BOE OKs Spencer As New SM AD

ST. MARYS — An Auglaize County commissioner is the new athletic director at  St. Marys.

Following an executive session that lasted approximately two hours, members of the St. Marys Board of Education Wednesday night voted to hire current Auglaize County Commissioner Doug Spencer as the district’s new athletic director. Spencer will retain his post as a county commissioner and will take over as the athletic director as the department is restructured. Hours, salary and contract specifics for Spencer will be determined at a later date. Twenty-one applicants submitted resumes for the post and seven were called in for interviews. Spencer appeared in person during a portion of the board’s executive session.

“Doug is a community guy, he’s highly talented and highly motivated,” Board President Craig Gottschalk told The Evening Leader following the meeting. “We know he can do the job and I think he brings credibility to the position.”

Gottschalk said board members took into consideration Spencer’s position as a county commissioner when making a decision. Gottschalk, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said he believed it wouldn’t be an issue.

“The board felt as a whole that we were comfortable with those issues,” Gottschalk said. “We were comfortable that he would still be able to do the job.”

Gottschalk said he voted against the hire not because he did not approve of Spencer, but because he had concerns with the restructuring of the athletic department.

While the details are still being worked out, Gottschalk said the plan is to hire three supplemental assistant athletic directors to help out when Spencer is unable to be in the office.

“With Doug being a county commissioner, he will not be able to be here eight hours a day, five days a week,” Gottschalk said. “He’ll be here at least three days a week and probably more. He’ll be here evenings and weekends as well.”

Gottschalk also said part of the restructuring plan is to reduce the current salary paid to the athletic director. He said he hoped to have a final plan, including details of Spencer’s contract, at the next board of education meeting.

Spencer told The Evening Leader a desire to get involved in the school district led him to toss his name into the pool of candidates.

Before being elected as a county commissioner, Spencer was a teacher and still serves as a substitute.

“When I saw the position was available, I thought I could maybe create a proposal for the BOE to restructure this position and make it fit so that I could perform duties of a county commissioner and athletic director for St. Marys City Schools faithfully and dedicated,” he said.

Spencer said he has no concerns that the positions will conflict with each other.

“Quite honestly, I am one of the few county commissioners who doesn’t have a second job,” Spencer said. “As I told the interview committee last Thursday when I first interviewed and I reaffirmed today, I felt that if I would jeopardize my role to the residents of Auglaize County and if I couldn’t do the job as athletic director, I would have never created this proposal. I have too much to lose to set myself up to fail.”

The next meeting of the St. Marys Board of Education is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 10.