Shannon supporters gather at BOE

Published 7:01 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Supporters of Josey Shannon congregate outside the Chilton County Board of Education on Tuesday.

Approximately 100 people, many in Chilton County Tigers shirts, lined the hallways at the Board of Education meeting May 15 to show their support for the high school’s head baseball coach.

The reasons remain unclear as to why Josey Shannon’s job has been in question, but after a public BOE meeting Tuesday, Shannon said his understanding is that he will keep his position as CCHS’s head baseball coach.

Shannon said that after conversations with Superintendent Dave Hayden and CCHS principal Greg DeJarnett, he had the understanding that he would return next season as coach.

“I think the problem was a lack of communication,” Shannon said.
Shannon said he thinks the fact that he works at Clanton Intermediate School, and the baseball team plays on a field not located at the CCHS campus, factored into the situation.
“A lot of times, I’m just headed in my own direction, but I have to stop and make time to let Mr. DeJarnett know what’s going on and run things by him,” he said.
Neither Shannon nor Hayden went into detail about what specific instances led up to Tuesday’s display.
“All of us have talked; we’re going to resolve some things,” Hayden said.

Hayden and board members allowed the public to make comments at the end of a regular meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Clanton City Councilman Jeff Price was first to stand up and speak.

“There’s been a lot of community support, lots of stuff that shouldn’t have been discussed on an online page,” Price told the board. “We just appreciate you putting time and effort into it and listening to some of us who came and gave our side, my side being the financial part.”

Shannon spoke next, first thanking the board, Hayden and DeJarnett for taking time to listen to him and working with him as a baseball coach.

“It’s my heart and soul, and I love each and every one of my kids,” Shannon said. “It’s emotional. I feel like any wrongdoings here or misunderstandings were about lack of communication with you, [DeJarnett], or with Mr. Hayden or the board.

“I’m going to do everything in my power to not let any of you board members down, Mr. Hayden or Mr. DeJarnett or my kids,” he added. “I’m thankful and blessed for the opportunity to have this position.”

In other business, Hayden said 11 teachers most likely will not be renewed for the 2012-2013 school year. Six teachers were not renewed last year.

“You can look for classes a little bigger,” Hayden said. “We know that’s difficult to work in, but that’s where we are.”

Additionally, Chilton County is in the process of adjusting the new school calendar to meet requirements from the Alabama Legislature, which say schools cannot start classes until two weeks before Labor Day and must end no later than Friday, May 24.

“I don’t know if it’s the best thing, but it’s what we’re required to do,” Hayden said.

According to Hayden, one option to decrease the number of school days would be to add 12 minutes to the current 6-hour instructional days.

The board will not make a final decision on the revised calendar until after Thursday, May 17.

Assistant Managing Editor Stephen Dawkins contributed to this story.