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Kiski Area School Board votes against renewing contract for girls soccer coach |
Valley News Dispatch

Kiski Area School Board votes against renewing contract for girls soccer coach

Mary Ann Thomas
| Monday, January 21, 2019 10:13 p.m

In a 5-4 vote Monday night, Kiski Area School District board members voted not to renew the contract of girls soccer coach Melisa O’Toole.

At least one parent said she was not comfortable with O’Toole coaching her daughter given the charges and the alleged behavior of her husband, Ryan O’Toole, a former Kiski assistant football coach and trainer in the athletics department.

Ryan O’Toole of Penn Hills is charged with one count of having sex with a student while an employee of a school, three counts of corruption of minors and one count of harassment. He is awaiting trial. Melisa O’Toole is neither charged nor suspected of being involved in the incidents that led to charges against her husband.

At the school board’s informational meeting last week, some parents spoke out against Melisa O’Toole, who was named among the coaches recommended by the school’s administration for coaching positions in 2019.

One of the soccer players’ parents against rehiring O’Toole was Alanna Caffas, who said Monday evening she was not happy with how O’Toole dealt with her daughter and was uncomfortable with the wife of someone accused of assaulting a student being a coach in the district.

But for the board’s regular meeting Monday night, supporters of O’Toole turned out to speak about her abilities and to ask the board to vote in favor of renewing her coaching contract for 2019.

“When my four daughters played, Coach Melisa handled them fairly,” said Debbie Palla of Washington Township.

She turned to the school board and said, “You vote on her professionally and not make it personal.”

A teenager in the audience who identified herself as a player on the soccer team, added, “A new coach would set us back tremendously.”

O’Toole had just completed her ninth year of coaching for the district, according to Tim Scott, the district’s superintendent.

School board directors who voted not to hire O’Toole as head coach for the girls’ soccer team were Ronald Coleman Jr., Cassandra Heinle, Robert Keibler, Jessica Johns and Michelle Schmidt.

School board directors who voted to renew O’Toole contract as girls soccer coach were Amy Shaffer, Tamra Smail, Bethany Traugh and Deborah Williamson.

A message for O’Toole to provide comment was not immediately returned Monday evening.


Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the sport Melisa O’Toole was coaching.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary Ann at 724-226-4691,
or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, or via Twitter .

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