Sealy Independent School District athletics has experienced a myriad of changes recently but more is needed to return the department to a quality state such as coaching/teaching positions and balancing out the playing field when it comes to pay.
Sealy ISD assistant superintendent Nicole Poentizsch supplied the board of trustees with an action sheet that thoroughly explains the reason for requesting two additional teaching positions for the department at a Feb. 15 meeting.
As with most school districts, coaches don’t just teach sports. They are also needed in the classroom.
“When we began the process of looking at new leadership within the athletic department, and leadership needs to be able to have a team of support to change a program and to get it pointed in the right direction, so that was with the anticipation that we would allow a leadership team to be formed in that department,” Poenitzsch said.
The change would bring two new positions to the district, possibly before the end of the 2016-17 school year, she said.
“At this point, they’re new because we haven’t gotten into the season of transition and attrition,” Poenitzsch said. “We do have some anticipated that we’re already aware of, but until we get to the point of formal resignations and contract recommendations for teaching positions in March, these are still new.”
Staff has already met twice this year to look at staffing for the upcoming school year. Poenitzsch said they would meet again Monday to talk more of certainties and prospective position changes.
“So there is the possibility by the entry of 2017-18, we have added these two new positions but we absorb somewhere else,” Poenitzsch said. “But until we get both voluntary and administrative recommendations for personnel for next year, they’re new at this point.”
Trustee Michael Holub asked for assurances of absorption if the opportunity presents itself. If the opportunity is there, yes, Poenitzsch said.
Absorption is ideal, where the district can reduce positions in one area, and add teaching positions in the athletic department because it won’t create additional expenses to the district’s budget for staffing.
Out of the two positions, one would offer an additional elective course, which Poenitzsch welcomes the most.
The district has tried to fill that void through its district educational improvement committee for four years. Two years ago, Spanish and project lead the way courses slightly extended the junior high school electives, but that’s been the extent, Poenitzsch said.
The other position will seesaw between middle school and high school physical education and athletics.
“Our goal for the last three years has been to staff efficiently,” she said, and not create overages.
But the district won’t know its direction for sure until sometime in March when teacher contract renewals come into play.
The board approved the teacher additions in a 6-0 vote.
An athletic stipend change was also required to complement current and future staff additions, along with leveling out girls versus boys coaching payment as part of recently submitted athletic director revisions.
Sealy ISD AD Shane Mobley reviewed each stipend and allocation.
“The goal that he has established in how we allocate stipends is based on work, based on length of the season, number of practices, length of practices, time spent preparing in season, off season, activity throughout the year,” Poenitzsch said.
The revisions request the addition of two coaching positions, increasing both boys and girls soccer, yearlong golf program, reintroducing tennis to a yearlong program, and achieving equivalence for boys and girls coaches.
The athletic department is seeking $275,000, which will allot for payment for summer workouts, preseason and any other neglected areas. The previous cap was $254,000, Poenitzsch said.
“Seems like we go up on this every year, every year, and the academic stipend stays the same,” Holub said.
If the board makes this move, it won’t need revisiting for a while, Poenitzsch said. The board made a minor adjustment over the cap in August 2016, but that was only the second stipend revision in three years, she said.
“If you looked at what (Mobley) sent out, it’s logical and it makes sense,” Moore said. It’s hard to lock down quality coaching for some of the sports, she said.
And there’s also program growth, Poenitzsch said.
Mobley will be adequately staffed for the foreseeable future, Moore said.
“He got it done with less where he was at,” said Trustee Robert Arnold.
Arnold did add that the district seems to be short staffed on the girls’ side, even though they must account for football. Mobley has noticed that as well, Moore said.
“With the money comes clear expectations for improvement,” said Board President Ryan Reichardt.
Poenitzsch said she was impressed with Mobley’s interpretative skills calling his recommended stipend changes a “diligent analysis” and rather appropriate to render payment based on assigned duties.
The board approved the stipend increase in a 6-0 vote.