Sherrard hears calls for Brown reinstatement

Robert Blackford/Editor

The Sherrard School Board heard pleas from one of its students and from one of its former board members to consider the reinstatement of its volleyball coach Lori Brown.

The board voted not to rehire Brown at its March meeting. Brown has coached volleyball at Sherrard for many years with a tremendous amount of success.

Chelsey Crippen, a junior at Sherrard, read a letter before the board over her dismay at its decision not to rehire Brown. "Coach Brown became my best friend not only throughout my volleyball season but also all throughout the year. I wish there was an explanation of why she did not get rehired. The Sherrard volleyball team should be given an answer for why our coach is not being rehired; we might be just kids, but we deserve answers. Your no vote directly affects my volleyball career and possibly my college opportunities. I did not know she was even in the consideration of not being rehired or else I would have been to that Board meeting to supper her, as well as some of my other teammates, friends, classmates, parents and people that have watched Lori Brown coach."

Crippen added, "She also hosted m any team bonding activities and organized team meals ah her house. These kinds of acts are not a requirement and other coaches do not do this."

Board President Leslie Anderson told Crippen that the matter was not on the agenda and couldn't be discussed. She also noted that it was a personnel matter which the board doesn't comment on. "I understand that's not the answer you are wanting to hear."

Crippen was visibly shaken following the exchange and crying when she sat down with several other students.

Former Sherrard School Board member and current Mercer County Board member Larry Stone also urged the board to reconsider the matter of Brown's departure. "I'm disappointed in the Lori Brown decision." Stone recalled a time to the board when it didn't have the numbers to field teams. "She made it fun for them. Lori made it fun for them."

Stone told the board if they were going to have the AD or building principal give a recommendation and they not follow it why were they asking for it anyway. "You need to do the best job for the kids in this school. I've been in the job, I've had to ask myself what's best for the kids, -It's Lori Brown on the sidelines for next year."