DALLAS — Amid vocal criticism and also support for the move, the Dallas School Board on Monday evening reappointed Mark Belenski as Dallas’ head basketball coach at a salary of $7,675.
The vote was 6-3.
One father challenged Belenski’s reappointment due to what he called a “culture of secrecy” that leads to bullying and insubordination “As long as you have influential friends.”
Another praised Belenski for positive impact on his own son.
A mother echoed the complaint, particularly the lack of playing time for some students, urging the board to investigate complaints against Belenski, who had been suspended but reinstated during the season.
Both parents suggested the administration’s recommendation was being ignored. Asked about that last claim, Solicitor Vito Deluca said only the people who made the claim could explain their claim, and that the board “does not subscribe to what was said.”
A graduate who now plays college ball noted “my favorite time playing basketball with Mark Belenski.”
The student also rebutted allegations of racism under Belenski with anecdotes from out-of-town games.
A third parent praised Belenski’s teaching of teamwork, and said those who don’t get playing time haven’t earned it. He also praised the academic achievement of the teams that have won state championships.
Others praises Belenski for helping raise money for student backpacks, paying for food and providing rides for students, helping families with home projects, and helping students dramatically improve grades.
The board preceded the meeting spending a half hour recognizing members of academic teams that performed well at state and regional competitions in the Science Olympiad, LifeSmarts, Elementary school STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) competition and the inaugural year of a new Future Business Leaders of America team.
The board also got a preview of the new Promethean ActivePanel displays that will be used in the new Intermediate Center expected to open this fall. The new boards act as large iPads, STEM Instructor Nicole Valkenburg said, showing how they are touch screens with much brighter displays than the current crop of smart boards that require projectors and speakers, which in turn require more maintenance than the new, scratch resistant flat screens, mounted on mobile base.
Technology director Bill Gartrell said 20 boards were originally ordered but enough money was available to order another 16,so the school will open with a new board in every classroom. Gartrell said the next step is to get one board in each building, followed by one board for each grade in each building.