School district punishes administrators over coaching stipends

Posted on August 12, 2019 by Romi White

Following an internal investigation by Santa Rosa County School District into the misuse of coaching stipends at Milton High School, the school’s athletic director has been removed from his position, and two administrators are facing unpaid suspensions.

Santa Rosa County Schools Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick on August 9 informed MHS’s long-time Athletic Director Murry Rutledge that he had been demoted to an adaptive physical education teacher in the ESE department.

“The transfer will be effective immediately, and you will report to Ms. Anderson at the Dillon Center August 12,” stated Wyrosdick in an August 9 letter to Rutledge. “Your transfer is due to deficiencies in your job performance as Athletic Director as established through an investigation.

Per the letter, Wyrosdick outlined several issues, stating Rutledge failed to adequately management and provide oversight to the volunteer program.

“Because of your actions/non-actions, the following have occurred: non-approved volunteers have been allowed to assist with athletic activities and coaches have been allowed to work without appropriate screening and approval,” stated Wyrosdick.

Additionally, the letter states Rutledge was aware of coaching supplements being used in a manner inconsistent with their intent and that he failed to work with coaches to maintain an awareness of all teams and program status, resulting in coaches being paid supplements for teams that did not exist.

The August 13 school board agenda shows that Wyrosdick replaced Rutledge with Brad Marcilliat, who had been serving as Dean at Central High School.

Additionally, supporting documentation for tomorrow’s agenda also shows Wyrosdick will ask the board on September 10 to issue unpaid suspensions to MHS Principal Tim Short and Assistant Principal Benjamin West.

Wyrosdick is recommending a 10-day suspension for Short and a 3-day suspension for West.

Both administrators have 15 days to request a hearing on the matter.

The issue came under scrutiny after a parent filed a complaint over the stipend use with the State Attorney’s Office.

First Judicial Circuit State Attorney Bill Eddins decided not to pursue criminal charges in the matter, referring it back to the school district, which subsequently conducted the internal investigation.