Liberty High School has hired its first principal, and is seeking an affiliation for its athletics program.
The Iowa City Community School District approved the hiring of Scott Kibby at its meeting Tuesday night. Kibby will step down as Iowa City West athletics director on June 30.
“It’s really exciting to start something new and fresh,” Kibby said Wednesday morning. “I have an opportunity to help build a culture. The community of North Liberty is so excited to have its own school.”
Kibby, 51, has served as an educator for 30 years. He is in his fourth year as West AD. Before that, he was the AD at Cedar Rapids Jefferson for 10 years.
“I’m really excited for Scott,” said Cedar Rapids Kennedy AD Aaron Stecker. “I can’t think of anybody better for that role than him. He has such a positive attitude.”
Liberty will open in the fall of 2017, but only freshmen and sophomores will be required to attend the school. It will be optional for juniors and seniors.
“Our senior class (of 2018) might have three kids. It might have 50,” Kibby said.
Liberty will field freshman teams in several sports beginning next school year, using West’s facilities. The new school opens in North Liberty the following school year and will field mostly freshman and sophomore teams, with a few varsity sports.
Then, in 2018-19, Liberty will run a full-fledged varsity program in all sports. Kibby said that the school has applied for membership to the Mississippi Valley Conference, effective that school year.
MVC principals will vote April 13, with 10 of 14 “yes” votes required for admittance.
“I don’t see any hesitancy on admitting them,” Stecker said.
If the MVC expands to include Liberty, membership will be 15 schools, which is less than ideal for scheduling.
The most likely other addition would be Western Dubuque, by far the biggest school in the Wamac Conference. According to the BEDS Documents, which determines high school sports classifications, Western Dubuque will have an enrollment of 724 in grades 10-12 next school year and will be the 46th-largest high school in the state.
“We’ve had people approach us from a couple different conferences,” said Western Dubuque AD John Hlubek. “We’re keeping our options open.
“The good news is that we continue to be growing in enrollment. We’re happy where we’re at, but that doesn’t mean we won’t listen to what others have to say.”
All members of the Wamac, River Valley and Tri-Rivers conferences are locked into their present leagues by the Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union through the 2016-17 school year.
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