Board approves notice for non-renewal of teaching contract

When they met Wednesday, Leavenworth Board of Education members voted to terminate longtime high school basketball coach Larry Hogan from his coaching position.

Board members also approved a resolution to notify Hogan of their intent not to renew Hogan's contract for a separate teaching position for the 2018-2019 school year.

Superintendent Mike Roth said a final vote regarding the non-renewal of the contract likely will occur next month.

Board members also approved a resolution Wednesday to notify Alaina Hildman, a special education eduction teacher at Richard Warren Middle School, of their intent not to renew her contract for the next school year.

Hogan has coached with the school district for 35 years. He also teaches physical education at Leavenworth High School.

His termination from the position of head boys basketball coach came when board members approved a staffing report. The report listed multiple personnel changes.

According to the staffing report, the termination from the coaching position was effective Wednesday.

The staffing report was approved by a 4-2 vote. Board members Loyal Torkelson and Nancy Klemp voted against the motion. Board member Jose Morales was absent.

The resolutions to notify Hogan and Hildman of the board's intent not to renew their teaching contracts were approved with a four-vote majority. Torkelson voted against the motion. Klemp abstained from voting.

Klemp, a former teacher, later said she abstained because she knows the people who were named in the resolutions and worked with them.

The staffing report and resolutions were approved after board members met behind closed doors in executive session for nearly 40 minutes to discuss personnel matters.

A number of supporters of Hogan attended Wednesday's meeting and several addressed board members.

Wayne Simien, who played basketball for Hogan at Leavenworth High School, said he did not know the all the details regarding Hogan's termination.

"I do know that Coach Hogan deserves better," Simien said.

Herschel Chapman said Hogan is a legend in the community.

"This is not the Leavenworth way," he said.

Board members did not comment Wednesday about the reasons for Hogan's termination from his coaching position and their intent not to renew his teaching contract.

School board attorney Robert Hingula said board members are prohibited from sharing information about personnel matters to the public.

Hogan has said he was informed last month that his coaching job and teaching position were not being renewed.

But Wednesday's meeting marked the first time board members took action regarding the termination.

"Sometimes we have to make hard decisions for the good of the community, and that's what we did here," board member John Goodman said.

Board President Mark Carney said there has been a lot of misinformation regarding what has happened.

Roth said after Wednesday's meeting that school district officials have followed the same process for Hogan that is used for all employees.

One of Hogan's supporters, Bill Greenberg, suggested to board members that their actions could have a negative impact on an upcoming bond issue election.

The school board has proposed a $36.76 million bond issue for school renovations and additions. The bond issue will be decided by voters in June.

Danielle Wells, an audience member who is supportive of the proposed bond issue, later said she was disappointed by Greenberg's comments.

"These two things are completely separate from each other," she said.

During his comments, Chapman said the community will not support the board's decision regarding Hogan "and we'll see what happens in the future."

Following Wednesday's meeting, Carney said it is ridiculous to threaten a bond issue that he believes will benefit the the whole community.

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