Marietta school board talks girls’ soccer | News, Sports, Jobs | #Education

Nikki Mildren, one of the assistant coaches for the girls soccer team at Marietta High School, spoke in support of Bill Mannix, head soccer coach, at the Marietta City Schools Board of Education meeting in the high school auditorium.
(Photo by James Dobbs)

The Marietta City School District Board of Education announced that it would honor its current contracts with its soccer coaches at Thursday’s meeting.

Board President Eric Reed was unable to attend the board meeting.

The school board was met with many members of the girls soccer team, coaches and concerned parents about the program.

In March 2021, an informal grievance meeting request was filed by Amy Mendenhall, Phillips Elementary School teacher, on the basis that she was passed on for the high school head soccer coach position for the 2021-22 school year.

Sam Tuten, board vice president, said the grievance led to arbitration between the Marietta Education Association and Marietta’s Board of Education. The ruling for the arbitration said the board did not follow certain procedures and Mendenhall was deemed “minimally qualified” for the position. Her current contract states that someone that is minimally qualified for an internal position listing be offered the position over an external applicant.

The Marietta High School girls’ soccer team showed its support for its coaches by attending and speaking on their behalf Thursday at the Marietta City Schools Board of Education meeting.
(Photo by James Dobbs)

Girls’ Soccer Head Coach Bill Mannix, in this case, was an external applicant, because he does not work for the district. Mannix was offered the position due to his prior experience coaching.

“The arbitration really just came back and said that she had to be appointed the coach and then paid for last year’s coaching season as well,” said Tuten.

Nikki Mildren, assistant girls’ soccer coach, spoke in support of Mannix. She explained how much of a “gift” it is having an “excellent” coach like Mannix.

“He is very organized, hard working and has a ton of energy to give, which is essential to building and sustaining a great soccer program,” she said. “He is always running a practice, mowing the fields, fundraising, planning, recruiting or donating his time.”

Mildren said changing the girls coaching staff before the season would alter their “competitive mindset.”

Sam Tuten, board vice president, reads a statement from Marietta City Schools Board of Education President Eric Reed, who was unable to attend Thursday night’s school board meeting.
(Photo by James Dobbs)

Lexi Brown, upcoming senior and girls’ soccer player, spoke on behalf of the soccer team. She said last year was the first year the team made it to the district championship in 10 years.

“The reason this team has succeeded as much as it has is because of the bond this team has. We are a family,” she said. “I have never been a part of a team that was as close of a bond as we have. This team would not be where it is right now without Bill and Ben (Schenkel, assistant coach) putting in so much of their own time doing things such as recruiting girls, taking excellent care of the field, always pushing us to be all that we can be and many other things that go unseen by the public.”

The board voted and passed a resolution stating that it would comply with the actions ordered by the arbitrator, as well as honor the prior contracts and agreements it made with the individuals working with the girls soccer program.

Tuten said the coaches will remain on in their current positions and Mendenhall has been offered the position as head coach for the 2022-23 school year. He said she has not yet accepted or denied the position at this time.

Mannix said he has been focused on the girls from the first day he started.

“A decision is a decision. It doesn’t affect us either way,” he said, after the meeting. “We’ll take advantage of Amy’s knowledge, add it to what we have on staff and we’ll be fine.”

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