Columbia County School Board members said at a Tuesday meeting that they intend to meet soon with the county's high school athletics directors and coaches concerning a parent group's proposal to improve the county's football program.
The board received a study commissioned by Randy Griffin, of CSRA Business Lending, that determined Columbia County high school athletics directors and football coaches are underpaid compared to administrators and coaches at similar-sized schools in Georgia.
The study found that Columbia County coaches and athletics directors who also are head coaches teach more class periods and have less game-planning time than their peers.
While the county's schools are competitive in most sports, the study concluded that the county's record at football, 69-132-1 in five years, was in part because of low salary supplements. The proposal argues that community and school pride would receive a boost with better football teams, and higher supplements would help the county attract and keep quality coaches.
The proposal was discussed moments after the board returned from a closed session in which it hired James "Jody" Grooms, head coach at Anson High School in Wadesboro, N.C., as the head football coach and athletics director at Lakeside High.
School board member Wayne Bridges said the study has merit.
"I don't care what anyone says, the spirit of a school and the spirit of a community comes out on Friday nights," he said.
No members of the parent group spoke during the meeting. Members of the board said they might call a special meeting with athletics directors or appoint a committee to consider the proposal, which also recommends facility upgrades and increasing ticket prices.
In other business Tuesday night, the school board:
- Named South Columbia Elementary School kindergarten teacher Michelle Beasley as the school's assistant principal. Beasley replaces Lisa Reeder, who will take over as principal of the school following the retirement of principal Susan Gilbert.
- Named Euchee Creek Elementary second grade teacher Leeann Fleischauer as the assistant principal of the new elementary school in Grovetown.
- Approved The Hendrickson Parallel Bible, a new textbook for high school-level comparative literature courses based on the Bible.
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