Unit 40 Board Hears About Reported Dismissal of Coach


Published on June 25 2018 11:44 pm
Last Updated on June 25 2018 11:44 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Unit 40 board members Monday heard about the reported dismissal of longtime junior high baseball and basketball coach Rod Wiethop, but took no action on the dismissal.

Wiethop's wife, Judy, and her daughter Dannielle Harden were present. Harden told the Board that Wiethop was called in by Superintendent Mark Doan Friday and told that the decision was to "go in another direction". 

Wiethop has coached both baseball and basketball each for more than 20 years, as well as junior high track. Harden shared that her stepfather has served "with integrity and character" and cited major league pitcher Chad Green as stating that Wiethop was an influence on his career.

Longtime Mattoon teacher and coach Steve Conlin attended the meeting to speak on Wiethop's behalf, saying people who have become aware of the decision "are shocked at this."

When the Board returned following a more than two-hour closed session, action on the extra-curricular list of personnel was tabled until next month's meeting. The explanation was that the Board did not receive the list of potential action items including on Wiethop in advance of the meeting.

The Board did take action on some personnel matters, though, including the hiring of David Gillean as new assistant principal at Effingham High School. Gillean succeeds McLain Schaefer, who returned to Mattoon to serve as an assistant grade school principal one year after leaving Mattoon to come to Effingham.


Gillean has served nine years as a Special Education teacher at Alton High School. This will be his first regular administrative position. Gillean brought along his wife, their two sons, and his parents to Monday's meeting.

The Board also hired Robert Logan Andrews as the new junior high band director, succeeding long-time director Courtney Leach, who left to go to the Sullivan district. The Board also hired Kristi McCord and Abby Kreke as paraprofessionals.

Several more resignations were accepted. Blake Doehring's resignation as a teacher and coach was accepted as he has been hired as boys varsity basketball coach and athletic director at South Central. Resignations were also accepted from teacher and coach Kelsey Ericksen, teachers Jessica Roadarmel, Elizabeth Schumacher and Jaclyn Golding, Jason Lewis as district transportation director one year after coming to Unit 40 from North Clay, Rebecca McIntire as football cheer coach, and Morgan Healy as junior high boys track coach. The Board appointed Dannette Williamson as high school Student Council sponsor and junior prom sponsor.

The Board heard from representatives of GRP Mechanical on performance contracting, should they decide to renovate the junior high school building. The representatives said reasons to consider performance contracting are fixed costs for the project as well as more control over the people who install items and the products used. The Board will consider the matter further at their July meeting.

Also, retired teacher Kim Willenborg was recognized for her years of service to the district as a speech pathologist; the fiscal year budget was amended to reflect additional dollars if a contract settlement is reached and to reflect $87,000 in Tier Funding from the State to reflect a change in funding methodology; and heard from Assistant Superintendent Jason Fox that the district now has almost $18.2 million in all funds and more than $15.6 million in operating funds, although the all funds balance is down almost 6% from the same month last year.


The Board renewed its property casualty and workers comp insurance coverage for $393,145, down from last year; awarded dairy and bakery bids; got a report from Curriculum Director Michelle Beck on the Every Student Succeeds Act, the successor to the No Child Left Behind measure that allocates Title I funds to districts, with Beck reporting the district should receive $545,000; and purchased a boiler for the junior high building to replace one in the 1964 portion of the building that conked out with Fox saying the unit could be relocated to another district building if the decision is made to renovate the junior high; and agreed to a City request to annex Central Grade School into the city limits.

Before the meeting adjourned, board member Patty Russell asked several questions including another request for the costs of the Teach to Lead program, information on weighted grading since the district switched to a new scale last month, requests on organizations the district is paying dues for, clarification on which expenses should be credited to which schools, and whether the district should lower the limit of expenses allowed before they have to come before the Board.

Fox was also asked about progress on online registration. Fox said some piloting of the program has been taking place, and the system is to roll out for use by the public on July 2.

Board member Todd Schaefer was not present for the meeting.