Cascade Conference football 'coach of the year' gets layoff notice

South Whidbey High School football coach Mark Hodson has received notice that he may lose his job.

Hodson, the Cascade Conference's "Coach of the Year" in 2007, was told his teaching contract won't be renewed after the school year ends on June 18.

Due to declining enrollment, eight teachers from the primary, middle, intermediate and high schools were notified their contracts might not be renewed. The budget is to blame: The district expects a drop of 75 students next year from the current total of 1,807.

However, several teachers have announced they are retiring, resigning or leaving for other reasons and recall notices have been sent to five teachers.

Hodson's case is still not resolved; he is one of three not yet recalled.

"It's unfortunate these things happen but they are a direct reflection of the enrollment decline," said school district business manger Dan Poolman.

"Mark has eight years seniority, but we have a lot of teachers with 15, 20 or 30 years ahead of him," Poolman said.

Last season Hodson led the Falcon team to an 8-2 record — up from 0-11 two years before — and its best record since 1992.

Falcon defensive coordinator Damian Greene said Hodson's situation is delicate.

"He's out of the building but not in the street," Greene said. "He's in the parking lot until there is movement to recall him."

"I don't want to see him go after all the great effort he's made for the football program at the high school," Greene added.

Poolman did not reveal the names of any other teachers who received "reduction in force" notices nor could he provide a timeline about when the final determination will be made on staff reductions.

Hodson was unavailable for comment.

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