DeKALB – Two assistant coaches will take new positions as head coaches for DeKalb High School.
The DeKalb School District 428 board Tuesday approved Todd Hallaron as DeKalb High School football interim head coach. He was the team’s assistant coach and stepped in as interim head coach after Marty Sanders stepped down in late May to focus on his family and his assignment as Huntley Middle School’s physical education teacher.
Board President Tom Matya said the position is interim through the next season partly because the high school has a new principal and will have a new athletic director. Board members wanted to make sure they work well together.
“Because of the resignation of coach Sanders earlier this summer, we decided it was in the best interest of our program,” Superintendent Jim Briscoe said. “We feel [Hallaron] is going to do a great job.”
Chris Davenport will take over as head girls basketball coach at the high school. He replaces Ben Bates, who accepted a job at Grande Park Elementary School in Plainfield. Before being named to his new position, he served as an assistant to Bates.
The board also recognized outgoing high school athletic director Dan Jones, presenting him with a service award for “22 years of distinguished and unselfish service” to the district, and his “great ‘Barb’ spirit.”
Jones announced earlier this month that June 29 will be his last day with the district. He will take a job as Hinsdale Central High School athletic director.
Briscoe said he’s worked with a lot of athletic directors in 30 years, but he’s never worked with any who have been more dedicated than Jones.
Matya called Jones a “truly great Barb and a great educator” before presenting him with a plaque of recognition. He praised Jones for the countless hours he poured into helping with the new high school and working with contractors.
“Obviously, as everyone knows, he’s a very fun-loving guy, always has an upbeat attitude and has the Barbs in his heart,” Matya said.
Briscoe updated the board on the athletic director hiring process, saying that 45 candidates have expressed interest in the job. The position was posted June 1, and an interview team led by incoming high school principal Tamra Ropeter and new director of human resources Connie Rohlman is screening candidates.
The final two or three candidates will be scheduled for a final interview with the central office and board members July 2.
“Hopefully we’ll get somebody really dynamic for that role and work as hard as Dan did,” Briscoe said.
Ropeter, along with several new school officials including new Malta Elementary School principal Troy Miller, attended Tuesday’s meeting and briefly introduced themselves.
Miller said he lives in DeKalb and looks forward to “coming home and working for the district we care so much about.”
Ropeter said she appreciates the opportunity at DeKalb High School and mentioned that she received three degrees from Northern Illinois University.
“I’m looking forward to becoming a part of this community,” she said.
The board also voted to spend approximately $18,500 to remove asbestos from the floor of two Huntley Middle School classrooms.
Two former family and consumer science classrooms at the old DeKalb High School, which is now Huntley, will need renovation before becoming core curriculum classrooms. That involves removing asbestos tiles, installing new flooring, plumbing and electrical work.
DeKalb middle schools do not offer family and consumer science courses.
Board members Michael Lord, Cohen Barnes and Mike Verbic were not present.