Whitesburg KY
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Jenkins board meets coach

New Jenkins High School football coach Larry Maggard met the Jenkins Independent School Board and presented a computer slide show with his goals and aspirations for this year’s team and future teams at the boar d’s June meeting.

Maggard told the board he has high hopes for the current crop of players and feels they will be competitive immediately. He said he plans to institute a “Wing T” offense under the direction of assistant coach Joe Colwell and will coach the 4-3 defense himself. Devon Johnson will also serve as assistant coach.

Maggard is a former head coach at Morgan County and served as an assistant coach with Breathitt County and Letcher Central before coming to Jenkins. He said his focus will be on athletes, community, and school and has developed a slogan, “Building Strength for the Journey,” for this year’s team. Maggard told the board he will work with middle school and grade school programs to develop feeder programs to mesh into the high school team and will have a weight lifting program that will be available to every student at Jenkins Middle High School.

Each week football players will be recognized with award decals and one player from each squad (offense and defense) will be chosen as player of the week. Maggard told the board he wants to develop a booster club and work to develop alumni support and conduct fund-raisers such as a golf scramble, sell advertising in programs and bleacher signs, and through booster club concession sales at games. Maggard also wants to upgrade the locker rooms and weight room and get new uniforms for the high school team.

“I feel like we can compete (in the district),” said Maggard. “We could win as many as five games.”

Maggard told the board that players are gathering daily for voluntary workouts and practices, but they are not mandatory and practice won’t officially start until July 15. He said he is using the voluntary workouts to introduce stretching routines and teach basics and hopes to have at least 30 players by the first official day of practice.

Board member Tracy Goff spoke highly of Maggard as a neighbor and co-Little League baseball coach and told the board he has seen Maggard work with kids and is very impressed with his style. “I’m grateful you’re here,” said Goff.

In a related matter, Board Chairman Durward Narramore Jr. asked the board to approve the purchase of new uniforms for every sport the district offers. Narramore said it was fitting since the 2009-10 school year will be the first complete year of the K- 12 Jenkins Independent School System. The board voted last year in November to reconfigure the school system into a single K-12 entity and this will be the system’s first complete year.

Narramore told the board he knows the decision will be costly but said the athletic teams are the most visible form of recognition the school system has and new uniforms would be a good first step in raising the profile. After much discussion, including considerable “shock and awe” from Finance Director Candy Gibson, the board voted to adopt Narramore’s suggestion, providing funds are available. All the uniforms will be Kelly green and white with black trim.

Superintendent Debby Watts told the board the system has been able to re-hire four teachers who were laid off at the end of the school year because of force reductions from lack of state funding. Watts said there are still several unfilled positions, including one special education position and a librarian. Several classified positions are also posted.

The board voted unanimously to hire an assistant athletics director for a one-year term. Middle High School Principal Lisa Carroll said that athletics director Mark Johnson is seriously ill at present and a number of tasks such as scheduling games and signing game contracts need to be attended to.

Board member Pauline Sexton told the board she has problems with hiring an assistant AD when there are not funds available for a full- or half-time gifted and talented teacher, but Carroll said that in the new curriculum plan, gifted and talented students’ needs are addressed by classroom teachers and that advanced placement classes as well as dual credit college classes will be available. Carroll said two students are already signed up for dual credit courses with Southeast Community College in Whitesburg. The board also voted to hire a special education aide.

In other board business:

• Director of Pupil Personnel Harvey Tackett reported that overall attendance for the 2008-09 school year was 91.28 percent. Tackett said the figure represents the lowest average daily attendance in several years. The combined elementary third grades had the highest rate at 94.05 percent.

• Technology Director Damien Johnson reported that McRoberts Elementary School will get 10 new Dell Computers for its computer labs. He said that between the new Dells and Macs from the Data Stream Project, McRoberts will have all new computers for its computer labs. Johnson added that McRoberts students worked picking up garbage alongside the road to pay over half the cost of two new Smart Boards for the school.

• The board voted unanimously to renew a $1.6 million bonding depository.

• The board voted to authorize the Lady Cavs Softball Team to participate in the Bluegrass State Games. Although the games are not a school event, the board took the action to make sure it was in compliance.

• The board voted unanimously to add extended service pay to coaches and band directors for early practices and various camps.

• The board set a special called meeting for Monday, July 6 at 5 p.m., to conduct its annual superintendent evaluation. Assistant Chair Tracy Goff said the board had neglected its duty recently and should conduct the annual evaluation.

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