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West Branch taps former wrestling coach for AD

BELOIT – The West Branch school board this week hired a longtime educator and coach with the district to serve as athletic and transportation director.

The board granted a two-year contract to Mike Helm for the newly created position at $63,500 annually, effective through June 30, 2022.

Helm has been working as the Warrior Academy (E-Learning) coordinator for the past five years and previously was an instructional math coach for district teachers, middle and elementary math teacher. He has also held numerous athletic coaching positions, including the head varsity wrestling coach for 15 years.

As a coach, Helm guided the Warriors to 11 league championships, 11 tournament championships and coached 71 district qualifiers, 31 state qualifiers, 11 state place winners, and three state champions.

“I want to thank those involved in making this decision for giving me the opportunity to continue the great work the people who preceded me have accomplished in the same positions. Thank you and I am looking forward to working closely with all of you,” Helm said.

Helm was selected from a field of over 30 applicants.

“The committee who worked through this process did a fantastic job. Mike is a die-hard Warrior and no doubt will serve our student athletes and transportation staff well in the years to come,” said Superintendent Timothy Saxton.

The board also recalled Gerry Brain as maintenance supervisor, effective July 1. The board had previously approved a reduction in force (RIF) of Brain and Transportation Supervisor Sherri Malloy and declined to RIF Athletic Director Ellie Geiger. However, Geiger resigned after taking a position with a school district in Columbus.

The original cost savings was estimated at $153,667.80 annually, but due to the change in plans the actual cost savings of the administrative RIFs is not known at this time, according to Saxton.

khowell@salemnews.net

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