IHS hires band director, coaches

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

Some new faces will greet Ironton High School Marching Band members and girls’ basketball players.

The Ironton City Schools Board of Education Thursday night hired John Kenneth McCoy as the new high school band director and Doug Graham as the new girls basketball coach.

The vote to hire McCoy was 4-1, with board member Robert Pleasant Jr. casting the dissenting vote and fellow members Tim Johnson, Kathy Kratzenberg, Jerry Rowe and Bob Vaughn casting votes in the affirmative.

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Johnson said it was McCoy’s resume and his love of his hometown that most impressed Johnson.

McCoy, who graduated from Ironton High School but now lives in Florida, has worked as a marching band arranger at Ohio State University, University of Tennessee, Arizona State University and University of Florida. His resume includes middle, high school and university level teaching experience. He is also a music composer.

“I just thought he was an outstanding candidate,” Johnson said. “He has a true passion to come back to Ironton. His heart is here and (McCoy) thought he could come back and make a difference.”

Johnson stressed McCoy only received a supplemental contract. He has not been hired to teach.

Assistant band director Jeff Sanders will remain in that capacity and Bill Rath, whose supplemental contract as band director was not renewed in May, will remain in the district as a teacher.

Neither Johnson nor Kratzenberg could say how many people applied for the position or how many were interviewed for the job.

The action didn’t come without public debate beforehand.

Carla Marshall asked the board to reinstate

Rath. Marshall told the board that while Rath had his faults, his positive points outweighed his negative ones and that could be said of most school employees.

“There are teachers I have thought were great and you talk to other parents who said they were the worst teachers they ever had,” Marshall said.

“No one is perfect. I have not always agreed with everything Mr. Rath did, but he was fair to band members. People complaining about him don’t mention his good points,” Marshall said.

But Michelle Allen, whose daughter, Versi Reeves, is in the guard said she hoped the board would take some action to improve the band.

“I would like to see growth in the band, positive change,” she said. “Let’s move forward. Maybe we will see the band come back the way a band should be.”

Tammy Whitt told the board that if they don’t want Rath as band director, it only made sense to elevate Jeff Sanders, who has been Rath’s assistant. Whitt said she did not want to see someone new brought in.

“If you’re having problems with Mr. Rath then let Mr. Sanders take over,” she said. “I really don’t know why we’re even having this discussion. You’ve got two qualified men right here.”

The board hired Doug Graham as high school girls’ basketball coach. He replaces Amy Hughes, who resigned at the end of the school year to take a job in Chillicothe.

Beth Freeman Campbell and Jeff Linn were hired as assistant girls basketball coaches. Mike Freeman was hired as volleyball coach.

In other matters, the board voted to hire Kathy Cunningham and Brenda Thompson as teachers and J.D. Smith as an intervention specialist.

The board approved Karissa Weber as Spanish Club advisor and Class of 2010 co-advisor, Marissa Fields and Mary Frances Near as academic club advisors and Nicole Hicks as math club advisor.

The board also approved Jim Dyer as assistant softball coach, Greg Arden and Jerry Rowe, Rick Massie, Richard Price, Bruce Roach, Paul Wheeler and Joe Young as assistant football coaches.