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The new AD

Aug 17, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck

Riverton High School took a bold step with hiring of Jeremy Hill

When Riverton High School needed to hire a new activities director this summer, it took a different path from the one used for more than 30 years.

And now, for the first time since the position was created at RHS, an activities director is in place whose primary resume highlights are something other than coaching sports teams.

It's a creative, innovative, even ground-breaking move by RHS and School District 25, and it warrants the full support and enthusiasm of students, faculty administration and district patrons.

Jeremy Hill started work this month in the AD's job. Before him, many people probably thought those initials stood for "athletic director," which is the term commonly used to describe Hill's position.

But, while teams, coaches, sports facilities, game schedules and tournaments are a big part of the job, it is about far more than that. The activities director also is immersed deeply in the band program, the choir program, the dance team, cheerleaders, the speech and debate teams, the drama club, the many student clubs and organizations that have nothing to do with sports, along with the non-sports scheduling and facilities -- that is, the AD is immersed in all those things if the job is being done to its full description.

Every previous AD at the high school has been a certified administrator with extensive sport coaching experience, until now. Yes, Jeremy Hill has been a varsity sports coach -- he helmed the Lander girls soccer team earlier in his career -- but the larger part of his career has involved non-sports activities, in addition to his extensive administrative training and experience.

Rest assured, our newspaper supports coaches. Four of our news staff members have significant coaching experience themselves, two at the high school varsity level or its equivalent. One of The Ranger's co-founders coached the University of Wyoming track and field team and later ran the Riverton Raiders American Legion baseball team for years.

Lord knows we love our sports around here as well. No other Wyoming newspaper covers local sports at the level we do it, and we value our relationships with coaches greatly as we perform this indispensable duty for our readers.

Nor is there any complaint here with previous activities directors at RHS. They always have been helpful, cooperative, professional and effective.

Frankly, though, it's exciting to consider how someone with strong sensibilities in the arts and humanities will tackle this job (to use a football term). At Riverton High School, the music, drama and speech programs have been the strongest Wolverine "teams" in terms of state competition, with numerous state champions and all-state performers year after year.

These programs have earned firm footing alongside the proud Wolverine sports teams. No one is saying past activities directors haven't given them their due, but there ought to be no question about it going forward.

This was an important hire for District 25 and still-new superintendent Terry Snyder, himself an experienced varsity coach. Congratulations on this bold step, and best wishes for the success of the new activities director.

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