SHELTON — Spring coaches will receive a portion of their salary for the past athletic season even though school sports were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Board of Education, at a virtual meeting this week, voted unanimously to cover 50 percent of salaries for varsity, junior varsity and freshman coaches at the high school as well as coaches for intermediate school sports.

There are 27 coaches total, and Finance Director Rick Belden said the cost comes to about $38,000.

Spring sports were canceled when the state shuttered all school buildings in mid-March as part of the state coronavirus pandemic mitigation plan. Students went to distance learning, and the fields went unused.

But board members said offering at least 50 percent pay helps cover coaches’ pre-planning for the season as well as any virtual work that was done with student athletes.

Before the vote, board Chair Kathy Yolish read a letter from Shelton Education Association President Deb Keller asking that the Board of Education consider approving payment — full or at least partial — for the spring season coaches.

The Shelton Board of Education offices. Photo: Contributed Photo / Connecticut Post
Photo: Contributed Photo

The Shelton Board of Education offices.

“It is our understanding that some coaches did guide their teams virtually and should be compensated,” said Keller. “The CIAC did not make a statement about the 2020 season cancellation until May 5. Up to that point, some coaches thought that they would be playing games in June and were in contact with their teams to make sure they were ready if that was to happen.”

In other business, the board also voted to hire Glenn Newman as the district’s new technology director, replacing the departing Dan DeVito.

Interim Superintendent Beth Smith said Newman had served as technology director for Giant Steps School in Southport for the past eight years. Before that, Smith said, he was an assistive technology specialist at the same school.

Newman’s background also includes serving as a network administrator/data system manager and data analyst. He has a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Fairfield University. He holds several CISCO certifications, some in cybersecurity.

Newman was also trained in FBI criminal justice information.

The board also recognized the most recent retirees, headed by longtime Elizabeth Shelton School Principal Bev Belden.

The other retirees are David Blackmore, William Federowicz, Carolyn Finley, Martha Gaynor, Lynn Ibsen, Elizabeth Kingersky, Theresa Moore, Carolyn Pleckaitis, Calvin Shaw and Carole Sylvester.