Danville football coach considered for athletic director job

Danville football coach considered for athletic director job

DANVILLE – Danville High School's head football coach could be pulling double duty as the school's athletic director, starting in August.

Danville School Board members on Wednesday will vote on whether to hire B.J. Luke to replace Terry Hill, who is retiring this year after five years.

Board members also will vote on whether to hire Meade Park Elementary School teacher Eileen Huckstadt as the district's curriculum coordinator.

Luke would start his new job on Aug. 6 and make a base salary of $54,123 with 15 additional days and an extracurricular stipend.

"He was the unanimous choice of the committee," Superintendent Nanette Mellen said, adding the panel included coaches of the school's boys' and girls' varsity sports, Principal Marla Bauerle-Hill and other administrators. "They're all very enthusiastic about his selection."

The athletic director schedules events for all athletic teams, schedules the use of facilities for athletic and other events and oversees the purchasing of equipment and supplies. The director also recruits coaches candidates and recommends their hiring, hires officials and works with the athletic booster clubs.

"It's a lot of work," said Mellen, who once held the position.

Luke would continue his coaching job, which he has held for two years. But he would resign as coordinator of the Jobs for Illinois Graduates program.

Mellen said Huckstadt was recommended by Associate Superintendent Mark Denman, who works closely with the curriculum coordinator, and human resources Director Dianna Kirk.

She would replace Mary Schutt, who is also retiring this year. Schutt has been with the district since January 1973, and has been curriculum coordinator since May 2006.

Huckstadt would take over on Aug. 8 and make a base salary of $62,083 plus an additional 16 days.

"She's very energetic and extremely knowledgeable," Mellen said of Huckstadt, who has been teaching fourth grade at Meade Park for the last few years. Huckstadt has been with the district since October 1975 and has served as the Title 1 reading coordinator, a primary and middle-school teacher and a unit leader.

The curriculum coordinator reviews all levels of curriculum, makes sure it aligns with state standards and makes recommendations for updates and works with teachers to implement new materials. Each curriculum is reviewed on a six-year cycle.

"We've just finished language arts," Mellen said, adding math also was recently updated. "We're doing science. ... Our next big adoption will be social studies."

Also at the meeting, school board members will vote on whether to accept the district's school improvement plan. The plan, which will be submitted to the Illinois State Board of Education, outlines how local school officials will address academic areas needing improvement.

In 2006, the district did not make adequate yearly progress, required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, because special education students' reading scores did not meet or exceed benchmarks. Meade Park, North Ridge and South View middle schools and the high school also did not meet state benchmarks in some areas.

"This is a working document ... and an accurate portrayal of where we'll be at the end of the 2007-08 school year," Mellen said. "There are some significant parts."

Mellen said the district has already implemented some recommendations. However, officials must still work more costly items – such as three additional social workers – into the budget.

"We're in the developmental stage of that now," she said. "It's difficult because we don't have a strong sense of what money will be coming from the state."

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