Letter details reasons for Chireno coach's firing

CHIRENO, TX (KTRE) - By Donna McCollum - email

CHIRENO, TX (KTRE) - A letter from the Chireno ISD board lists a coach's leaving a student behind at an extra-curricular activity as one reason for her proposed firing.

The school board voted to propose terminating the contract of Pam Muse, who has coached at the school for 19 years, last week.

The letter, which school board President Mickey Allen wrote to Muse as a notice of the termination, stated Muse had left a student "at an out-of-district location with no supervision, nor transportation and no contact to the parent or administrator upon knowledge that the student was left behind."

The letter also stated Muse had violated UIL rules regarding scheduling athletic competitions.

As head girls basketball coach Muse led the Lady Owls to eight district championships and a run to the state semifinals in 2003. Chireno made the playoffs in 13 out of 19 years.

Muse said she started the tennis program, and the Lady Owls won 14 out of 16 district titles, including 12 in a row. She also coached the boys tennis team and girls track and cross country.

The school board had previously delivered a letter to Muse on April 5, notifying her that they proposed to not renew her contract. However, Muse contested the move, so at the May 17 meeting, the board rescinded the nonrenewal and voted to terminate her contract.

With a blocked contract the board hastily voted to fire Muse. The quick action was taken because new board members were coming in. One is Muse's husband. Another is her mother-in-law.

As late as Sunday the new board posted an agenda to fire the district's legal counsel and hear complaints concerning Dees. Suddenly, they joined Muse in being concerned about their jobs.

"It set me back somewhat because I was not aware that possibly they would be those wanting my job," Dees said.

But board president Kathy Thornton had second thoughts. She canceled the meeting, just hours after it was called.

Muse is anxious for non-biased listeners. She said today, "I'm optimistic when the independent hearing advisor hears the evidence that they will be able to reach a good decision. Due to that I feel positive and have expectations to remain at Chireno ISD."

Meanwhile, Dees says he's looking to hire a new coach.

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