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Posted on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Lincoln schools athletic director to take AD position at Ann Arbor Pioneer

By Danielle Arndt

Eve Claar has returned to the athletics department at Ann Arbor’s Pioneer High School, after three years as the athletic director at Lincoln High School.


Eve Claar

Courtesy of

Claar worked as the assistant athletic director at Pioneer from 2003 to 2006, before Ann Arbor Public Schools had to cut its assistant director positions, said district spokeswoman Liz Margolis.

Claar worked under Lorin Cartwright, the former Pioneer AD, who retired in June after 32 years with AAPS. Claar could not be reached for comment Monday.

Lincoln schools Board of Education will approve appointing an interim athletic director at its regular meeting tonight. District leaders have recommended that Chris Westfall, football coach at Lincoln High School, fill the void.

Westfall has been coordinating with Claar for a smooth transition, Superintendent Ellen Bonter said in a memo to the board. He already is a regular at Lincoln sporting events.

“There’s no way anyone has seen more Lincoln athletics in the last five years,” he said.

Westfall said his presence is to show the kids he cares and to try to build a greater community spirit behind the football team and athletics program in general.

“The best thing for Lincoln is to do what we do, (to) continue to be positive,” he said.


Chris Westfall

Courtesy of

Westfall’s “dream position” is an athletic director, he said. After beginning his professional career in corporate America, Westfall recently obtained a teaching degree and has been working at Lincoln schools as a substitute teacher as often as he can.

“(Athletic director) has always been the ideal job, but really the plan was to teach for a while and sort of work into a masters,” he said, adding he will throw his hat in the ring to fill the AD position on a permanent basis.

Lincoln schools trustees also will appoint an interim high school principal at Monday’s meeting, following the resignation of John Dignan in June. The principal job posting closed on Friday. Bonter said there were 33 applicants, two of whom were internal applicants.

The AD position has not been posted yet.

Westfall, who worked closely with Claar for the past three of his six seasons as head coach, said she’s “fantastic. She’s been great for Lincoln and she’ll do great at Pioneer.”

The salary range for the athletic director at AAPS is $91,965 to $103,690. Claar was hired at lowest amount. The AD is an Ann Arbor Administrators Association position. Positions in a collective bargaining unit do not need to come before the Board of Education for approval. Bonter said Claar's total compensation last year at Lincoln was about $86,000.

The AD position at Pioneer is a partial administrator’s role, Margolis said, explaining the AD shares some duties and responsibilities with the high school principals. Those responsibilities include school management and teacher evaluations, she said.

The Pioneer athletic director position was intended to become a lower-level athletic coordinator position upon Cartwright’s retirement, Margolis said. However, Superintendent Patricia Green posted it as a director position.

An athletic coordinator makes less money and has the sole responsibility of maintaining the athletics department and overseeing the sports teams, coaches, schedules and transportation needs of the athletics program.

Margolis said around the time when Skyline High School was built, a plan was developed by the former superintendent to hire only an athletic coordinator at Skyline and when the ADs at Huron and Pioneer retired, they would be replaced with coordinators as well. She said the high school’s administrative structures were evaluated at that time and it was determined the schools did not need that many administrators.

Each comprehensive high school has a principal and two assistant principals. The athletic director at Huron and Pioneer equates to three pseudo-assistant principals.

Margolis said as is common with new leadership, plans can change. It is her understanding the plan is being reviewed, she said.

Green was unavailable for comment Monday afternoon. Sports Editor Pete Cunningham contributed to this story.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

Why is Pioneer getting an Athletic Director, but Skyline doesn't merit an equivalent position?

Basic Bob

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 10:06 a.m.

This would have been a coordinator position - for a man. Yet another raise for an administrator.

Tony Livingston

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 1:42 a.m.

If she actually supervises the coaches, that would be enough for me. Someone needs to reign these people in and let them know they are not coaching their own private sports team. There are school and district rules and they need to be followed. The stuff that goes on in Pioneer athletics is pretty out there. Anything to win, including intimidation, bullying, and getting rid of students they don't want by making up their own rules. It is pretty bad.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.

What qualifies an AD to evaluate a Physics teacher, or a Calculus teacher. I believe they have enough on their plates without making them deal with teacher evaluations and other principal duties. Dr. Green is obviously clueless when it came to this decision. The district should of stuck with the original plan. Each High School should have an AD. who is just that. An AD. That would help each AD. dept. to run more smoothly, and save the district money.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 12:06 p.m.

Shows what you know about education. Don't comment if you don't understand. The ad previously was adminstrator over the PE and health dept. They had experience teaching in that area. Not sure the new candidate has the same qualifications, but she will make a great coordinator.

average joe

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

I don't know how Lincoln can replace John Dignan. He was an extremely effective HS principle & teacher, and will be missed.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 10:18 p.m.

As a Lincoln parent, I am sorry to see these folks go. They did great work at LHS. Best wishes to both.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

If a teacher zaps an athlete, the AD writes the teacher's performance review... keeps the team competitive, I guess. And it only costs a few dollars more.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 10:26 p.m.

It's just pathetic that an AD evaluates teachers....I'm just so management by an AD??

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

"...resignation of John Dignam" you mean john dignan" replace the 'm' with an 'n'. some of us grew up with john.

Danielle Arndt

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

Thank you. It's fixed.