Clear Fork school board re-hires Bechtel after contentious meeeting


Steve Bechtel (Photo courtesy

Steve Bechtel (Photo courtesy

BELLVILLE — Clear Fork Valley School board members, by a vote of 3-2, approved a one-year supplemental contract for varsity basketball coach Steven Bechtel on Thursday night after a long, contentious meeting in which area residents voiced their concerns about coaching operations.

The board went into executive session to discuss Bechtel’s proposed re-hiring.

Residents were asked if they wanted to speak before the board and close to 30 people volunteered, going into the teacher’s lounge at the school to give their three-minute accounts of what they felt had happened at the school.

When board members came out of the executive session, board president Jim DeSanto said the board was trying to give “due diligence” to concerns people had voiced about Bechtel.

DeSanto asked for discussion on the motion to vote for Bechtel’s re-hiring, and no one volunteered an opinion.

One yes vote was cast without comment by member Dan Freund. Member Jason Snyder cast a yes vote after saying it was a “tough decision,” and that he had gone back and forth on the matter.

Member Jim Klenk voted yes, but read a statement in which he said the administration hires personnel. He said there should be a mid-year review on the matter.

Member Carl Gonzalez and DeSanto cast the two no votes.

Steve Bechtel (Photo courtesy Bechtel (Photo courtesy