School Board Meeting Focuses On Coach, Sports

Crestwood School directors heard favorable and critical comments relating to girls’ basketball coach Isiah Walker at their April 18 meeting.

Under Human Resources during the work session, committee Chair Ken Malkemes added an item to the agenda, stating, “I intend to make a motion to open the girls’ basketball coaching positions for 2013 –14.” When questioned for a reason, Malkemes advised that this is a recommendation from Superintendent Dave McLaughlin-Smith.

The superintendent explained that coaches are evaluated at an administrative level and, based on this recommendations are forwarded to the board. He said that specific personnel matters are not discussed in meetings.

Board President Eric Aigeldinger recognized a series of students and parents who expressed support for and criticism of ‘Coach Isiah.’ Players spoke with emotion about the quality of coaching Walker offers. Many parents countered that, “for every girl that likes him there are another 5 or 6 girls that don’t.”

Eventually Coach Walker spoke, identifying himself as the “former girls basketball coach here at Crestwood High School.” Walker said that he knew that there was some criticism, but that he has always given every girl as fair a chance as possible. “Pressure busts pipes sometimes,” he admitted, adding, “I did my job as a coach.”

After all comments were in, Aigeldinger said that he felt it best to send the matter to the Co-Curricular committee for further review.

The issue of sport was revisited by parent Cindy Anderson who asked that board, as they approach budget time, to reconsider a “pay to play” program to re-introduce sports for the lower grades. “This community is willing to pay to play. We’re not asking for tax

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