By Justin Lofton
KONAWA—Konawa School Superintendent Don Sjoberg said three teaching positions will be under review at the next Konawa school board meeting. Sjoberg said the proposed cuts are the result of a 10 percent budget cut the school is facing for the next year.
“Staff members who teach in affected positions have been notified and are invited to participate in the process to make sure that everyone is held accountable for its proper implementation,” a release from Konawa Public Schools said.
Sjoberg said the affected positions include teachers Justin Sharp, Lorie Patterson and head football coach Chuck Terry.
Tuesday evening, Konawa schools booster club met to discuss possible options to attempt to keep its football coach. Terry said several of the club’s members have brought a much-needed change to the program. “For the first time in years, this football program is headed in the right direction,” Mary Kay Tarver, booster club member, said.
Club President Angela Kirkwood said Terry has spent many hours of his own time working on improvements for the football facilities, increased eligibility among the players, and sent three players to play college football. That’s not something the club wants to give up without a fight.
“We have more than a football coach to lose,” Kirkwood said. “We have a family that has moved into Konawa. They bought a home. They’ve become part of our community.”
Sjoberg said no final decisions have been made at this point.
“The board makes the final decision,” Sjoberg said. “I’ve notified (the board) of my recommendations to look at their positions and eliminate them or reduce them.”
Sjoberg said the cut could affect up to four additional positions following the next board meeting.
“It could affect up to seven different positions,” he said. He said other options have been looked at, including attrition and voluntary or involuntary salary reductions across the board.
Konawa’s booster club members encouraged students, football players and parents attending their meeting Tuesday evening to write letters to the school board requesting that Terry be allowed to remain as head coach of the school.
Plans are also under way to start a petition for Terry. Kirkwood also requested that attendees of the booster club meeting attend the school board meeting. She asked those attending not to bring picket signs.
“Keep it positive,” she said. Konawa school board will meet on Monday, April 12 to discuss possible position eliminations and/or reductions.
Sjoberg said no final decisions will be made on Monday.