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Coventry BOE names new football coach

1/17/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Plus, board members note need for ballot issue passage Feb. 5

COVENTRY — Educator Edward Egan spent a great deal of time on the sidelines waiting for his chance to get into the game at Coventry High School.

At the Jan. 9 Coventry Local Schools Board of Education (BOE) regular and organizational meeting, the board selected the 14-year district teacher for the position of Coventry High School head varsity football coach.

Board members unanimously approved a supplemental coaching contract for Egan, who said running the high school football program has been his dream for years.

“I know he has waited for this. It was a long time coming,” said Board member Robert Wohlgamuth.

Board member Mark Conner explained a selection committee interviewed several district employees interested in the job.

“The selection was not taken lightly,” he said. “Our football program here is serious business for the students and the parents.”

Conner said the committee wanted to select a coach who would push the student athletes both academically and physically.

He believes Egan will be able to get the Coventry football program “where it needs to be.”

“His enthusiasm is phenomenal, and we support him 100 percent,” Conner said. “Go Comets!”

Egan said he appreciates the opportunity and can’t wait to start.

Also during the meeting, the board chose to keep member David Andrews as president of the board.

Andrews has served on the board for 17 years.

The board also selected 20-year member Wohlgamuth as vice president.

Additionally, the board decided it would hold regular meetings on the third Tuesday of each month in 2013 — beginning in March — at 6 p.m., with locations to vary.

Board member Tina Gable and Andrews were appointed to the board for the Portage Lakes Career Center (PLCC) in Green.

Wohlgamuth, who served on the PLCC Board for years, stepped aside from the position in 2013, citing travel commitments.

Also during the meeting, board member Vicki Tavenier was named treasurer pro tempore; board member Mark Conner, legislative liaison; and Wohlgamuth, student achievement liaison.

In other business, Superintendent Russell Chaboudy announced January is School Board Recognition Month.

He presented each member with a certificate of appreciation and said the board displays “exemplary leadership.”

“It is a difficult job, and I am proud to be involved with a group that puts kids first,” Chaboudy said. “They always ask if something will benefit the students in the district. They are informed and involved in what is happening in our school district and community.”

Before the meeting’s close, Wohlgamuth reminded the public of Coventry’s issue on the Feb. 5 Special Election ballot.

In November, the board decided to place a combined 5.99-mill levy and bond issue back on the ballot to fund the construction of a new Coventry High School and improvements to other school buildings. The same bond issue and levy failed by 51 percent of voters in August.

Coventry Local Schools Treasurer Aaron Butts has explained 4.89 mills would be used for the bond issue, which would extend 34 years, and 1.1 mills for a permanent improvement levy.

According to district officials, the bond issue would allow for the construction of a new state-of-the-art high school for ninth through 12th grades, including a new high school gymnasium. District officials said the high school would be built at the current Erwine Intermediate School site, and the current Erwine building would be demolished as part of the project. In addition, the present high school would be transformed into an elementary school and other district upgrades would be made.

Last May, the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) — an independent state agency that helps fund the construction of new schools or renovations to existing ones to improve the education experience — offered the district $11 million toward a $39.3 million construction and renovation project.

If the district does not approve a bond issue by this spring, the money being offered by the OSFC would go to another district in the state, Wohlgamuth explained.

“Time is running out,” he said. “We need to give our kids the best environment possible for learning.”

Conner said district residents soon would be receiving phone calls and additional literature concerning the ballot issue.

“We need the voters support,” he added.

The bond issue/levy would cost most property owners about $13 per month based on the Portage Lakes area’s median household value, according to district officials. It would cost someone older than 65 about $9 per month, Butts has said.

At the end of the meeting, the board went into executive session to discuss potential legal issues, with no action taken.

The next regular school board meeting will be Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. at Coventry Middle School, 3257 Cormany Road.

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