(Posted Sept. 9, 2014)
By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer
A shift in focus in the Jefferson Local School District is resulting in a new athletic director at the high school and a consolidation of discipline administration between the middle and high schools.
On Sept. 8, the school board approved a one-year $5,069 extracurricular contract for social studies and intervention instructor Matt Adams to serve as the high school athletic director.
Middle school athletic director and social studies teacher Dennis Boyd’s position is unchanged. The pair of directors is a return to a system in place before Shawn Buescher was hired as the high school athletic director.
Buescher is stepping down from the job he held for nearly five years. However, his position as dean of students is being expanded to encompass both the middle and high schools, following a suggestion by Superintendent William Mullett during a special July board meeting.
The change is part of a concentrated effort to streamline philosophies between the two buildings.
“Mr. Buescher’s role has expanded,” Mullett said. “It’s an idea that’s been kicked around for quite a while. We’re trying to put our personnel in the best position to serve our students.
“It’s been a great start for our middle school, in particular. (Buescher is) an experienced administrator. With his position, you get the kind of consistency you need between the two buildings and Mrs. Omen has some support. And students will know the rules and what to expect when they transition between buildings.
During Buescher’s tenure as high school athletic director, the district won three state championships in cheerleading, a pair of league titles and one regional championship in football, two league titles in volleyball, one individual state championship in wrestling along with three league titles and one district championship, and one league championship in softball.
Mullett said changes are coming from the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) as part of a push to level the playing field between public, private and parochial schools in determining an athlete’s residency.
“It’s their attempt at an equalization factor,” he said, “and athletic directors are going to have a lot more administrative work because they are going to have to track the residency of kids due to the changes.”
Mullett said if a district does not verify an athlete’s residency and they are ineligible to play, the district is accountable for any actions taken by the OHSAA.
“I’m sure Mr. Adams will do a great job, just as he’s done in his coaching,” said board member Gene Keel, a former West Jefferson coach and athletic director.