Hockey coach's supporters, critics speak at school board meeting

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

A full house showed up for the open-forum portion of the New Prague Area School Board meeting Monday, March 24, to express their views regarding boys hockey coach John Barger.

Barger was told by high school principal Tom Doig on March 13 that he was recommending Barger's contract not be renewed for next season. The 27-year veteran coach was hired last September and led the team to a 20-7 record.

A number of people asked to speak. Acting board chair Jerry Walerius limited the open forum to three people on each side of the issue. Parents Doug Schoenecker and Jay Witty and player Schyler Adams spoke in support of Barger. Schoenecker suggested a forum consisting of parents and players from each side of the issue, along with the principal, superintendent and a subcommittee of the board to discuss various issues that have arisen.

Adams spoke on behalf of what he said was a majority of the players, saying that Barger came into a difficult situation, worked hard and did a great job. He made us take responsibility for our actions

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