.

Email newsletter signup

“My son has applied for employment here,” Vass said. “I was a little stunned. I knew ahead of time what could happen but still, I was a bit taken aback by the decision. I understand completely why (Lutz) resigned. I would like for them to clear the air about what’s been going on.”

Phil Staton was more emphatic.

“I want to see them do the right thing,” he said. “I want to see them ask the AD (athletic director, Terry Parker) to step down so the coaching staff would come back. It’s about the kids and the coaching staff. Right now the kids have no idea what’s going to happen and it’s not fair to them.”

When contacted Tuesday,Parker said, to his knowledge, Lutz’ continuing relationship at the school did not hinge on (Parker’s) leaving.

“He has not described anything like that to me,” Parker said. “The rest is innuendo.”

Parker said he’d like to have Lutz remain head football coach and has told him so.

While the board took no action on Lutz’s position at the meeting, Superintendent Dean Nance said some board members plan to meet personally with Lutz before Thursday’s regular meeting and talk about whether he will change his mind about leaving.

“We still hope he changes his mind and applies for the job,” Nance said.

After a one-and-a-half-hour executive session, the board did agree to employ Beth Freeman Campbell as IHS volleyball coach, Jeff Kerns as head golf coach, Amy Hughes as girls’ basketball coach and Kevin Richardson as assistant track coach, working with the junior high school.

Since these positions are part-time, state law requires that the positions be non-renewed at the end of each school year and filled again at the beginning of each new school year. All of these people are returning to the same positions. They had last year. The board also hired several teachers as tutors for the coming school year and this summer’s remedial program.

The board meets in regular session at 6 p.m. Thursday at West Ironton Kindergarten.