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May 17, 2014

Cash out as LG superintendent

LOCUST GROVE, OK — The Locust Grove school board accepted Superintendent David Cash's resignation Thursday night during a special board meeting.

“It's been an honor to serve you as superintendent for the past 10-plus years,” Cash said in a prepared statement. “I've been given an opportunity here that few would have hoped for receiving.”

Cash leaves amid turmoil surrounding the abrupt dismissals or resignations of four former coaches in the district: head cheerleading coach Amy Brown, wrestling coaches Johnny and Tony Cook and head boys basketball coach Ronnie Maple. All four were informed by Cash April 15 that their contracts would not be renewed. Many in the community viewed the dismissals as arbitrary or unjustified.

Although the potential hiring of a new head boys basketball coach was on Thursday's agenda and the board met in executive session met for two hours to interview candidates, the board took no action to hire a replacement Thursday. Another board meeting was slated for Monday at 6 p.m.

Cash cited his family as the main reason for leaving his position.

“When family and loved ones become affected by the job you do, it becomes apparent that that job is not very important anymore,” he said in the statement. “I've been fortunate to be given other opportunities, and now is the best time to leave and give you, the school board, the chance to continue these successes.”

Cash praised the board, administrators, staff and teachers in the district for the growth in the school district during his tenure.

“We haven't agreed on everything over the years,” he told the board in the statement, “but I wish people would understand what you do for the school system and this community. But unless they've done the job, I know they truly don't have any idea.”

The board voted unanimously to accept Cash's resignation, which will become effective June 30. Cash told The Times after the meeting that he would stay on mainly to help in the transition period between administrations. “With the building project going on, whoever comes in needs to be up to speed,” he said.

After the meeting, Cash clarified to The Times he has not accepted another job, but he has offers available.

“One's not even in education, and one of them is,” he told The Times. “I've got to weigh what's best for my family. My boys are much more important than a job. Getting somewhere that's a good fit for us, that's the deal.”

Cash told The Times that he has no hand in the hiring of any new coaches.

“The board is doing all that [hiring new coaches]. They'll consult with the athletic director [Justin Brown]. My role is strictly helping to administrate the meetings,” he said. “I have no input on that, nor do I want any input.

“The board is acting in the best interest of the kids. That's what they have foremost in their minds.”

Regarding his legacy as superintendent, Cash told The Times he hopes that he would be remembered for his role in repairing the school's physical plant and helping put up new buildings.

“We were in such bad shape. Our buildings were just pitiful. I'm sure that's a lot of it,” he said.

Cash told The Times he wishes the school board the best in the future, especially in hiring a new superintendent.

“Now they've got a big task at hand,” he said. “Superintendent is a big job ... but there are so many good people here that whoever comes in will be fine. We're in great shape financially, we're in great shape facility-wise, the principals are all solid.

“It's a great setup, I just hope all the side noise doesn't deter people from being interested.”

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