SOCCER

Coach resigns after Green Beret group questioned his military background

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On July 7, the Guardians of the Green Beret group posted a question on the internet about how Fernandez – a graduate of Wayne High School and the University of Wittenberg – had portrayed his military background.

Lambert d’Alter said he discovered the Green Beret group’s investigation of Fernandez on the evening of July 13. Alter investigated the next day and on July 14, “I called Mr. Fernandez and suspended him from all contact with the team,” she said. .

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“At the end of the day, at that point, I think we knew what the decision would be,” added Lambert. “But I wanted to make sure there was no contact with the students.”

On July 15, Fernandez “resigned,” but did not submit a resignation letter, she said.

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Retired Lt. Col. Jason Bender, who ran the University of Cincinnati’s Army ROTC program, told the Dayton Daily News that Fernandez repeatedly represented himself as a member of the elite group. Green Berets special forces.

The Dayton Daily News was unable to independently confirm details of Fernandez’s military service.

Lambert said Fernandez “told us (Alter) that he was a veteran, that he had been in the military.” She added: “I don’t know the exact arm, the exact department. But I know it was well known that he was a veteran.

This news outlet obtained Fernandez’s resume from local schools in Mad River — where he worked at Stebbins High School — through a public records request. The only military service listed on Fernandez’s resume was the brigade “active (in a) military reserve in Ohio”.

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Mad River Schools Superintendent Chad Wyen declined an interview request from this news agency regarding Fernandez.

“We have nothing more to share except that Mr. Fernandez’s employment with the district does not coincide with the personal charges against him and has nothing to do with the Mad River School District,” he said. Wyen said in an email.

Guardians of the Green Beret lists dozens of cases on its website of individuals the group says falsely claim to be members of this special forces unit. It seeks to make this information available for “years down the road”, said Steve Antson, an investigator with the group.

Fernandez was hired as a paraprofessional at Stebbins High in July 2019 and has worked and/or coached baseball or football at several Dayton-area public and private schools for the past 19 years, records show.

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Besides Alter and Mad River, those schools or districts include Carlisle, Centerville, Huber Heights, Kettering, Fenwick High School and Summit Academy in Middletown, Miamisburg, Oakwood, West Carrollton and the Warren County Learning Center, according to his resume.

While at Alter, Fernandez was named the 2016 Boys’ Division II Assistant Coach of the Year by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Association, according to the statewide group’s website.

He joined Centerville High School’s baseball coaching staff in 2019 and served as the freshman team’s head coach until the spring, Centerville athletic director Rob Dement said.

Dement told the Dayton Daily News that Fernandez’s return as coach was purely “a baseball decision” made in late May or early June.

“The timing of the decision not to bring Ron back as a 9th (grade) baseball coach is pure coincidence with all the other information being discussed regarding his military background,” Dement said in a subsequent email.

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According to Ohio Department of Education documents, Fernandez’s state credentials include the following licenses: a three-year student activity, a four-year instructional aide, and a replacement PK-12 license of five years.

At Stebbins, two annual evaluations of principal Tina Simpson show Fernandez achieving satisfactory — or better — scores in all 10 categories. In four of the sections he got the highest score.

Among the comments Simpson made about Fernandez were “willing to help and support the teacher in his work and policies”, being “very flexible and willing to do what is asked of him” and having ” excellent relationships with the students.

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