Craig Douma
Craig Douma
Thursday, August 9, 2012

In what was dubbed the worst-kept secret in the history of resignations, the Carroll Community School Board discussed the resignations of Carroll High School’s varsity boys’ basketball coach and his wife.

Craig and Jen Douma submitted their resignations to the school board after Craig was offered the basketball head coaching job at Central College in Pella.

The School Board voted 4-0, with Dennis Molitor absent, to accept the two resignations under condition that the district can find suitable replacements.

“It was a very difficult situation for us. The timing was terrible,” Craig said. “This is not something I was seeking.”

Superintendent Rob Cordes said the only reason he brought the situation to the board is he believes part of his job is helping staff, as well as students, attain their aspirations and dreams.

“This certainly has been one of the most gut-wrenching decisions and recommendations I’ve made,” Cordes said. “I think I have a pretty good idea of how important this decision is to the Doumas, but balancing that decision, I have, and the board has, a responsibility to the Carroll community.”

Cordes explained that the board could choose one of three recommendations.

The board could say reject the resignations because Craig has a contract as a high school business teacher and Jen as an elementary physical-education teacher for the upcoming school  year.

Also, the board could release the Doumas with a condition pending the district finds a suitable replacement, or the board could vote to release the Doumas with no strings attached.

“I also have to remind the board of its responsibility,” Cordes said. “You have a responsibility to the kids of Carroll Community School District and to make sure that they are provided a quality education by having quality teachers in front of them each and every day.”

Cordes then recommended that the Doumas be released from their contracts pending suitable replacements are found.

He said that if this had not been a college coaching position, he doesn’t believe he would have even brought the resignations to the board.

Cordes said he doesn’t think finding an elementary physical-education teacher will be difficult, but said he isn’t as confident about replacing Craig as a high school business teacher.

“I do believe they’ve got to be ours at Carroll Community School District until we find a suitable replacement or we have put the building administrators and the students in an extremely unfair situation,” Cordes said.

The suitable replacements can be long-term substitute teachers or regular teachers. Cordes said the replacements have to be able to meet the standards the district has set for classrooms.

He said the district will work hard to find suitable replacements, and that because the Doumas’ resignations came after the May board meeting they are responsible for paying up to $1,000 of job advertisements.

Cordes said no one has been offered the position as varsity basketball coach, “nor been promised, nor anything else.”

The district can’t hire a teacher for either of the positions nor the coaching position until at least the end of the school day on Thursday, Aug. 16.

Craig said the ideal situation would have been for the school board to release him fully.

He said he is supposed to meet with a recruit for Central College tonight.

“The last thing I want to do is put Carroll in a tough position, and I know we have,” Craig said. “There are very, very few college jobs to go after.”

Board members all congratulated the Doumas on the offer.

Board member Jerry Fleshner said he was pleased that another organization would want the Doumas’ to represent them as much as Carroll does.

“I want to congratulate the Doumas. It is a lifelong dream for every high school coach to move up to college,” board president Kim Tiefenthaler said.