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SH teacher files grievance

South Central Junior-Senior High School teacher and former athletic director David O’Connor filed a grievance June 14 with the South Harrison Community School Corp., saying the master contract was not followed last month when he was voted down as varsity boys’ basketball coach at South Central.
The hearing was to be held last night (Tuesday) at the Edmund (Ed) F. Schneider Administrative Center in Corydon
O’Connor says in his grievance that he believes the board did not have a specific written policy that allows for deviations to the master contract in the hiring of current corporation employees for teaching or extra-curricular openings.
At a regular board meeting last month, Superintendent Dr. Neyland Clark, South Central Principal Keith Marshall and Athletic Director Karen Fleck made the recommendation that O’Connor be hired as the boys’ basketball coach, but his name was removed from the consent agenda by board trustee Jeff Brown.
Prior to the vote, trustee Dr. John Gonzaba asked why O’Connor’s name should be pulled from the rest of the consent agenda.
After several requests, Brown told Gonzaba, ‘I’ll just make one comment on it, and I’m not going to argue with you about it. Whenever we hire a coach, we’ve hired a football coach here at Corydon, we’ve hired many coaches when I’ve been on the board, and we’ve always had a committee. We did not have a committee.’
Gonzaba asked Brown if it was typical protocol to have a committee when hiring a coach, and both Brown and Joyce Bliss replied that it was. Brown said that there has been a committee at Corydon Central for any varsity coach hiring.
Clark noted that in the board’s update for May 14, a request was made to have board members ask Clark for a committee if they wanted one but that a request was never made.
The only known committees formed in the past at CCHS were for head football and basketball coaches.
A committee was formed in the search for a new coach, who wound up being Levi Carmichael, who most recently served as a boys’ varsity assistant and freshman coach for New Albany.
O’Connor also notes in his grievance that his employment was discussed without the opportunity for an association representative with the South Harrison Education Association to be present.
In an e-mail sent June 10 to SH board president Roger Windell, O’Connor asked that Windell ‘specifically prohibit Board member Jeff Brown from discussing me, my grievance and any portion of my employment with other board members, corporation employees or members of the general public. This is to avoid the potential tainting or tampering with any future witnesses specifically regarding this grievance and to protect me from further harm to my professional reputation and loss of potential income.’