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BoE considering district athletic director
BOE mtg Career Readiness youth program
Board of Education members, Fort Stewart Garrison Commander Col. Jason Wolter, Riceboro council member Chris Stacy and students of Riceboros Career Readiness summer youth program take a photo after the boards meeting Tuesday. Students sat in the meeting to watch how the board conducts business. - photo by Photo by Tiffany King

The Liberty County Board of Education discussed hiring an athletic director for the district at Tuesday at a regular meeting.

Board member Marcus Scott IV said he’s asked that the topic be put on the agenda for some time, and Liberty County Interim Superintendent Dr. Franklin Perry asked for time to look into the idea.

Board member Carolyn Smith Carter thinks an athletic director is needed.

"We’ve had problems in that area," Carter said. "I think it would benefit the district to have an athletic director. I would like to see a job description of someone who would be eligible for that position before we have a discussion. I would like to see the qualifications."

Board member Verdell Jones agreed.

Jones said she wants a job description that will require the candidate to address some of the "issues and discrepancies" there have been in the past.

"For instance, gates. When gates open, when gates are closed, middle school sports versus high school sports, officials and how they’re paid," Jones said. "Lay coaches. Someone asked me about lay coaches. Are we competitive with the other lay coaches? Those are kinds of things that I think if we had a centralized person that we would be able to be competitive in that area and everyone would be doing the same thing. I would be interested in moving forward in what this position will do."

Scott said the board was given job requirements for an athletic director a few months ago.

He also mentioned possibly having the middle schools join a league because they currently only play each other.

BOE Chairwoman Lily Baker suggested doing a needs assessment to see whether it’s feasible to have a director.

"I want to remind us all that we’ve already approved a budget for this year and that’s something we can look at for down the road," Baker said.

Baker also addressed Scott’s comment about having the middle schools join a conference.

For the middle schools to join a conference and play other districts, such as in Long and Tattnall counties, they will have to offer four to five different sports, Baker said.

"You’re talking about an increase in coaching staff, in budget," Baker said. "You can’t get in with just playing football and basketball. You’re talking about middle school soccer, tennis. So it’s a lot to think about. If it’s feasible to actually go there and then hire someone at this level to control all of that. Even the pay for the lay coaches, all of that. We need to do a feasibility study."

Perry said his staff will research the issue and make a recommendation to the board.

In other business, the board approved selling two 72-passenger, surplus buses to the Hinesville Fire Department for $2.

HFD requested inoperable buses to be used for extrication training.

The board also approved bids for school groceries and produce.

US Foodservice was awarded 225 items off of the food bid. Williams Institutional won 325 items and all produce.

Students of Riceboro’s Career Readiness summer youth program watched the meeting to see how board members conduct business.

Riceboro City Council member Chris Stacy talked about the program during the audience participation part of the meeting.

Carter said Hinesville’s new summer youth program was modeled after Riceboro’s. She commended the city for doing an "outstanding job."

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