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Board looks at elementary basketball restructuring

Retiring Superintendent Corey Keith participates in last regular meeting

By Eugenia Jones

With Superintendent Corey Keith participating in his last regularly scheduled McCreary County Board of Education meeting, school board members met on Monday (June 13, 2022) to act on routine end-of-the year matters and deal with possible restructuring of the elementary school basketball program.  Keith, who is retiring, will officially serve his final day as McCreary County School District Superintendent on June 30, 2022.  Dr. John Gunn from Hopkinsville, KY will assume local school superintendent duties on July 1, 2022.

Items T and U on the agenda were moved from “Actions with Consent” to “Actions with Discussion.”  Item T dealt with abolishing elementary basketball positions for Pine Knot Elementary and Whitley Elementary School (including the head 5th grade boys’ and girls’ basketball coaches and assistant 3rd & 4th grade boys’ and girls’ basketball coaches at both Pine Knot and Whitley Elementary Schools for an abolishment total of eight coaches.)  Item U dealt with approving the creation of Districtwide Elementary Basketball Positions (one head boys’ basketball coach and one head girls’ elementary basketball coach each with a stipend of $3,000 as well as one assistant elementary boys’ basketball coach and one assistant elementary girls’ basketball coach each with a stipend of $1,600 for a creation total of 4 coaching positions.)

The rationale for restructuring the elementary basketball programs from school-based to district-based revolve around ease of scheduling in-district games and potential for more student participation.

However, School Board Member Stacey Hammons questioned as to how more students will be able to participate in basketball when the proposed restructuring actually reduces the number of coaches.  Since the proposed restructuring will rotate games and practices between the Pine Knot Elementary and Whitley City Elementary facilities, Hammons also questioned the extra travel and increased cost of transportation for students residing in the extreme northern, southern, and western portions of the County.  Hammons also noted she has not received a clear answer as to how students will be selected to play on individual teams, noting that elementary basketball focuses greatly on participation, instruction, and fundamentals.

McCreary County District Athletic Director Kenny McKinney was not at the meeting to answer questions and concerns; however, in speaking to “The Voice,” McKinney said restructuring will allow one district boys’ team and girls’ team to break down into 4 or 5 individual teams, playing against each other.   According to McKinney, the requested head and assistant coaching positions are more accurately identified as “league directors,” overseeing the district program (league) with volunteers serving as coaches.

McKinney said it might be possible to break down into more teams at each of the two elementary schools; however, he expressed reservations about forming two individual school leagues.

Ultimately, both of the elementary basketball restructuring items were tabled until July with the understanding that clarification and more information is needed.

In other business, the school nursing contract with Cumberland Family Medical Center, Inc. was approved with one change to the contract.  The change inserts “salary” in the line requiring Cumberland Family Medical Center, Inc. to pay 80% of total cost including fringe, costs, (and salary). 

Approved actions by consent included routine matters such as approval of payroll calendars, evaluation plans, policy and procedure updates, and approval of bids.

The next regularly scheduled school board meeting will be on Monday, July 25, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Office.  A July special meeting is anticipated prior to the regular meeting

Photo by Eugenia Jones

The McCreary County School District has been awarded more than $3.8 million to renovate and enhance the current vocational wing of McCreary Central High School.

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