Renwick School District Superintendent Tracy Bourne says the focus this week is on the students at Garden Plain High School. Bourne says they’re trying to get back to normal after the arrest of a long time teacher and coach. “We really need the coaches and kids to rally around each other right now,” Bourne said in an interview Monday.
Todd Puetz was hired as a teacher by the district in 1996. In 2001, he became head football coach at Garden Plain High School. Last weekend he was arrested, as police say he tried to meet an underage girl for sex. Puetz’s attorney is Dan Monnat. “Todd Puetz is absolutely entitled to the presumption of innocence. He has long been a highly respected member of his community, as a teacher, coach, husband, and father of seven children,” Monnat said. “We ask the public hold their judgement while we continue our investigation in to these accusations.”
No formal charges have been filed against Puetz. He’s been placed on administrative leave with pay while the investigation is ongoing. Six other men were arrested this week, along with Puetz. The two-day sting operation involved the FBI and local law enforcement.
Garden Plain’s football team plays Halstead tonight. The lead assistant, Greg Gegan, is stepping in as head coach.
KWCH TV – By Denise Hnytka