Tube City Community Media Inc. is seeking freelance writers to help cover city council, news and feature stories in McKeesport, Duquesne, White Oak and the neighboring communities. High school and college students seeking work experience are encouraged to apply; we are willing to work with students who need credit toward class assignments. Please send cover letter, resume, two writing samples and the name of a reference (an employer, supervisor, teacher, etc. -- not a relative) to tubecitytiger@gmail.com.

To place your ad, email tubecitytiger@gmail.com.
Ads start at $1 per day, minimum seven days.

NAACP Presses School Board on Hiring Policies for Basketball Coach

By Richard Finch Jr.
The Tube City Almanac
August 13, 2018
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The McKeesport NAACP has asked the McKeesport Area School Board to explain specific details of the hiring process in place to select the next head basketball coach. 

Their concerns were raised Wednesday during the public comment portion of the board's monthly meeting. 

Brenda D. Sawyer, McKeesport NAACP president, asked the board to explain the process used to determine which applicant should receive an interview and to describe the specific categories used to make that determination.  

Additionally, Sawyer asked for information on how the interview questions are scored and if the person who is being considered for the position scored more points than the other applicants.

Sawyer specifically asked about McKeesport alumnus Will Gadson, 22, who played varsity basketball at McKeesport and Gannon University in Erie.

"We all know Will Gadson applied for the job, and wasn't granted an interview," she said, adding, "his age could have played into that, however."

Will Gadson was recently hired as the head basketball coach at Northwestern High School in Erie County, Pa. He is the son of former McKeesport boys' basketball coach Corey Gadson, who retired in 2014.

Sawyer asked the board what efforts were taken to ensure that minority candidates were included in the hiring process, and what consideration was given to local residents.

“Will Gadson is what we want to showcase in our graduates across Pennsylvania,” she said.

Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. said he understood Sawyer's concerns, and he agrees with her “1,000 percent that Will Gadson is an outstanding young man," but said the people who were interviewed for the vacancy "are local residents.”

A decision hasn't been made yet, Holtzman said, but noted that the board cannot discuss personnel matters in public.

“There are a lot of inferences about who the coach will be," Holtzman said. "We still don’t have a decision, the rumors are frustrating, but we're moving forward and hope to finalize the decision next week."

He said the school board has the best interest of student-athletes in mind as they work toward a resolution.

"If it doesn't get resolved the athletic director (Charley Kiss), who is also the current interim coach, will coach the team," Holtzman said. "The last thing we need to do as adults is get between those kids playing basketball.”

After the meeting, Sawyer said she didn’t feel like her questions were answered.

School Director James Brown said the board is having a difficult time deciding "which direction to go."

"It's coming down to a guy that really has no basketball coaching experience and a guy that has experience”, he said. “It should pretty much be a no-brainer who to go with. It doesn’t make sense to me.”

In other board business, board actions were presented to approve property tax refund checks and an agreement between Care Unlimited and McKeesport Area School District to provide healthcare services.

A board action was also presented to approve a memorandum of understanding with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services to provide transportation in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, a partnership with Pittsburgh, Woodland Hills and other local school districts that Holtzman said is a free service that will save the district money.

A board action was presented to approve an agreement with the Alliance Christian Child Care Center to provide afterschool services to district elementary schools, as well as a board action to approve insurances in the amount of $197,253 for the period ending Sept. 14, 2019, a figure that Matthew Gergely, assistant to the business manager, said is a $600 decrease from last year.

Board members Joe Lopretto, David Donato and Thomas Filotei were not in attendance.

Richard Finch Jr. is a freelance writer. He may be reached at finchr43@gmail.com.

Originally published August 13, 2018.

In other news:
"Former Daily News Bui…" || "Duquesne Man Dead Fol…"