INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time in its history, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) will host an abridged, virtual version of its annual Summer Meeting to accommodate public-gathering restrictions brought on by the Coronavirus.
Originally slated to be held June 28-July 2 in Denver, Colorado, the 2020 NFHS Summer Meeting will now be conducted Sunday, June 28, through Wednesday, July 1, utilizing a series of video conferences. The NFHS Board of Directors meeting, along with a few special-interest summits, will be held on Sunday, June 28.
NFHS Executive Director Karissa Niehoff will lead the Opening General Session at 12 p.m. EST on June 29 to begin the festivities and will join Mark Beckman, executive director of the Montana High School Association and president of the NFHS Board of Directors for 2019-20, to provide “NFHS Updates” at 1 p.m. on June 30.
During the three-day conference, which will run online from 12 p.m. to about 5 p.m. each day, more than 20 workshops in five different sessions will be offered to state association staff members and board members on a variety of pertinent topics. Other sessions include the Sports Information Directors Workshop and Women’s Leadership Summit on June 29, and the National Council Meeting and Legal/Sports Medicine Workshop on July 1.
This marks the second straight year that the NFHS Summer Meeting will have a different look and feel. Last year, the NFHS celebrated its 100th Summer Meeting with its Centennial Celebration at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis, with a number of additional events from the normal annual gathering of staff members and board members from member state high school associations. The 101stSummer Meeting this year will be even more unique.
“We are disappointed that we are not going to be able to hold our normal in-person Summer Meeting this year as our membership and our staff look forward to this time to reflect on the past year and plan for the upcoming year,” Niehoff said. “Our membership, however, was receptive to continuing this annual meeting virtually. Certainly, some of our workshops, roundtables and summits will address the difficult issues facing our state associations regarding re-opening of sports and activities this fall. While it will not be the same as our normal face-to-face setting, we are looking forward to this unique opportunity.”
Several events that are normally conducted at the NFHS Summer Meeting will not be held this year due to the cancellation of the in-person meeting. Most prominent among those events is the annual induction ceremony of the National High School Hall of Fame. The NFHS had announced its 38th class of the Hall of Fame about one week prior to the national shutdown in mid-March; however, with the cancellation of the in-person Summer Meeting, these individuals will now be inducted at the 2021 Summer Meeting in Orlando, Florida.
Twelve individuals were named to the Hall of Fame earlier this year, including seven former high school athletes – Karyn Bye Dietz of Wisconsin, Tim Couch of Kentucky, Alex English of South Carolina,Maicel (Malone) Green of Indiana, Matt Holliday of Oklahoma, Dave Logan of Colorado and Michele Smith of New Jersey. Others selected to the Hall of Fame who will be honored next summer include three outstanding high school coaches – Rickey Baker of Arizona, Charles Berry of Arkansas and Terry Michler of Missouri – along with Bill Farney, a state administrator from Texas, and Robert Littlefield, a speech and debate educator from North Dakota.
In addition, 12 leaders in high school activity programs who were previously announced to receive NFHS Citations at the Summer Meeting will be honored at the 2021 Summer Meeting in Orlando as well. Eight of the 12 award recipients represent NFHS member state high school associations, and four represent NFHS professional organizations for officials, coaches, music leaders and speech/debate/theatre directors.
The eight state association recipients are Tom Mezzanotte, Section 1, executive director, Rhode Island Interscholastic League, Warwick, Rhode Island; Mark Byers, Section 2, chief operating officer, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; Nessie HarrisarrHa, Section 3, retired associate commissioner, South Carolina High School League, Columbia, South Carolina;Kurt Gibson, Section 4, associate commissioner, Illinois High School Association, Bloomington, Illinois; Kathy Long, Section 5, administrative assistant, Missouri State High School Activities Association, Columbia, Missouri; Paul Angelico, Section 6, retired commissioner, Colorado High School Activities Association, Aurora, Colorado; Thomas Yoshida, Section 7, Hawaii High School Athletic Association, Honolulu, Hawaii; and Russell Schreckenghost, Section 8, associate director, Alaska School Activities Association, Anchorage, Alaska.
The four Citation recipients representing the NFHS professional organizations are Joe Tonelli, NFHS Officials Association, executive staff member, Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, Cheshire, Connecticut; Rob Younger, NFHS Coaches Association, executive director, Oregon Athletic Coaches Association, Sweet Home, Oregon; Cathleen Britton, NFHS Music Association, retired director of music, O’Gorman High School, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Cheryl Frazier, NFHS Speech/Debate/Theatre/Academics Association, director of forensics and theatre, Southland College Prep High School, Richton Park, Illinois.