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LISD reassigns successful softball coach

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By LPR Staff

Editor/POST-REGISTER

An announcement came during a routine meeting of the Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees on Monday evening that could have far-reaching consequences for one of the district’s most successful athletic programs.

Although it was not a part of regularly scheduled business, several members of the community stepped forward to speak to the tru

stees about longtime Head Softball Coach Lisa Cone, who they said had been removed from her position as head coach last week.

Lockhart resident P.J. Portis alleged that the reassignment was the result of the District’s desire to give positions to the “entourage” of new head football coach and Athletic Coordinator Paul Kilby.

“It seems like more and more, this board and this district is choosing to punish success,” she said, urging the trustees to re-evaluate recent actions within the district.

Cone herself spoke briefly to the Board and asked them to consider a change to local board policy that would make it a requirement for teachers or coaches to be informed when parents file grievances against them. She said it was important that teachers were informed of any potential problems and given the chance to solve them internally and informally before official action is taken.

Because the item was not on the agenda, the trustees could not respond to the comments. However, Athletic Director Melinda Kirst confirmed on Monday that Cone was  reassigned and would not be the head softball coach in the upcoming season. She declined any further comment on the matter.

Cone, who did not say specifically during her comments to the board that her concerns were the result of the situation which caused her responsibilities to be changed, declined on Tuesday morning to elaborate on the situation.

In other business, the board announced that current Lockhart High School principal Larry Ramirez was also reassigned. Ramirez was chosen to fill the position of Assistant Superintendent of Information and Operations vacated by Cliff Gardner earlier this summer.

At press time, the position for High School Principal had not been posted on the district’s online job search engine.

The Trustees also voted to approve an increase in district funding for employee health insurance in the coming budget year.

According to District CFO Tina Knudsen, the funding the District received from the state was higher than expected. Some of that additional funding, the board voted to apply to an increase in the district’s contribution to employee medical coverage. Trustees Tom Guyton and Juan Alvarez questioned whether the increase, which only impacts around 450 of the district’s 600-plus employees, was the best use of the funds.

Both voted against the measure, which eventually passed 4-2. Trustee Chip Pittman was not present for Monday’s meeting.

Guyton, along with a parent and a member of the LHS Tennis Team reminded the Board about an earlier discussion about rehabilitating the LHS tennis courts, in an effort to make the area safer and more accessible for students.

Guyton said he wanted the measure to come back to the board for possible action next month. Initial estimates for work on the tennis courts ranged from $15,000 to $500,000.

The Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees traditionally meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Lockhart High School Conference Center. The meetings are open to the public and are web-cast on the district’s website, www.lockhartisd.org.

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