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LINCOLN -- Lincoln School Board last week approved paying stipends, ranging from $750 to $2,000, to people who are willing to serve as coordinators for the different Peewee sports programs that go on throughout the year.

Lincoln City Council and the School Board each approved a memorandum of understanding at their respective January meetings to allow the school district to take over the community's summer baseball and softball programs and the recreation soccer league.

Lincoln School Board hired the following: Jason Burns, choir; Jill Sprick, middle school English; J. Michael Kieth, head baseball/teacher; Josiah Hunnicutt, assistant basketball, teacher. It accepted the resignation of gifted and talented teacher Robin Moore.

According to the memorandum, the document is not a formal contract but rather an agreement the parties will work together to "promote a genuine atmosphere of collaboration and alliance in support of an effective and efficient partnership."

The school district will maintain soccer, baseball and softball fields and facilities on site, provide insurance on facilities and participants, and will provide a coordinator for all youth programs (soccer, baseball, softball, football, basketball), according to the memorandum.

The city will pay $20,000 per year to the school district to help with costs and will pay all utility costs for the facilities, such as water, trash, sewer and electric.

Deon Birkes, Lincoln's athletic director, will serve as overall director for all Peewee programs but each sport will have its own coordinator who will be compensated with a stipend.

"It's not anywhere near what it needs to be," Birkes told board members at their May 18 meeting.

He said he checked to see what others are paying and wanted Lincoln to pay a little more than surrounding communities.

"I like to win," Birkes said. "We want to do a little better than the others."

He admitted he would like to provide more money to each coordinator but this is what the district can afford at this time.

The school board approved the following stipends: football, $1,000; boys and girls basketball, $1,000 each; fall and spring soccer, $750 each; softball and baseball, $2,000 each; summer field maintenance, $1,500; concession coordinator, $2,000.

Coordinators who are school employees will have the stipend added to their employee contract. Others outside the district will be paid at the end of the season.

To be eligible to receive a stipend, a coordinator's children must be enrolled in sports programs sponsored by Lincoln Youth Athletics.

The policy as approved by the board spells out job descriptions for being a coordinator. The goal, Birkes said, is to have nine coordinators so all the work does not fall on a few individuals.

"I'm pretty excited about it," Birkes said. "I think it will continue to build our program."

Birkes said he does not want Lincoln to have a high school program and a Peewee program but wants it to be considered a community program and "one big family." He said that's how it worked in the past and he would like to return to that concept.

Birkes said he will work with a board of directors made up of a member from each of the different sports. Birkes will report to school Superintendent Mary Ann Spears.

Board member Kendra Moore said her concern was adding more work to the district's coaches and employees and asking them to take on more responsibilities.

Birkes said the coordinator jobs will not be "put on" anyone and no one will be required to be a coordinator for one of the recreation-league sports programs.

In most cases, coaches and other school employees are already stepping up and helping and this will provide them some compensation for their time, Birkes said.

"I've broken it down so there are multiple jobs, not one person doing it. If coaches want to be involved in our youth programs, this gives them a chance to get something for it."

In addition to coordinators, other volunteers will help out, Birkes said.

Spears added, "We're not going to force anyone on our staff to do this."

The school will use the $20,000 from the city to pay the stipends and this money will be deposited into a separate account, Spears said.

Terms in the memorandum show that it can be amended at any time in writing by mutual consent of both parities. If funding is no longer available for the program, the city of Lincoln agrees to take over and resume all responsibilities for facilities, property and programs.

The memo also allows either party to cancel the agreement with 365 days of advance notice.

The board meeting also included a presentation from middle school Principal Michele Price about the first year of using Opportunity Culture.

General News on 05/27/2020

Print Headline: School Board Agrees To Peewee Stipends

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