Why was Estero cheerleading coach really fired?
ESTERO, Fla. - From Hooters waitress to cheerleading coach to amateur detective.
The fired Estero High cheerleading coach is fight back after digging up a secret email trail she says led to her undoing.
"Practice stinks without you," Nicole Zivich said, reading a text message from one of her cheerleaders. "We sat on the mats the entire time."
Zivich continues to get texts and calls from her squad. But she's also getting something else - more than 200 emails sent to the school district, which she obtained through a public records request.
"Who writes 232 emails about one person in three months?," said Zivich. "That's more than an email a day...It's obviously what I would call a personal vendetta against me."
Personal comments all from one cheerleader's mom who refers to Zivich as an "inexperienced 24 year old Hooters waitress" with "no professional credentials," lacking "maturity and judgment" to be a cheerleading coach. She also added in another email that her daughter "won't be waiting tables" like her coach.
"She talks as if we're second-class citizens," said Zivich. "As if we're not good enough because we wait tables."
In the emails, the mother complains about a car wash fundraiser where some girls wore bikini tops and claims some girls were intimidated by Zivich - doing what she thought were dangerous competitive stunts on hardwood floors.
"We don't do competitive level stunting," said Zivich. "We do stunting that 8-year-old's do."
At first, Estero Principal George Glover defended Zivich. In an email he said: "Nicole will never ask our girls to do anything that has not been approved in the area of safety" and added he was "thrilled" to have her.
But as the parent took her concerns higher up the chain Superintendent Joseph Burke stepped in saying in September: "Mr. Clover has been advised to look for replacements."
"Why wasn't I brought down and asked, 'Hey what's going on?,'" said Zivich.
"They never asked for your side of the story?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.
"Never," she said.
Well, they are hearing her response now. She says she is considering legal action and accuses the district of buckling to a petty parent.
"This woman needs to be shut down," said Zivich. "And the public needs to see that she thinks that she can run the Lee County School District."
Matt Grant, Reporter