Answers needed

Published 9:20 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

It seems to us there are many questions that need answering regarding the Charlotte County School Board’s action on the stipend of J.R. Allen, the Randolph-Henry High School (R-H) head varsity baseball coach and Central Middle School (CMS) head golf coach.

The questions the community wants answers to are simple, and should be answered.

What warranted this action? Why did this happen now?

School board members — including those who voted to not approve Allen’s stipend — have been tight-lipped.

Comments offered by Division Superintendent Dr. Nancy Leonard reflect that school board members can explain their “personal reasons for not extending a contract.”

“School board members have the option, although not required, of disclosing their own personal reasons for not extending a contract,” Leonard said, “but they cannot report out of closed session and speak on behalf of the board as a collective nor release information regarding closed session discussions.”

In his five years as head coach of the Randolph-Henry varsity baseball team, Allen led the Statesmen to an 88-30 record. They have won 20 games in three of the past five years.

Enjoying perennial success in the postseason, the Statesmen have won three conference championships, two James River District titles, made one final-four state appearance and four regional appearances under Allen.

He has accrued three conference Coach of the Year awards, and eight of the players he has coached have gone on to play at the college level. Three of those players are at NCAA Division I schools on scholarship. Three of his players were selected to compete among the best high school players in the state at the Virginia High School Coaches Association All-Star game, and two of them were named MVP of the game.

Allen has left a powerful impression on many across Charlotte County, seeking not only to improve and sharpen their athleticism, but their character.

It’s our hope that school board members — specifically those who voted to end Allen’s stipend — will offer the voters an explanation of their vote without breaching closed session standards.