It was a completely packed house at the special Woodbine School Board meeting held in the School Library May 8. More chairs had to be brought in to accommodate the number of people who showed up at the meeting.

WOODBINE -- A decision on whether to offer a new contract to Ryan Coenen to continue as head coach of the Woodbine School girls basketball team was tabled by the School Board at their May 8 meeting.

A change in the law a couple years ago amended how contracts for high school coaches are handled by school boards. Now, the rule is that every year a coach's contract expires. A school board can offer or not offer that coach a new contract. If the school board chooses not to offer that individual a contract, it will expire and the coaching position will be open for applications.

Prior to the approval of the agenda, School Board President Beth Fouts stated she had one proposed change to it.

Based upon the unique nature of the agenda item related to Ryan, she said, the Board reached out to their attorney to discuss the matter further.

"The attorney has recommended that we table the vote on Ryan Coenen's head varsity girls basketball coaching contract and have a separate discussion with Ryan outside of the board meeting process," stated Fouts.

This was recommended by the attorney because the situation does not meet the qualifications for a closed session, Fouts explained after Board member Amber Nelson asked for a clarification concerning the decision.

Fouts continued that even if the School Board does vote to table the item, they would still allow any open forum discussion on it, meaning the individuals scheduled to speak for the night, to proceed forward.

That happened and all the speakers scheduled had a two and a half minute time period to speak on whether they felt Ryan should or should not be offered a new contract.

All the speakers said complimentary things about Ryan. He also spoke on his own behalf.

The School Board still voted unanimously to offer a new contract to Ryan for the head boys track coach and assistant football coach positions.

A motion was made by Board member Kert Barnum and seconded by Board member Shawn Cogdill. The Board voted 5-0 to table making a decision about Ryan's contract for the head girls basketball coach position.

One Board member, Amber Nelson, hesitated before voting "yes." She then later spoke up asking a few questions for clarification purposes and changed her vote to "no."

One of the speakers was Ryan Coenen. Among the other speakers was his mom, Teresa Coenen, along with several students.

A meeting was held Friday morning, May 10. The following people were present for the meeting: Superintendent Chris Anderson, Fouts and Cogdill. Also present was Cindy Dickinson, who is co-athletic director with Sam Swenson. 

Swenson will be covering Ryan's class so Ryan can attend the meeting.

"How do all five Board members get information of factual evidence into their hands? That's all I've been asking," Coenen asked and stated before the discussion came to a close.

Fouts replied that the information Ryan brought to the Friday meeting and the information in the file, the Board had full access to all of it.

The decision on the contract was made at the regular School Board meeting May 21.

See the full story in the May 15 issue of The Twiner-Herald and keep checking on our website and Facebook page to learn what the Board decided regarding Ryan's contract.