PANAMA CITY BEACH — Katie McCurdy was named Arnold High School’s athletic director, Principal Keith Bland confirmed Thursday.
McCurdy becomes the school’s third AD and replaces Karisa Wesley, who resigned from Bay District Schools amid allegations of a sexual relationship with former student and football player Eddie Williams. McCurdy spent 2011-12 at Mosley as a science teacher and assistant softball coach. She is in her first semester at Arnold as a teacher and is currently not a coach.
McCurdy was the lone applicant, Bland said, but he added he was confident in her ability and felt being new at Arnold helps bring a fresh approach to the role. He said the lack of applicants could be attributed to the press the school received during the Wesley investigation.
“Without question it had an affect,” Bland said. “There’s a lot of scrutiny in that position.”
Bland said having an AD in place will alleviate the burden of work on other staff members, including athletic department secretary Laurie Butherus, who handled more in Wesley’s stead.
“There’s a lot in dealing with the FHSAA, especially with rosters, eligibility and reporting,” Bland said. “It’s beneficial to have that in place.”
Despite being the only applicant, Bland said McCurdy possesses traits that point to success in her new position. Among those are organization, understanding of the importance of athletics with a coaching background and thoroughness.
“Those will be areas that are beneficial to our athletic program,” Bland said. “She will help us move forward.”
McCurdy was unavailable for comment Thursday. She will receive a supplement of $4,522.70, after taxes, or 14 percent of a starting teacher’s salary.