July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Highland High School to throw out athetlic director position

GRANGER TWP. — Highland High School will abolish the position of athletic director effective July 31, meaning Curt Johansen will be out of a job.

Highland will hire an assistant principal at the high school by Aug. 1, with that person assuming athletic responsibilities, Superintendent Catherine Auckerman said Tuesday.

“We see this as an opportunity to better integrate our academic and athletic programs,” Auckerman said. “We see it as a more comprehensive approach to serving our student-athletes.”

Johansen, who will earn $78,000 for the 2013-14 school year, officially became Highland’s AD on Aug. 1, 2010 after serving in the same capacity for two years at Sycamore High in Illinois.

Auckerman said Johansen can apply for the assistant principal job, which the district will post soon, but that the school will no longer have a “stand-alone” athletic director.

The six other high schools in Medina County all have full-time ADs.

In an email, Highland spokesperson Dawn Marzano said the change was made so the district “can reorganize, consolidate and realign” administrative functions “to better meet the organizational needs and educational goals” of the district.

The new assistant principal “will assume greater instructional responsibilities, in addition to athletic duties,” Marzano said in the email.

The 47-year-old Johansen, who could not be reached for comment, was a three-sport standout for Interstate 35 High School in Truro, Iowa, playing football, basketball and baseball.

After his time with the Roadrunners, he went on to pitch for Grand View College in Des Moines, where he earned a history degree. He got his master’s degree in administration from Drake University.

Johansen taught history and coached football, basketball and baseball at a number of high schools for 20 years, with his longest stints coming at Iowa City High, Raymore-Peculiar in Missouri and Alleman High in Illinois. The majority of his coaching was as a head boys basketball coach.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.

Rick Noland About Rick Noland

Rick Noland is the Cavs beat writer for The Gazette and the author of "Over Time," a compilation of stories he's written in more than 30 years as a journalist. He can be reached at 330-721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.