Chism resigns teaching, coaching posts

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

The Trimble Banner

A Trimble County High School teacher who had been tapped as head football coach has resigned.

Kirk Chism, a social studies teacher who taught psychology, U.S. History and sociology, was hired in March to take over the coaching position left vacant after former head Coach Johnny Poynter resigned in January.

TCHS Principal Stirling Sampson said Monday that Chism tendered his resignation effective March 31 “for very personal reasons.”  

Attempts to reach Chism for comment were unsuccessful by press time Tuesday.

Though he admitted rumors have been circulating about the reasons for Chism’s departure, Sampson said he couldn’t go into further detail about Chism’s decision to leave, citing legal reasons.

Both the teaching and coaching positions have been posted, and Sampson said he will be accepting applications through May 4. His goal is to have both filled by the end of the school year in June.

Sampson said he’s received about five to 10 applications for the teaching position; those who had applied for the coaching position have reapplied, he said, and he has received an additional application for that post, as well.

He said there is no way to know, at this point, if the person hired to teach also will be hired to coach the football team.

“There are so many different avenues, which is good because that means we have options; but it’s bad, because there’s a lack of direction,” he said.

Sampson called Chism’s resignation “a bump in the road” for the school year, and said, as principal, it’s best to be prepared for such setbacks.

“You have to expect the unexpected,” he said.

Poynter, whom Chism had been hired to replace as football coach, had resigned in January to take a new coaching job at a high school closer to home. Under Poynter’s direction, TCHS finally broke it’s 27-game losing streak with wins in the 2005 season.

The team has already been in training this spring for the 2009 season that starts in August.