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Athletic director post focus of debate

Hazleton Area board looks at in-house candidates first.

The Hazleton Area School Board has begun looking for a new athletic director to replace Chris Perry, who is set to retire June 30.

The position was posted in-house – in all district schools and the administration building – on Friday.

But it will probably not be advertised in a newspaper unless the school board is dissatisfied with candidates who apply through the in-house posting, said Superintendent Frank Victor.

Perry is making $86,321 as the district’s full-time athletic director. The amount includes a top-level teacher salary of $69,321 and a $17,000 administrator differential, as stipulated in the administrators’ contract.

Some school board members have said they hope they might find a qualified individual at a lower pay scale to help offset a budget deficit.

“If we could get someone for less money who could do just as good a job, it would be a plus,” said school board athletic committee member Carmella Yenkevich.

Athletic committee chairman Jack Shema has said the salary of Perry’s replacement would never be as high as Perry’s because his salary is at the highest level for teachers. He believes Perry’s replacement should be someone in-house, if possible.

But Yenkevich has pointed out that assistant athletic director Fred Barletta is, like Perry, at the top teacher pay rate.

Yenkevich said that majority school board members improperly voted to post the position in-house rather than in newspapers, where the board might get a wider range of applicants.

She said Jack Shema, Sean Shamany, Kitty Warren and Rick Morelli voted to post the position at a June 5 finance committee meeting after minority members walked out.

Yenkevich said motions cannot be made at a finance committee meeting, and because the committee consists of all nine board members, there was no quorum for a vote.

However, while Victor said the job opening was posted through the athletic committee, no one needed to direct him to post it. He said it’s not unusual for the administration to post a position when a vacancy occurs.

Victor said if the board is not satisfied with the applicants who respond to an in-house posting, the board will probably consider advertising on a “broader scale.”

He said people have until July 6 to send him letters of interest, and those who respond will be sent more detailed job requirements and the method by which to formally apply for the position.

The job requirements posted for the 11-month position include a background in athletics; excellent organizational, communication and computer skills; knowledge of regulations governing high school athletics; evening and weekend hours; and attendance at all athletic events.

The posted requirement for attending all athletic events, is inaccurate, Yenkevich noted.

The job description states the director must attend all revenue-producing athletic home events, and at least one athletic event for every other sport.

Letters of interest should be mailed to Frank Victor, Superintendent, 1515 West 23rd Street, Hazleton, PA 18202. They must be received by 4 p.m. July 6.

ON THE NET

To see a complete job description for Hazleton Area School District’s athletic director, visit www.timesleader.com.

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