Heading into his first weekend at Lakeshore High School, Christian Monson is already busy.
Monson, a first-year principal, still has to fill two head coaching positions in his athletic department. Lakeshore is still without a girls basketball coach after Stephen Lopinto left to take over the boys program at Covington. Monson must also hire a head softball coach after Nick McIntosh left to take a job at District 8-4A rival Loranger.
A hire has been made in the softball department with Jennie Trepagnier being named as an assistant coach. Having played softball at Mandeville High, Trepagnier also played collegiate softball at LSU-Alexandria and Jones County Community College.
“First and foremost we always want to hire quality people,” Monson said. “We want coaches which have extensive knowledge of the game. The fact she (Trepagnier) has played college softball is just an added bonus. She is just a good person, and we are confident she is going to add to what we are looking to build at Lakeshore in the softball program.”
Having to adhere to the school board guidelines in terms of hiring, a head softball coach job opening must still be advertised. Monson said the school must advertise the job for five days in-house to Lakeshore faculty and then to the public for 10 working days. Friday marked Day 4 of the 10 working day period for the public job advertisement.
“We are in the process of taking applications and setting up interviews,” he said. “She (Trepagnier) is one of the candidates we are considering.”
Monson and Athletic Director Andrew Knock will be conducting the interviews.
When it comes to the opening in the basketball program, Monson said he is looking more for a long-term solution.
“We have two assistant coaches on the staff who are very knowledgeable of the game,” Monson said. “Yes, it does concern me school has started and we still don’t have a girls basketball coach, but the problem is being addressed. My concern about the girls basketball program is not just this year, the 2015-2016 season. My concern is we have had a new head coach every year since the school has been open. That is a huge concern.
“I don’t want to just fill the job with a warm body which can coach right now. My concern is to find somebody who is going to bring some longevity to the position. Our senior class is going on their fourth head coach. It’s frustrating, but my goal is to get some longevity in that job where it is not a revolving door.”
Monson said some interest has been expressed from multiple candidates for the position but not having an open faculty position at Lakeshore presents even more challenges.
“I don’t have any teaching positions,” Monson said. “So unless the person we hire is already on staff (at Lakeshore) is going to be at another school. It is a unique situation. You just have to be real creative. We want to find good people for these spots.
“I’m not just going to put someone in there who is not going to be beneficial for either program.”
Trepagnier is also under this same umbrella as she teaches at Creekside Junior High.