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. 


Steph Demore

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


It doesn't take a sport for sex with students to occur. Don't stereotype because it might be the shop teacher or the math teacher. They all could be the offender of any abuse of authority deertracker .


Yet you only need to be 15 to get the morning after pill!


While I agree that teachers work for the public, I also feel that people are innocent until proven guilty. Of course, when people can hide behind a screen and not provide any kind of proof of any misdoings, its very wrong.

Why should Perkins Schools, Sandusky County Officials, or Huron or anyone for that matter cooperate with the newspaper when all it seems newspapers try to run a campaign to prosecute people in the paper? I do realize that by law they have provide "records" but why not let an investigation take its course first?



I'm Done

It doesn't what kind of teacher, parent or person she is, giving prescription painkillers to students is against the law. A teacher of 25 years should know that and abide by the law. My understanding is this is her second offense. If that is true, then there is no excuse for her behavior especially after another coach was found in a similar circumstance earlier in the year. It doesn't matter what it is, the law is the law. Depending what type of prescription it is found to be, the school and coach would be hearing from my lawyer.


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


Everyone is so quick to call the lawyer? But I guess that conversation is a little off topic and I could ramble on it forever. Yea keep the lawyers busy lol. It looks like it is being taken care of internally. Leave the lawyers out of it.

I'm Done

Like I said, depending on the prescription.


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


A lot of you should be ashamed of yourself. You are bashing a person that cannot speak on her own behalf. You don't have to like someone but grow up and learn the place and time to comment.

Ms Hiss was suspended with pay because the concern that was raised has not been proven. No one has said she actually gave anything to anyone, prescription or not. They said they are investigating the possibility. And as you can see, all of you and the News Paper are allowed to say whatever you want to whomever you want. Yet, as the letter stated Ms Hiss is not allowed to comment or speak to anyone until the investigation is over. There is completely a double standard here on more than one point!!!


Cry me a river, she is as guilty as jerry Sandusky!


I guess due process is not allowed? I guess if she is not guilty, her reputation is still tarnished.


And if she is removed, appropriate actions should be set forth.




Keep feeding the trolls.


The school is not commenting and ask Ms. Hiss not to comment. There is no double standard.

The public is not held to those exact standards you wish to control.


And that word "asked" is critical. She retains her First Amendment rights, and if she wanted to, she could be here posting right now. If she's represented by counsel (and presumably, the union will see to it that she is) the first thing any good attorney tells their client is to keep their mouth shut.


Actually Dr. Gunner's letter used the words "permitted" and "instructed".



The New World Czar

I hear the superintendent position is opening up in Oregon schools (existing superintendent is headed toward North Olmsted). What are the odds Gunner will apply?

I'm Done

One could only hope but with the mess here would anyone hire him?


No one is happy about what is happening in Perkins except Fred Fox in Huron. Perkins = Dysfunctional mess.

Edwin Ison

For the folks on the side of the coach handing out prescriptions, consider this.
A student athlete has an injury that is painful but not yet serious. The coach hands out a prescription pain patch to mask the pain symptoms. The student athlete is then told to race as hard as she can. An expected outcome could be that the student athlete would be able to push her body beyond the pain threshold due to the injury pain being masked by prescription painkillers, thereby causing serious injury. There are injuries that occur that can have lifelong consequences.

The leading sports physicians use a "train/race TO pain" philosophy. Once the pain threshold is reached, the athlete is to STOP to reduce further injury and allow healing to occur.

Coaches should NEVER hand out painkillers, this is the responsibility of the parents and the child's physician.

It seems that there has been a "win at all costs" atmosphere fostered at Perkins.... and it is systemic. The coaches with that mission should be weeded out.

High School sports programs should be about more than finishing results and winning at all costs.