SIDNEY — By unanimous vote Monday, the Fairlawn Board of Education non-renewed the contract of volleyball coach Kelly Tobie, accepted the resignation of her husband as assistant coach, and hired a new staff member to as the new coach.
The action was taken following an executive session during their meeting, rescheduled from Feb. 9.
The board hired Johanna Peters, of Conover, who joined the Fairlawn district as an elementary school teacher on Jan. 2. Previously, she was varsity coach at Covington High School and assistant coach at Lehman Catholic High School.
By standard board policy, coaching contracts are one-year pacts making the positions renewable annually.
Although no opposition was present Monday, the move has not gone without controversy.
On Dec. 14, Kelly Tobie, her husband, Dexter Thobie, and community supporters questioned the board in open session regarding rumors of Kelly Tobie not being rehired for next season. Board members and administrators did not reply when questioned that evening.
Tobie had recently completed her second year as head varsity coach, and oversaw the junior varsity, middle school and other team levels. Over the past few years, Tobie also served as assistant coach and part time athletic director under a previous administration.
Dexter Tobie had served as junior varsity coach before his resignation was accepted Monday. In December, the Tobies told the SDN that a personality conflict was at the root of the problem.
On Monday, Superintendent Jeff Hobbs said it was decided the volleyball program would be better served under the direction of one person. He touted the coaching abilities of Peters, including being on the Lehman staff during state championship competitions.
On another matter, Hobbs reported that early discussion regarding employee insurance coverage could be facing a major cost increase. The consortium of schools Fairlawn aligns with already has a 25 percent increase in claims over last school year.
The superintendent praised the 21-year career of resigning bus driver Harry Groves Jr. effective May 31. Hobbs said Groves has been a valuable member of the driving crew over the years. He also reported the district is seeking additional bus drivers.
He noted that pre-sale tickets for boys and girls basketball tournament games are now on sale at the school. The cost is $6 each with the price being $7 at the door. Hobbs said the district keeps 50 percent of the pre-sale amount.
In other business, the board:
• Hired Alexa Counts, Joshua Frilling, Kellie Shepard, and Darlene Steen as substitute teachers at a rate of $80 per day.
• Proposed a school calendar for the 2017-18 school year.
• Heard K-8 Principal John Stekli report three students were recently inducted into the Fairlawn National Honor Society.
• Heard Treasurer Keith Doseck report income tax collection is up 6.32 percent, and fiscal year collection is up by 2.11 percent.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.