Spencer takes up Purdy athletic director duties

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Former Cubs chief takes one year position as transition

Retired Monett High School Athletic Director Alan Spencer has been coaxed out of retirement to serve as athletic director for the Purdy school district for the 2016-2017 school year.

According to Purdy Superintendent Steven Chancellor, Jennifer Schallert Cornelius stepped down from the athletic director's job after three years as a mutual decision with school administrators.

"As an extra duty assignment, the way the athletic director's job was structured, we were talking about what was best for her and best for us," Chancellor said. "We decided for her to concentrate on the 
classroom. We were never on bad terms.

"We're not quite big enough for a full-time athletic director, but we need more than one hour a day. A bigger district generally has an AD with a degree. We always relied on someone having an extra hour free. The athletic director is probably the second-hardest job here, next to the high school principal. The AD has to deal with so many unique things and a lot of emotion."

The decision to switch athletic directors came late in the hiring process. Chancellor said the district did not want to rush its decision.

"We wanted to bring in someone to steady the ship, who could bring some structure in," Chancellor said. "I made a bunch of calls. I talked to Brad Hanson and asked if I wanted to find an AD, where would I call? He called Alan. We had several meetings. Alan has a distinct skill set that helps us."

The contract gives Spencer 550 hours for the year at $20 an hour. The work is fairly intense as the school year begins and will even out as the year progresses.

"We're looking at our organizational structure and our instructional area to help us lay the groundwork so when we go look for someone [as athletic director], we can combine the position with something like an assistant principal," Chancellor said. "By hiring Alan for this year, we're buying time."

Spencer served as Monett's athletic director from 2001 to 2010, when he retired from full-time teaching and took a part-time job with Webb City for two years. In the 2008-2009 season, Spencer earned the title of Athletic Director of the Year from the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, a year when Monett won conference titles in football, volleyball, basketball, baseball and track. Spencer compiled a 58-36 record heading Monett's football program, as women's track coach, his teams were Big 8 Conference champions in 2002 to 2005 and 2008. He also helped to start the annual Grin Iron all-star football game in Springfield that raises money for the Ronald McDonald House and other charities.

Spencer had a slogan posted in the athletic hallway at Monett High School that said, "We compete to honor the teams and traditions that passed before us and have strived to raise the standards for those that will follow."

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