VALDOSTA – A highly anticipated Valdosta Board of Education meeting to reconsider the ouster of head football coach Alan Rodemaker will take place tonight and — as are all board meetings — it is open to the public. 

A previous recommendation by Superintendent Todd Cason, made to the board at its Jan. 28 meeting, was to keep Rodemaker as head coach.

Board members Kelly Wilson, Stacy Bush, Trey Sherwood and Tad Moseley voted in favor of that recommendation. 

However, Warren Lee, Liz Shumpard, Tyra Howard, Debra Bell and Kelisa Brown voted against it, meaning the recommendation did not pass and Rodemaker would lose his position as head coach. 

Board members did not explain the reasons behind their votes. 

Since that vote, faculty, students and community members have spoken out publicly and through social media, many expressing surprise and dissatisfaction. 

Rodemaker told The Valdosta Daily Times he was “blindsided” by the vote and has since retained the representation of lawyers Sam Dennis and John Holt.

The school board simply lists “Recommendation to return for 2020-2021: one head football coach at Valdosta High School” on its agenda for tonight's meeting. 

School officials would not confirm, on the record, that the vote is to reconsider the ouster of Coach Alan Rodemaker, but did say the vote does not involve a new coach.

The regular meeting will be held at the VCS Performing Arts Center on the campus of the old Valdosta High School located at 3101 N. Forrest St. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

Desiree Carver is a reporter at the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be reached at (229) 244-3400 ext. 1215.

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