In recent weeks we have shared news about recognitions by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) of activity directors at DMPS.

The latest for us to acknowledge is Jon Johnson of North High School. In late 2020 he received word the NIAAA was recognizing him as a Certified Athletic Administrator. Earlier this month Phil Chia of Lincoln High School was also honored with this recognition and in early December the NIAAA named Lyle Fedders of East High School a Certified Master Athletic Administrator, its highest honor.

It’s not an accident that the work of high school ADs at DMPS is earning this recognition. According to Jason Allen, the school district’s director of activities, it reflects a commitment to raise the bar for high school programs and enhance opportunities for high school students.

“Our department is striving daily to provide exceptional and memorable experiences for all students participating in activities,” said Allen. “Working with the NIAAA has provided a foundation of support and standards for our Activity Directors to aspire, as they grow into exceptional equity-driven leaders in this district.”

For Johnson, it means being able to do even more to support the Polar Bears.

“In order to be the best Activity Director I can be, it is important for me to continue to learn and improve,” Johnson noted. “I want to set high expectations for myself as well as all of our activity programs, so every North student has a chance to compete or perform at their best.”

ADs who earn NIAAA certification are part of an elite group of interscholastic athletic administrators nationwide to attain this level of professionalism. According to the NIAAA, they must demonstrate the highest level of knowledge and expertise in the field of interscholastic athletic administration. The voluntary certification program includes a thorough evaluation of the AD’s educational background, experience and professional contributions, as well as a rigorous, comprehensive written examination.

While COVID-19 has interrupted many events over the past year, including high school activities, things are starting to slowly return to normal. As they do – whether on the playing field or the performance stage – the ADs at DMPS are prepared to make sure the experience for students will be a positive part of their education.

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