The Duncan Banner
Duncan High School Principal Justin Smith has been promoted to a new position in which he will oversee the high school athletic program, Superintendent Sherry Labyer said Thursday.
Smith’s promotion to director of secondary education was approved by the school board on Tuesday, Labyer said. Smith said he was still be the high school principal, but will just have the added responsibilites of the new positions.
Burl White will remain athletic director, Labyer added.
White said he will retain his same responsibilities he’s always had.
When asked about Smith overseeing the athletics program, White said he “probably opened my mouth too many times.”
One of the first decisions Smith will have to make is finding a new wrestling coach after Kevin Kelly confirmed Thursday night that he is becoming assistant high school principal.
Kelly had been part of the wrestling program for the past 17 years and spent the last five as head coach. This season he had four wrestlers qualify for state.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Kelly said. “I’m excited to move on to the next chapter, but also, it’s going to be hard not to be coaching.”
Labyer said she hopes Kelly can carry over the success he has had as a coach into the administration office.
“He is conscientious and thorough,” Labyer said. “He takes care of kids.”
Labyer said there is a set of interviews that will happen Monday for the head boys basketball coaching position, but that will be just the first round of the process.
“If we decide that we want to continue the interviews then we will have round two,” Labyer said. “I really don’t have a timeline in place.”
Duncan High School is also looking for a head boys soccer coach.
Marcus Williams stepped down in May after a five-year reign. While there are three coaching jobs open right now, Smith said the school is in better shape than where it was last year because there aren’t as many teaching and administration vacancies.
He wants the school to find new coaches, but also wants to hire the right people.
“We’re trying to involve as many people in our decisions as we can during this hiring process,” Smith said. “We’re taking our time a little bit. We know summertime and school beginning again will happen fast, but we want to make sure we aren’t making any rash decisions.”