Supporters want FSCC volleyball coach back

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Several members of the Fort Scott Community College volleyball team and coaching staff voiced their support for former head volleyball coach Sonya Petroski during the FSCC Board of Trustees meeting on Monday.

FSCC Athletic Director J.D. Ettore confirmed in an e-mail to The Fort Scott Tribune last week that Petroski is no longer the head volleyball coach at the college. No other details were given as it is a personnel matter, officials said.

Petroski's supporters at the meeting contend that she has been fired and urged the board to keep her on staff. Many who spoke to the board were overcome with emotion. Petroski attended the meeting, and like her backers, showed her feelings, but did not address the board.

During the meeting, the team's assistant coach, Steve Kramer, who has assumed head coaching duties, said his main question for the board is why Petroski was released in the middle of the season.

"It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. ... It confuses me," Kramer said. "She has a great heart. ... I've never seen anyone with a greater desire to win. ... She sacrifices her needs for theirs. I know she loves these girls as her own."

Kramer added that he was present at the meeting to also support members of the team who chose to address the board.

"I am here to support the girls," he said.

Team members who spoke echoed Kramer's sentiments, some adding that Petroski's recruiting skills will be missed, while others said that Petroski cares about her players and was constantly working to make them better people as well.

In addressing the group following their comments, FSCC President Clayton Tatro said he "appreciated the turnout" and the board and administration will take their remarks "under advisement." Tatro reiterated that he could not discuss the details of a personnel matter. He added that the team "will be taken care of," "will have a good coach," and will be among the first people to know if Petroski is kept on staff.

In other business, the board:

* Discussed the State of Kansas Energy Manager Grant, which would provide $170,000 over two years for the training and salary of an energy manager. The city of Fort Scott submitted an application for the grant along with the Bourbon County Commission, USD 234 and FSCC. The goal is to work toward making Fort Scott's public buildings more energy efficient.

During the meeting, the board voted to transfer FSCC Director of Facilities and Operations Steve Stanton from his current position to the position of energy manager.

* Voted to relocate the college's construction trades program, truck driving program, and agriculture program to the former National Guard Armory building, which FSCC purchased from the city last month.

The board also voted to relocate the cosmetology program to the current vocational technology building. The college hopes to occupy both spaces by the start of the 2011 fall semester, Tatro said. The board is expected to receive an update on space and costs associated with the changes by next month's board meeting.

* Conducted an executive session to discuss financial matters concerning the FSCC Endowment Association.

* Approved separation between FSCC and James Williams, dorm resident assistant, effective Sept. 23.

The board also heard other various reports from Tatro and later adjourned.