WCHS hires new athletic director

Holly Richrath

Washington Community High School has a new athletic director.

It was decided at the District 308 school board meeting Monday that Herb Knoblauch will take over as the new athletic director July 15. He will take the reins from current athletic director Craig Anderson, who will be leaving to become an assistant executive director with the Illinois High School Association.

Knoblauch, a Washington resident, has served as the dean of students at Pekin Community High School since 2007.

His experience in school athletics includes 17 years in positions such as physical education instructor, athletic director and coach in area schools. During his time at Pekin, Knoblauch utilized his sports knowledge by supervising before and after school activities, announcing girls volleyball games, keeping stats for the Pekin holiday tournament and sponsoring the intramural frisbee golf club.

Knoblauch’s wife, Susan Knoblauch, is District 308’s school board secretary. She abstained from

Monday’s vote which appointed her husband to the job.

Knoblauch will receive a salary of $70,000.

In other business, the board:

• heard a board committee report from Brian Wisher regarding Five Points

“Our use and membership at Five Points has really bloomed lately,” Wisher said. “Most of the memberships — I’d say well over half — have the 61571 ZIP code.”

He said membership usually does decline a bit during spring and summer since people are more apt to be outside.

“We’ve seen an increase in the gym use and the banquet facilities,” he said. “With all this increase, parking is a definite concern.”

The WCHS football parking lot can be used for overflow parking for Five Points in the evenings.

Fitness class space is also a concern. Wisher said that some of the banquet rooms are currently being used for this purpose, but because of Five Point’s success, those spaces are being rented out more and more. Wisher does not believe banquet rooms will be available in the future.

• approved the District’s application for Race to The Top II, the second round of President Barack Obama’s efforts at educational reform.  

Earlier in the year, an application was submitted by District 308 officials for Race To The Top. The application was approved, which meant that if the state’s application was successful, District 308 would receive funding. Illinois finished fifth in the first round review process and did not receive funds.

“This is round two,” Dunnan said. “If they were to be successful there’s a potential to realize $400 million within the state of Illinois.”

He said it is unknown how the funds would be divided if the application were to be successful, but it’s important to “get our name in the hat.”

“I’m anticipating we should know something by early in the fall as to the state’s success,” Dunnan said.

• approved the resignations of Todd Stevens, assistant boys track coach, Kara Klepp, special education teacher’s aide and Jim Tallman, drama club sponsor

• approved the resignation/retirement of Don Clark, part-time maintenance worker

• approved the employments of Beth Cassulo, math department chair, Keri Bowles, color guard sponsor, and Linda Ruder, assistant bookkeeper

• approved contracts for summer Health Life Safety work at WCHS.