Cheer sponsor terminated

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 22, 2012

SP terminated cheer sponsor,  alleges ‘mismanaged’ monies

By Rupert Howell

When school trustees voted to pay monthly claims, Tuesday night, Trustee Jerry Cooley brought attention to a $12,310.70 payment to clothing supplier Jazzy Dancer.

Without mentioning names, Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer, explained that the payment was for cheerleader expenses — a bill not originally owed by the district.

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Shaffer would later explain that the school district budgets approximately $5,000 toward cheerleaders, an amount that covers only a portion of their expenses.

Shaffer further explained that cheerleaders know ahead of time the amount of expenses to be incurred which results in contributions from parents, donations and fundraisers.

Shaffer told trustees mismanagement discovered a year late had been, “taken care of,” with totally new leadership and parents involved making sure all fundraisers are done accurately and appropriately.

Former cheerleader sponsor Tammy Wilkinson was terminated as of the June 1 trustee meeting. According to the meeting’s handout material, there will be no appeal.

Shaffer would later reveal that the termination was brought about due to “mismanagement of activity” funds and “unethical behavior,” but would not go so far to say that a criminal act had been committed.
When asked if the school district would try to collect the mismanaged funds Shaffer replied, “You’d have to wait in line,” and told the school board during their Tuesday meeting, “You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.”

Shaffer said he learned that a personal check written on the school’s behalf during national high school cheering competition bounced in February, an incident he wasn’t made aware of until the Friday before school was out in May. While looking into that matter, he still wasn’t made aware of the debt to Jazzy Dancers, he said.