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October 22, 2017

Hinsdale School Board Agrees to Basketball Proposal


Angst and emotion were repeatedly expressed during a marathon four-hour joint meeting in Lake City between members of Hinsdale County School Board and their counterparts from the Creede School Board on Wednesday evening, October 4.
At the conclusion of the meeting, and in a non-unanimous vote, Hinsdale directors narrowly approved a five-point resolution renewing a shared boys’ and girls’ high school basketball program for the 2017-18 school year.
With just three school board directors present and a fourth, non-voting member attending by conference call, the vote to approve the Creede proposal came with school board chairman Phil Virden and board member Rob Hudgeons voting yes, and a third board member, Tara Hardy,
declining based on her stated desire for “breathing room” as a result of recent weeks of at-times rancorous discussion on the two schools’ cooperative agreement.
On the telephone from California, but not voting per board policy, was Bill Reinhardt who expressed his support of the agreement. A fifth school board member, Elizabeth Stuntz, was not present at the meeting.
The decision to enter into the five-point agreement was made after an hour-long executive session attended by Hinsdale School District Directors and Superintendent Leslie Nichols, Creede School Board members John Howard, Damon Gibbons, Eryn Wintz, Mark Tiley, and Emily Freedle, and Creede Superintendent Lis Richard.
After emerging, emotions again waivered and it appeared for a time that the Creede proposal would not be approved by the Hinsdale school directors. Public testimony at the meeting was heated, and included a statement by Lake City coach Dan Scroggins that if the agreement proceeds “I feel I have to remove myself since I am one of the sticking points.”
Wording in the agreement approved on Wednesday night calls for the creation of a six-member “Coaches Committee” comprised of superintendent, one school board member and one athletic director from each school. The committee will interview, hire and supervise coaches, interviews via a rubric scoring system; an earlier proposal to also include student representatives from each school on the committee, and to be chaired by Creede Pincipal Johhn Goss, were eliminated, as was also the suggested task of setting coach remuneration.
With creation of the Coaches Committee as one of the five items in the agreement, the other four points which were approved are 1), coaches and athletic directors for each team to decide when and where to hold practices; 2), Coaches Committee will review each school’s academic and behavior standards, reconciling any differences to ensure each school’s students meet eligibility requirements; 3), cost of the basketball program to be pro-rated based on the number of players from each school at the beginning of the season. Gate receipts also pro-rated based on student numbers, Creede retaining additional five percent for administrating finances; and 4), Hinsdale and Creede school boards to annually review the agreement no later than June 30.
The name of the joint basketball team will remain Creede “Miners” and Lake City “Fourteeners” for the ensuing 2017-18 season.
Additional details and reports on statements made at the meeting in next week’s WORLD.

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