SUMMIT, NJ--During the fifth school board meeting discussing the future coach of the Summit High School Varsity Boys Basketball Team, the Summit Board of Education, at a special meeting on Wednesday evening, failed to take action on a new coach.
The contract of David White, who led the boys’ squad last year, was not renewed at the end of last season upon the recommendation of athletic director Mike Sandor.
Superintendent of Schools Nathan Parker said at last Thursday’s regular board meeting that he would make a recommendation for a replacement coach after the selection was narrowed down from 14 original candidates whose resumes were presented to a committee comprised of Sandor, Summit High School Principal Paul Sears, present and former coaches and parents.
At Wednesday’s special meeting, during which a vote on a replacement was scheduled to take place, Board President Gloria Ron-Fornes announced the school body had received “new and important information” late Tuesday evening that had to do with the selection. The board then adjourned into a 90-minute executive session to discuss the information.
Following the executive session, Parker announced he was not prepared to make a recommendation on a replacement and Ron-Fornes said a combined human resources-negotiations committee of the board, comprised of herself, board Vice-President Celia Colbert and board member Katherine Kalin, would discuss the new information. Following that discussion the education body will schedule a vote.
Several parents and athletes have spoken at the last several board meetings asking for a decision. Many have claimed White is being treated differently than other coaches in the district.
However, according to Parker, it is standard practice in the district that, at the end of the school year, coaches in all sports are told they must reapply the following year for reappointment.
Parents, however, contend that White was told by that the district would not accept White’s application for reappointment.
Parker has said that White, rather than the district, chose to release information stating that their were “issues” with the coach’s performance that stood in the way of his reappointment. Beyond that, the superintendent has not commented on the specific situation regarding White.
White, who was at Wednesday’s special meeting, when asked about the situation by The Alternative Press, chose not to comment.
Parker has said that if White is not selected he has the option of appealing any board decision on a replacement.
Parents also have said they are concerned that, with summer rapidly approaching, basketball players cannot decide whether to commit to summer jobs because they don’t know if they will be involved in basketball activities over the summer.