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Calumet High coach named athletic director

Updated: September 16, 2014 6:18AM



GARY — Calumet New Tech High School’s new athletic director plans to keep working on a “positive culture” for her athletes.

The Lake Ridge Schools Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Sara Kuntarich, a physical education and health teacher, to the position Monday night. Kuntarich replaces Chris Bajmakovich, who was promoted to New Tech Director on July 28.

Known as “Coach K.,” Kuntarich, 28, has been with Calumet High School for four years. She served as the school’s junior varsity girls basketball coach for the past three years and its junior varsity volleyball coach for one year. Had she remained a coach, she would have completed her fifth year as the school’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Coach.

Previously, Kuntarich was with the Lake Central School Corp., where she coached Youth Basketball Association Inc. for nine seasons, she said. She was recently elected president of that program, which serves 1,200 kids in first through 12th grades.

Kuntarich isn’t the first woman athletic director at Lake Ridge, she said. Laura Baird served in the position in the late 1980s and resigned in 1994.

“I’m very excited and proud to be in this district,” Kuntarich said. “I want to work on the positive culture and competitiveness of the kids because I know what they can do.”

In other business, the board once again didn’t take up the issue of Superintendent Sharon Johnson-Shirley’s contract. Board President Glenn Johnson said the board plans to have a working session to educate new member Ken Buckley on the compensation issue.

“We need to come to a consensus and give her recognition for a job well done,” Johnson said.

Board Member Richard Lowe addressed the crowd and said he would not be resigning because “he changed his mind.” He had said he was planning to retire earlier in the summer.

Additionally, Finance Manager Laura Hubinger announced the corporation will be advertising its 2014-15 school budget. Although she didn’t have the full budget in front of her, she said the corporation is asking for $17 million for its general fund, up from $16.9 million last year.



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