Despite protests and petitions from more than 200 Starpoint Central High School students, parents and varsity basketball team members, varsity basketball team coach William Shaw lost his appeal Thursday night to remain coach of the successful team.
Superintendent Lowell W. Brinnen said, "We realize and appreciate your support of Mr. Shaw, but the board has to follow the laws of the land. We had a legal decision and had no choice in the matter."
Shaw, a teacher at Lockport High School, was replaced by Starpoint teacher David Schopf, who has been pursuing the position in litigation since last year. Teachers who work in the district legally have preference for district coaching positions.
Shaw, who has coached the team to three league titles and two Niagara-Orleans championships in his last six years as Starpoint coach, gave his views through a letter read by parent-advocate Jay Schreader:
"I felt it would be unappropriate for me to attend this meeting on the matter. In this basketball coaching controversy I feel that the board does not have the best interest of the students in mind. In the past six years I have dedicated myself to an excellent program and want you to consider the time and effort that has been put forth. Money, the union and glory are of no concern to me. I cannot allow unjust treatment of the students who I consider victims of greed and selfishness."
Mrs. Schreader, who has had two sons who graduated from the program and a third son who is a sophomore on the team, said both parents and students were upset.
"I've told the players to do their best, but many have said they won't play next year. They are dead set against playing for Mr. Schopf. I can't say enough about what Mr. Shaw has done for my son, Brian. He helped him develop some fantastic skills, skills that helped him get a college scholarship in basketball for next year. If you choose not to appoint him, you are hurting the kids and you will lose one dedicated man," said Mrs. Schreader.
The board agreed to send Shaw a letter of thank you for his past years of service.
In another matter, the board voted, 7-2, to approve a one-year contract for non-union employees. Voting against the contract were board members Joseph Ohol and Edgar Kroening.
The contract covers 17 clerical, maintenance, administrative and nurses positions whose salaries will total $352,516 next year.
Administrators under the contract are Al Evans, director of facilities and operations, whose salary will be $39,000; Susan Villiers, school business administrator, $59,900, and Frederick Wille, director of instruction, $55,654.
The board also acted on several appointments including department chairmen at an annual additional stipend of $1,086. They are: Edward Tracy, English; George Riscile, science; Larry Kus, physical education and health; Howard Luff, technology; Deborah Carballo, language; William Chick, business and home careers; David Kayne, fine arts; Joseph Totaro, mathematics and Steven Olick, social studies.