NSIAAA Newsletter May 2020

2020 NSIAAA Scholarship Winners

The NSIAAA would like to recognize the 2019-20 Scholarship Winners. This year we had 32 student applications for the NIAAA Scholarship and 8 applications for the NSIAAA “Gerry Gdowski Family” Scholarship. I would like to thank students for participating in the Scholarship program and a thank you to all the Athletic Directors who encourage their students to apply. We would like to give everyone that applies a scholarship but that would not be posssible for this program. All the candidates were very good but we can select only one male and one female from each District and then one male and one female to compete at the Section V meeting in June. The winners of the 2019-20 District Scholarships are:

District I Male: Joel Bargen, Centennial Female: Anna Schroeder, Malcolm

District II Male: Preston Kotik, Logan View Female: Grace Tetschner, Bennington

District III Male: Brendan Bussinger, Rock County Female: Kaitlyn Jo Kumm, Wausa

District IV Male: Ty Swanson, Wood River Female: Sydney Pelster, Wallace

District V No Entry No Entry

District VI Male: No Entry Female: Angelea Arnett, Sydney

The NIAAA Section V candidates selected from Nebraska are Joel Bargen, Centennial and Anna Schroeder, Malcolm. Their Scholarship Applications will be forwarded to the Section V Scholarship Committee for consideration in June. If selected they will compete at the National Level.

The NSIAAA “Gerry Gdowski Family” Scholarship recipient is Jayden Leonard, Thayer Central.

President-Elect Message

Jordan Cudney - North Platte

In the early days of March, a “new normal” was thrust upon us as activity directors here in the state of Nebraska. Our world was flipped upside down as contests were cancelled, seasons ended, and schools shut down for the remainder of the spring. One day as I was scrolling through my social media feed on Twitter, I came across a well known public speaker/leadership consultant’s post where they used the following phrase, “don’t waste a good crisis”. This phrase initially was particularly hard for me to digest as on the surface it seemed to trivialize the seriousness and gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Nebraska and across America. There were tremendous societal issues revealing themselves on a daily basis with people losing their lives, jobs being cut, and families being placed under tremendous amounts of personal and financial stress and all this leadership guru could say was “don’t waste a good crisis”? However, when removing those words from the context of the situation around us, there are some truths to be mined from that statement. And it made me think of three practical questions we can ask ourselves during this time to challenge and change ourselves for the better!

The first question we can ask ourselves is “What have I learned about myself?”. The current situation we are in right now is unprecedented for us in our profession! We all have a large block of time that was consumed with before and after school duties now given back to us and it is up to us individually to decide how we want to use it. I encourage us all to slow down and reflect on who we are outside of our role as an activity director. This is a time where we can ask ourselves what we are passionate about, what activities we can do with our families which we have put off, or maybe what books we would like to read for our personal or professional growth.

The second question we can ask ourselves is “What have I learned about my profession?” Being in our new normal provides extra time to develop ourselves from a professional standpoint as well! This time may provide you the opportunity to learn a new skill or use a new technology that can make your job more efficient and manageable. This time could also provide you the opportunity to engage in professional development classes to further your impact and influence as an activities director. Or potentially you can use this time to get to connect with your staff in a deeper, more meaningful way.

The final question we can ask ourselves before we exit out of the “new normal” and head back into what we know as “normal” is “What rhythm of life do I want to keep moving forward?” I hope the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a margin of time for you to include some life giving things into your daily routine. Maybe through this time you have been better about getting up and getting movement into your day. Or maybe you have enjoyed spending more time with your family in the morning before all your Zoom meetings or in the evening when the day has concluded. Or maybe you have developed a good habit of spending time in good books or listening to beneficial podcasts. Whatever new rhythm you may have adopted during this time, I encourage you to fight hard to continue on with it when we return to “normal”.

The phrase “don’t waste a good crisis” though short-sighted and heartless on the surface, has some meaning and impact we can carry into our personal and professional lives! I wish you and your loved ones all the best as we transition out of the spring season and into the summer season.

AD's of the Year

Kevin Simmerman - Lincoln North Star
Tony Allgood - North Bend Central
Scott Steinhouser - Ainsworth
Justin Anderson - Central City
Kurt Banzhaf - Elwood
Glen Koski - Gering
Heidi Moran - Asst. AD - Fremont


From the desk of the President

Obviously, these are unprecedented times with COVID 19 and how it has affected education/activities. However, making the best of this situation is imperative as a leader.

Using Zoom, Twitter, Facebook, book studies and a simple phone call are all ways to maintain some positivity with coaches and teachers.

We are very fortunate here at Papillion LaVista South in that we have some new construction going that is creating its own buzz for our staff. Most of the work will be ready for the fall when our kids return (crossing my fingers). It will be something new and enticing to our kids and staff that will create its own positivity and enthusiasm.

I truly believe that coaches are looking to us as AD’s to maintain some sanity and keep them going through these tough times. Keeping coaches engaged and coaches maintaining communication with their athletes are extremely important. Right now, with the word that we could possibly do some workouts with our athletes, 10 a time in June; I am challenging our coaches to come up with a plan. The plan should include the following: gym space, weight room rotations, turf space, tennis court usage, baseball/softball field usage and track usage. Plan A should include 10 kids on our campus at one time and plan B should include 10 kids in each of the areas mentioned above at one time. Getting some clarity on what June will look like will guide our coaches on which plan to use. We don’t want to be in scramble mode on June 1st if we get clearance. I think this gives our coaches a chance to collaborate and to be creative.

Finally, even know the 2020-2021 school has a foggy outlook, I am looking forward to leading the NSIAAA!!! If you need anything or have any questions, feel free to call, text or e-mail.

Take care and stay healthy!!

Jeremy VanAckeren - Papillion LaVista South

Service Awards

Longevity Awards
Jack Tarr - Malcolm - Meritorious Service
Mike Brockhaus - Sidney - Meritorious Service
Taylor Siebert - Striv - Outstanding Service
Jim Langin - Official - Outstanding Service
Kris and Amy Kremke - Logan View - Outstanding Service
Leann Boerema - LPS - Outstanding Service
Virgil Klein - Adams Central - Outstanding Service
Mark Skillstad - NP St. Pats - Retirement Award
Ryan Hogue - Kearney - State Award of Merit
Retirement Awards - Clayton Heath - Tony Allgood - Randy Kliment - Kim Carson - Jack Tarr

Past President's Message

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your president this year. We faced many challenges that included everything from a change of venue at the fall conference due to a freak flood in Kearney to a global pandemic that cancelled all activities in the spring and beyond. I wish Jeremy Van Ackeren of Papio South the best of luck as president along with Jordan Cudney (president-elect), Dennis Mitchell (vice president), and the rest of the board. I look forward to serving as past president and website coordinator moving forward.

This spring has definitely been challenging for AD’s across the state and the country. It has been both mentally and emotionally draining. We began the spring season as we always do, at our spring banquet and awards ceremony as everyone was eagerly awaiting an announcement regarding the boys state basketball tournament. We were shocked to learn that games would be played in front of immediate family members only. Little did we know that we would long for the days when we were even playing games at all.

I have been encouraged everyday by how the NSIAAA membership has worked to stay connected with students and celebrate seniors throughout the shutdown. If anyone was still doubtful of the power in social media (or technology in general), those doubts should be long gone. If anyone questioned how our schools step up to support all kids and communities in times of need, those questions have been answered. And everyone should now have a better understanding of the impact and importance of athletics in our students’ lives. Keep fighting the good fight and we will come through this better than ever.

Congratulations to everyone for making it through another year and have a great summer!

Lance Smith

Millard West High School

NSIAAA Past President