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Longtime assistant principal thrives in new position

BY MEGAN DEPPE | SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 5:00 AM

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After 20 years at City High as the assistant principal, Terry Coleman now serves the school as the new Athletics Director. Coleman has been a coach for 25 years, and City High Principal John Bacon describes the athletics position as Coleman’s “dream job.”

“I’ve always been involved in athletics, and I had a strong desire to get into athletic administration,” Coleman said. Bacon said one of Coleman’s first acts as the athletics director was to move the athletics office to the heart of the school building to be more accessible to students.

Bacon also said that under Coleman, the athletics events run smoothly and that Coleman took time to sit down with all of the coaches to listen to each sport’s needs and share his own vision for the year. Iowa City School Board member Sarah Swisher said she was not very surprised that Coleman switched his position to athletics director.

“He really is a school-pride kind of guy,” Swisher said. “He’s very interwoven in the institutional fabric of this school.” Swisher also said  she was sure he was thrilled with his new position because of his involvement in sports, and she was glad to hear that he’d taken it on.

“We really need a strong athletics director,” Swisher said. Coleman said that the switch from assistant principal to athletics director wasn’t very difficult because he knew exactly what the job entailed and there were no surprises waiting for him.

“I do miss not being as involved in curriculum, not being in the classrooms as much,” Coleman said. Scott Jespersen, the new assistant principal, has Coleman’s support in the position.

“Scott is doing a very good job,” Coleman said. “He brings more strength to the curriculum than I did. He’s great with the kids and has a tremendous work ethic.” Bacon agreed that Jespersen is doing well in his new role at the school.

“He really brought a strong background in education and has been a great asset,” Bacon said. Coleman also said that if the athletics-director position ever did get cut, he would be happy to go back to being an assistant principal.

The athletics director is responsible for 21 different school sports, along with cheerleading and dance. “It’s been an incredible learning curve,” Coleman said. “It is a mile a minute all the time.”

Bacon said that one of Coleman’s biggest assets in this new position is “his total dedication and love for City High.” Swisher also talked of Coleman’s high level of commitment, especially in athletics.

Coleman said that he looks forward to the coming years. “Every morning when I wake up, I’m excited to come in and be the athletics director at City High,” Coleman said.


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