BETHEL — The SAD 44 School Board voted unanimously Monday evening to extend their agreement with the Telstar Football Boosters for another five years, said Superintendent David Murphy.

Murphy explained that “10 or 11 years ago, a group of people approached the board about starting up a football program in the district.”

“Football is an expensive sport,” Murphy said. “At the time, the board had indicated that they were OK with it, but the group of people had to come up with $70,000, and then come back to the board.”

The people interested in a district football team were able to raise the money in a short period of time, and in 2006, the first contract between SAD 44 and the Telstar Football boosters was drafted and signed.

Murphy said when the first contract expired in 2011, it was renewed, with the school board picking up a small piece of the tab.

“Originally, the boosters were responsible for funding all aspects of the program, including coaches and buses,” Murphy said. “After the first couple of years, the board agreed to pick up some expenses, such as travel, coaching, and official fees.”

The second contract lasted from 2011 to 2016. On Monday evening, the board agreed to approve a third contract, which would expire in 2021.

Murphy said for this budget season, the school board agreed to split the cost of an additional coach with the boosters, and contribute $1,500 towards the purchase of supplies.

“By and large, the boosters are responsible for the funding of the football program,” Murphy added.

In other business, the school board voted to re-appoint Levi Brown of Crescent Park School, and Jolene Littlehale of Woodstock Elementary School as the teaching principals for their respective schools.

Several years ago, the board put together a funding mechanism for teaching principals, Murphy said.

“They receive a $14,000 stipend, plus whatever normal increase that they get from the TEA,” Murphy said.

At 6 p.m., before the start of the school board meeting, a special recognition reception was held for Greenwood resident Richard Melville, in recognition of the years he has spent serving on the SAD 44 school board.

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