Volleyball coach, gym teacher resigns, search for replacement begins

Odi Opole, Jordan McEntee, Entertainment Editor, Sports Editor


Principal Scott Bacon and Athletic Director Bob Whitehead hosted a meeting last week with the parents of prospective volleyball players to discuss hiring a new head volleyball coach. Former coach and gym teacher Jessica Palmer recently left BV due to family health issues, and administrators are beginning the process of hiring a new coach to fill her position.
At the meeting, attendees discussed the hiring process, the attributes parents want in a new coach and the future of the volleyball program.
Whitehead said he hopes to find a coach who can connect to players at all skill levels and help them grow and compete as players.
“My vision is that Blue Valley High School competes, at whatever level it competes in,” he said. “We’re not interested in just a Varsity team. It is always a goal to have as many levels and teams as we can have.”
Bacon said the meeting was important because he will use the input from parents to help him form opinions about potential coaches.
“One of the things that we’ll go back and do is frame our questioning of the candidate around the critical attributes that [parents] have indicated are important to them,” he said. “We’re looking for examples — I’m not looking for a yes-no kind of answer, I want tangible examples.”
He said he also values student input, and that any returning or future volleyball players are welcome to voice their opinions about what they want from a new coach to either him or Whitehead.
Bacon said although he may run into conflict of interest as far as how much he can offer potential candidates, he’s going to do his best to find a coach that will fit the requirements of the parents and student athletes.
“[When interviewing,] we want very descriptive examples,” he said. “If a student is struggling with a serve in volleyball, how do you work with that student? What do you do? It just happened — how do you handle that?”
Last Friday, March 23, was gym teacher and volleyball coach Jessica Palmer’s last day at BV. She announced her resignation and will be moving to Arkansas, where her family currently lives, because of family and health issues.
“I’m really going to miss my students, all my volleyball players and just the whole environment,” she said.
Former softball coach Kim Cobb will replace Palmer as the Physical Education teacher as a long-term substitute until the end of the year.
Administration will be working to hire a new volleyball coach for the 2012-2013 season.
“I think they’ve started looking for someone,” Palmer said. “I’m sure sometime in the next week they’ll start being pretty proactive about it.”
Palmer said she appreciates all the love and support she received from students and faculty in her years at BV.
“Blue Valley has been a family to me,” she said. “I’m sad that this is the path I have to take, but I’ll come back and visit sometimes.”