Tarkington ISD created a new position for a girls’ athletic director during a special meeting on July 23. The board of trustees met at noon Monday to finish up business from the July 16 meeting, which was canceled due to a lack of a quorum.
A dozen or so supporters of Tarkington Coach Denise Johnson were at the noon meeting Monday to press the school board to hire Johnson as girls’ athletic director, citing her record of leading the Tarkington girls’ volleyball teams to multiple championship titles.
The newly-created position will oversee all girls’ athletic programs and be required to attend district athletic events, among many other duties, and report to Athletic Director Stan Howard and Tarkington ISD Superintendent Dr. Mark Keith.
Without specifically mentioning which candidates he is considering for the job, Keith told the board he feels confident that a suitable candidate can be picked from the current coaching staff at no additional cost to the district.
“This shouldn’t require any additional money with the exception of raises if our finances allow raises,” Keith said.
Johnson’s supporters were disappointed after the meeting that she wasn’t immediately picked for the position during the meeting.
“I am assuming and hoping that at the next board meeting, it will be on the agenda to hire her,” said Lloyd “Tookie” Kirkham, former TISD trustee and former Liberty County judge.
In Johnson’s history with Tarkington ISD, she coached volleyball for 31 years and led the teams to 19 playoff trips. The volleyball teams, under her leadership, were District Champs a remarkable 16 times, earning Johnson’s selection several years as Coach of the Year for District 22-3A. Her career record as volleyball coach is 647 wins and 315 losses, Kirkham said.
“The board says they want someone with experience for this job, and she has that,” he said.
In other news, Kem Kirkham-Arnold and Dorothy McCreight signed up for reelection to their school board positions.
Kirkham-Arnold is School Board president while McCreight serves as trustee. Lane Gulledge also signed up to replace outgoing trustee Allen Coogler.
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