NEWS HEADLINES

Board re-hires Enis for football job

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, May 3, 2014

Curtis Enis will head up the Bulldog football program for at least one more year, but his tenure as athletic director will apparently end June 30.

After a brief closed meeting Thursday night, the Alvord school board voted unanimously to renew Enis’ contract through 2015 – but only as head football coach. A separate item that called for “giving notice of intent to propose non-renewal” of the athletic director’s contract was stricken from the agenda.

Both motions were made by trustee Randy Hamilton, and both votes were unanimous.

Superintendent Bill Branum said Enis will continue to serve as AD through the end of his current contract on June 30. Branum said he will “take care of” the AD job after that.

“The agenda actions taken only leave Mr. Enis as head football coach, or an assistant if we need him in some other boys’ sport,” Branum said. “There’s no athletic director associated with his job, going forward, after June 30. He may be an assistant in track if we need him to.”

Branum said that since the AD job was separated from the head football coaching job, there was no need to provide notice of non-renewal to Enis. Branum will take care of the AD duties himself, or assign them to someone else.

“I think it’s the board’s intent that I do it,” he said.

The decision brings an apparent end to more than a month of controversy swirling around the position – although not a satisfactory end according to Matthew Dunn, who led a petition drive for Enis’ removal.

“The fact that he’s not AD doesn’t matter to us,” Dunn said Friday. “I’ve talked to a lot of people and they’re still [unhappy].”

One woman in the audience was heard to mutter, “What a joke!” and trustee Vic Czerniak handed out a prepared statement after the meeting ended.

“This entire situation should never have happened,” it said. “This town has been torn apart again by individuals that thrive on controversy, who don’t even live in this community, some faculty involvement and the kids being given false information.

“I have said publicly to many people that no one wanted or wants to see anyone lose their job,” the statement continued. “Sadly, some have seen it necessary to distort the issue and make it a ‘witch hunt’ against members of the board who are acting as representatives of the citizens.”

He ended on a hopeful note, however.

“This board can and will continue to grow with and for this community and the kids. All board members must exercise high levels of integrity, forget about their personal agendas and try to gain back the confidence and trust of the community, students and especially faculty.”

The board has met five times in the last five weeks, with most of the meeting time devoted to this issue. After they deadlocked 3-3 on non-renewing Enis’s contract March 27, Hamilton re-joined the board despite having resigned his seat last June.

A little-known provision in the Texas Constitution said that as long as the seat had not been filled, it still belonged to the elected officeholder. Hamilton’s return broke the 3-3 tie and at their April 14 meeting the board voted 4-3 to non-renew Enis’s contract.

Then, after two hours behind closed doors, they unanimously rescinded that vote.

A meeting April 21 was entirely closed to the public, and at an April 24 meeting the board voted again to table action on the contract.

Each meeting has been attended by a fairly large number of citizens, divided between Enis detractors and supporters.

With two board seats on the ballot for May 10, those on both sides are awaiting the will of the voters. Hamilton’s place 6, which is sought by Lance Thweatt and Tracy Barclay Parker, is on the ballot along with place 7, currently held by Jeannette Ward. She faces one opponent, Charles Matthews.

Thursday’s meeting went fairly quickly, with just a few non-Enis-related items to attend to.

Those were:

  • adopting textbooks for the 2014-2015 school year;
  • tabling action on the high school roof project;
  • approving budget amendments to provide $10,500 in funding for start-up expenses for the volleyball program, which will begin in August;
  • approving an oil, gas and minerals lease with Pioneer Natural Resources, USA;
  • and transferring two teachers to different jobs: Mary Ann Leasman from 6th grade language arts to 6th grade math, and Garret Yuen from middle school coach/inclusion to elementary art.

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