Members of the Atlantic School District’s Board of Education Monday night, approved the hiring of Head Girls Swimming Team Coach Dean Junker, as the head Boys Varsity High School Swimming Coach for the current, Winter season, which started Monday. The recommendation came from High School Activities Director/Assistant Principal Matt Alexander, and was forwarded to the Board by Superintendent Mike Amstein. The Board however, had many questions about the program, before approving the hiring of Junker.
They asked f the number of students participating in the program could be sustained throughout the season. Alexander said they are “locked-in” to the current season, so regardless of whether they lose a couple of members along the way, they will still be able to participate in district events. Board member Phil Hascall said told Alexander he has trouble approving programs and positions more than three months after the school year began, given the fact they are looking at ways to cut the budget.
Hascall told Alexander “You come to us after the season started, with no discussion about any of this.” Alexander said the Swim Team was approved by the Board last year, but acknowledged they probably really wanted to see what the number of participants were before the agreed in total to having the program. He said there originally more than a dozen students interested in the team, but later found it a struggle to sign-up more than eight.
Alexander said there are currently 10 students participating in the program. Board member Rod Hartwig said they agreed to the program if a minimum of 10 Atlantic students were involved. He asked, since it was difficult to sign-up kids this first year, if it wouldn’t be better to look to surrounding districts for participants. Alexander said Junker has looked to the areas to our north and east – Exira and Audubon, for instance – that are farther away from Lewis Central. They might look at approaching Red Oak, Griswold and CAM, at prior to next year’s season.
He says he’s already had initial talks with some of the district officials.