Chugiak AP transferred over eligibility snafu
Chugiak High activities principal Kevin Theonnes has been moved and demoted for his role in an eligibility snafu that cost the school’s football team a spot in the playoffs.
Anchorage School District Superintendent Carol Comeau said Tuesday that disciplinary action to reassign Theonnes to another school and job title was taken following Chugiak’s use of an ineligible football player this season, which led to forfeitures of three of its wins.
“We took administrative action to reassign him to a non-administrative role based on what occurred with the football team,” Comeau said.
Comeau said Theonnes is an experienced assistant principal but failed to properly screen for the ineligibility.
Comeau declined to say which school Theonnes was moved to and what position he’d be taking. She did say it was another high school in the district.
“It’s a personnel matter and we’re still working through that,” Comeau said.
Comeau said “a day or two” after Theonnes informed Chugiak High principal Sam Spinella of the ineligibility of senior kicker Craig Lowe — which he did on Sept. 21 — Theonnes was put on administrative leave.
“He’s really not been (at Chugiak) since the incident occurred,” Comeau said.
Comeau said it was her decision to reassign Theonnes.
Theonnes’ last day at Chugiak was Monday, Oct. 10, Spinella said.
Student services assistant principal Colette Marshall, who has worked at Chugiak for seven years, is serving as acting activities principal, Spinella said. David Little is taking over Marshall’s former responsibilities, he said.
Spinella declined to comment on Theonnes’ departure from Chugiak.
“I can’t answer anything that has to do with personnel issues,” Spinella said.
This was Theonnes’ first year at Chugiak.
Because Lowe is homeschooled through the Galena-based IDEA (Interior Distance Education of Alaska) program, he is not eligible to play in the district. After Lowe’s eligibility status was uncovered, Alaska School Activities Association executive director Gary Matthews ruled Chugiak — then 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the Cook Inlet Conference — must forfeit any games in which the kicker played. He had played in all six up until that point.
ASD and Spinella said Lowe’s paperwork wasn’t handled properly during preseason checks. Both blamed the situation on an “administrative mistake.”
Despite an appeal by Spinella on behalf of the football team and support from the district, ASAA’s board of directors voted Oct. 3 to uphold Matthews’ decision.
With wins over West Anchorage and East Anchorage in its final two games, had the board ruled in favor of Chugiak, the Mustangs would have been playoff bound with an overall record of 5-3 and 4-3 in the CIC.
After ASAA’s decision, however, the board said ultimately it’s up to Region IV, which encompasses the Anchorage School District, to decide which teams are sent to the playoffs.
Calling the move “disingenuous,” Comeau, citing Region IV bylaws, said she had no choice in the matter and that Chugiak could not advance to the playoffs over a team with more official wins.
Though Comeau remained relatively tight-lipped about Theonnes, his future with the Mustangs is clear.
“He won’t be returning to Chugiak,” she said.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or [email protected]