Jonathan Alder Junior High’s athletic director Cris Janda was on the hot seat at Monday’s board of education meeting.
Two parents brought separate complaints to board members about Cris Janda’s hiring recommendations.
Parent Adam Parker said Janda promoted the hiring of Mackenzie Cloud as junior high cheerleading coach and was uncooperative after Parker’s daughter suffered a severe head injury during a practice supervised by Cloud.
Bruce Hooley said a district administrator told his wife district policy forbids parents from acting as assistant coaches, even if they are more qualified than individuals suggested by Janda.
Parker’s complaint was more personal and emotional.
His voice broke as he described the symptoms and repeated hospitalizations his daughter has undergone since October when she failed to complete a practice back-flip and landed on her head. Cloud didn’t recognize the seriousness of the injury and simply iced the girl’s neck, Parker said.
He checked the Ohio Department of Education website and discovered Cloud lacked the Pupil Activity Permit required by the Alder district. He said Janda and high school athletic director Tom Vargo recommended Cloud for the cheerleading job, although they knew the woman did not have the permit.
In order to obtain a Pupil Activity Permit, a coach must complete basic first aid and CPR courses, as well as training in brain trauma and brain injury management.
Parker said he confronted Janda about Cloud’s qualifications and was told a permit would affect the coach’s pay.
“I was lied to by the athletic director,” Parker alleged.
Superintendent Gary Chapman addressed both complaints. He said the district does not forbid hiring parents as assistant coaches. He called Parker’s situation “unfortunate.”
Chapman acknowledged Cloud had not submitted all necessary paperwork to obtain a Pupil Activity Permit at the time of the October accident.
Newly elected board president Shannon Foust promised an inquiry into both complaints.
Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Advocate.