By Pamela Rensing
EAST ST. LOUIS – Mascoutah school district and volleyball coach Todd Gober settled with former student Brooke Junker on her claim that she was demoralized and degraded while on the MHS Volleyball Team in 2022.
A 55-page lawsuit was filed in Illinois federal court on August 24, 2022, by Junker against Gober and the school district. The lawsuit stated that Gober subjected the volleyball team to “demoralizing and degrading” activities. She and three other seniors met separately with a Mascoutah school counselor, voicing concerns about how they were treated. The counselor then reported their allegations to Mascoutah Athletic Director Scott Battas.
Junker is the daughter of Jeff and Beth Junker. Jeff Junker is the former assistant principal at Mascoutah High School who retired in 2022. According to the lawsuit, her parents tried to intervene on behalf of their daughter.
Gober is President/CEO at First Federal Savings Bank of Mascoutah and the MHS volleyball coach.
In October 2022, the school district and Gober moved to dismiss the complaint. In July 2023, U.S. District Judge David Dugan denied the motion.
Former magistrate judge Stephen Williams reported to Dugan that he successfully mediated their dispute on August 24, 2023. Dugan gave the parties 60 days to prepare documents. At the time of the lawsuit in 2022, Junker was seeking damages in excess of $500,000.
Marie Pudlowski, Mark Schuver, Montana Sinn, and Natalie Lorenz, all of Mathis, Marifian and Richter in Belleville, represented Junker.
Lawrence Neyland of Northbrook represented the district along with Bruch.