Teacher, track coach suspended

Gunner says allegations are being investigated; Perkins police mum.
Alissa Widman Neese
May 18, 2013

Perkins Schools officials suspended an athletic coach this week while police investigate allegations she provided prescription medication to students.

Tracey Hiss, varsity girls track coach for 25 years, received a written notice of the investigation Tuesday from district superintendent Jim Gunner. The Register obtained a copy of the letter through a public records request. 

Hiss is also a health teacher at Briar Middle School for sixth-graders and junior high students.

“I am relieving you of your duties as a teacher and a coach, with pay, pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations that you have engaged in conduct unbecoming of a teacher in the Perkins Local School District by providing students with prescription medication without any authorization to do so,” Gunner stated in the letter.

Click here to read letter.

Hiss is prohibited from district property and should not discuss the matter with any students or employees, the letter stated. A substitute teacher is filling in for her at Briar Middle School.

Amy Didion, teacher and middle school boys track coach, is currently coaching the varsity girls track team, athletic director Mike Strohl said. 

When contacted Friday, Gunner said he couldn’t provide any details other than what he included in the Tuesday letter. Perkins police are currently investigating the allegations, and until the investigation is complete, Hiss is presumed innocent, he said.

Hiss did not return a phone message seeking comment.

The Register has submitted a public records request for the coach’s personnel file, as well as a request for any document detailing recent administrative actions involving her. School officials said Thursday they could not provide the personnel file until early next week.

A similar incident occurred at Perkins Schools in October, when school officials suspended wrestling coach and physical education teacher Travis Crabtree for providing a wrestler with a prescription painkiller. Strohl suspended Crabtree for three matches but did not take the incident to the superintendent or school board members.

Gunner explained at the time that it was Strohl’s responsibility, but Crabtree could appeal the matter to Gunner. The coach opted not to do so.

Late Thursday, district treasurer Lisa Crescimano emailed a news release stating board members will meet in a closed-door session at 7 a.m. Saturday to discuss employment of personnel. The meeting is at the district’s administrative service center, 3714 Campbell St.

Perkins police did not return phone messages seeking comment. 

Comments

Steph Demore

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Love614

Wow! "Steph Demore" you have quite the vendetta by the hateful things you post... Sure are trying hard to convince everyone that she did something wrong. Hmmmm.

Steph Demore

I hate all predators of children.

Steph Demore

The truth can be ugly. Don't hate the messenger.

44870 South

Steph Demore, I have to be honest I've heard some questionable stuff about Hiss over the years...I would agree with the abuse of authority thing, among other things, which are quite disturbing. She has no business being a teacher or a coach. That's my personal opinion.

caddylackity

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Slacker

Agreed. This was just a matter of time. Terrible teacher, terrible coach, terrible person. Perkins Schools get much stronger the day she is fired for all of this.

Steph Demore

Appreciate the support. Its is not always easy standing up for what is right. However, when it comes to children I refuse to have a filter. Our community is tainted enough with murder and crime. Lets try to preserve the little innocense there is left out there.

Nemesis

How about the presumption of innocence until proven guilty that is the inalienable right of every last one of us?

You seem awfully sure of yourself for someone who hasn't offered a single fact about the case.

caddylackity

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

caddylackity

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

harshreality

I believe that Tracey's family name is Demore. I wonder if steph demore is related? If so, I think her comments may have more weight. I would be interested in seeing her personnel file.

Steph Demore

Yes unfortunatly I am related to a monster. And to tell you the truth I am broken hearted over the choices Tracy has made. And they have affected me and my family greatly. I choose to have a voice today for those have been robbed of theirs. You cannot chose your family. But you can chose to be different from them.

Nemesis

If you know something the rest of us don't, make your case. Your naked assertions of monster-hood are meaningless without a factual basis.

VOTENO

Please vote no in August!

Steph Demore

I have no hate in my heart for Tracy. I have compassion for all people. I pray that Tracy the same way i pray for her victims. My life is certaintly not without faults. But I don't have to wash the blood of innocence off my hands before I go to bed at night.

caddylackity

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Steph Demore

This is a fact.

harshreality

I imagine more people will step forward now that she is presumablly fired. I hope the school is involved in a cover up.

caddylackity

The school has been hiding this for years, have reported incidents personally and the principle said we will look into it and never heard a word back or about it again.

VOTENO

Didn't they let a male coach off easy? Why the big fuss now?

caddylackity

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

Steph Demore

This is a fact. Called the principle personally. I got the brush off.

harshreality

Isn't* involved

Steph Demore

Unfortunatly I personally believe this has been swept under the rug for a very, very long time.

underthebridge

Steph - I'm going to make a guess that she exploited you or someone you care about. There is recourse available through both the legal system and the Ohio Department of Education. File a police report and contact the ODE. It isn't easy, but it is an available option.

Steph Demore

Thank you for your support and advice.

underthebridge

Office of Educator Conduct
Educator.Conduct@ode.state.oh.us
Phone: (614) 466-5638
Toll-free: (877) 644-6338

VOTENO

Our District is a joke from the top down. Vote no!

caddylackity

Hope this encourages people to come forward.

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