Houston high athletic director under investigation

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an allegation that the Houston High School athletic director was involved in an “inappropriate relationship” with a female student.

Superintendent Larry Claypool, Hardin-Houston Local School District, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Jim Gooding has been on administrative leave with pay since Friday afternoon. School officials are cooperating with the sheriff’s office, Claypool said.

Gooding has no prior disciplinary issues in his record, Claypool said.

According to Sheriff John Lenhart’s office, interviews have been started regarding the incident that is alleged to have occurred on school grounds late last week. No arrest has been made.

According to published reports, Claypool said school officials became aware of the allegations after the girl told Principal Ryan Maier on Friday.

Claypool said Maier then informed him and he instructed Maier to contact Shelby County Children Services. Claypool then advised Maier to call the sheriff’s office.

While “no official report has gone out to students” regarding Gooding’s absence, Claypool said, he said has discussed the situation with the school board, which is awaiting the completion of the investigation.

Gooding, a Xavier University graduate, has worked in the school district for 18 years. He also teaches math at the high school, 5300 Houston Road.

“All allegations involving students are taken seriously and are fully investigated,” Claypool said.