AP NEWS

Scranton School District Agrees To Settlement With “the Skip”

April 3, 2019

SCRANTON — The Scranton School District will pay a suspended baseball coach $40,000 to never coach in the district again. Scranton school directors voted 7-2 Monday night to approve the settlement with George Roskos, a physical education teacher at West Scranton High School and former Invaders coach. In exchange for the $40,000 payment, Roskos agreed to withdraw a union grievance and federal lawsuit against the district. Administrators suspended Roskos last spring amid complaints he bullied players and engaged in other misconduct. Roskos said the district took action without giving him a proper hearing, violating his constitutional rights. Roskos, who calls himself “the Skip” — short for baseball skipper — served as head coach since 2012. In April 2018, the district suspended Roskos with pay from the coaching position, and in July suspended him without pay. He filed the federal complaint in November. The agreement calls for Roskos to submit an irrevocable letter of resignation from his coaching position and never serve as a district coach again. “I abso-skippin’-lutely enjoyed my time as the Skip at West,” Roskos said Tuesday. “I appreciate the support of my union and my attorneys over the last 11 months. We felt we had a really good case, and the likelihood of my reinstatement was strong, but maybe now is a good time to move on.” Last spring, administrators instructed Roskos to stop using the nickname “Skip,” he wrote in an email last year. The agreement does not address the name. “The Skip lives. I am the Skip. Skip is a lifestyle. It can’t be changed,” he said Tuesday. “Skippin’ ain’t easy.” Roskos, 42, made about $3,700 a year as varsity baseball coach and earns an annual salary of $79,544 as a teacher. Directors Katie Gilmartin and Tom Schuster voted against the settlement Monday. “I just didn’t feel good about it,” Gilmartin said. “This was an ongoing issue when I joined the board. ... I really want to do what I believe is the right thing to do.” Efforts to reach Schuster were unsuccessful Tuesday. Superintendent Alexis Kirijan, Ed.D. , questioned after Monday’s meeting about whether the settlement agreement was public, said The Times-Tribune would have to file a Right to Know Law request for the document. Settlement agreements involving public agencies are public records. Solicitor John Audi advised Kirijan to provide the agreement to the newspaper. With numerous accusations against Roskos, the district had to protect students, Kirijan said. “I’m working in the best interest of our students,” she said. Contact the writer: shofius@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9133; @hofiushallTT on Twitter