DANVILLE — School directors Tuesday night approved Casey Hackett as Danville Area High School's assistant swimming coach for diving.

That came not long after a few parents, concerned Hackett wouldn't be reappointed, urged the board to approve her because she has been beneficial to students, not just as athletes, but to their social-emotional health, as well.

While they did not give a reason for their fears, board member Christina Fish hinted at why. She indicated she was conflicted because, while she has pushed for students' social-emotional health in her two and half years on the board, "The flip side is we have an issue with coaches making poor decisions."

Fish went on that, "We're put in a position of knowing things the public does not."

She voted yes, with a caveat — that the district needs to monitor coaches and teach coaches ethics.

"When you're the coach of a team, words matter," Fish said. 

After the meeting, Fish would not say she was speaking directly about Hackett but said what coaches say impacts kids, parents and the community.

Superintendent Ricki Boyle said she could not say what concerns district officials had about Hackett.

During the meeting, parent Mark Thomas said swimming head coach Danielle Sticklin and Hackett were superstars of coaching in District 4.

Mom Amber Liotta, at times fighting back tears, told the board Hackett has been a positive influence on her son, who suffers from depression.

"I was disturbed to hear she may be dismissed or diving gone altogether," Liotta said.

Megan Oldfield also spoke in favor of keeping Hackett. She said diving is a coping mechanism for her daughter.

"Diving is what motivates my daughter," Oldfield said. "Literally, it's one of the things that has kept her alive."

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