Palmyra school board fires girls' softball coach, volunteer

Written by Adam Franz, Lebanon Daily News | May 15, 2015 12:30 PM
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(Palmyra) -- The Palmyra school board on Thursday fired girls' softball coach Katherine Wicker, who is accused of furnishing alcohol to the team.

The board's decision was without dissent or objection.

Wicker, 41, was charged on May 4 with 15 counts of furnishing alcohol to minors between June 1, 2014, and April 12 at her home at 414 E. Cherry St., Palmyra. She was also charged with one count of corruption of minors and one count of endangering the welfare of children.

Police started investigating the incidents on April 13 after a student alleged Wicker provided alcohol to members of the girls' softball team the previous weekend in her home. The student also stated this happened multiple times.

According to a police affidavit, Wicker played drinking games with the students and belittled them when they did not want to drink. She also aided them in making up stories to tell their parents so that they could attend parties.

A student told police a beer pong table was set up in Wicker's kitchen during a party last fall.

The board also appointed assistant coach Stacey Foust as Wicker's replacement. Katie O' Rourke will replace Foust as assistant.

In the motion before Wicker's termination, the board approved the resignation of Erin O' Shea, a volunteer for the softball team.

School board member Ralph Duquette raised an objection to accepting O'Shea's resignation, preferring to terminate her as well.

"In view of some of the newspaper articles and some of the things that we've heard in closed session, I don't believe she (O' Shea) should be allowed to resign. I think this should be a termination vote," Duqette said.

"Do we terminate volunteers?" asked board Vice President Ellen Wargo.

"Yes," Duquette said. "A resignation allows her to continue somewhere else if she so chooses. A termination makes it clear that she is not suited to be a coach or an employee in a public school setting."

The board then amended the motion and voted to terminate O'Shea. The vote passed without dissent.

In other news, the board approved its 2015-16 budget. The budget will be $44,885,142, and requires a real estate tax increase of 2.5 percent.

This article comes to us through a partnership between Lebanon Daily News and WITF. 

Published in Lebanon, News

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