Eight leaders in state high school associations have been selected to receive National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citations. The eight individuals were approved by the NFHS Board of Directors at its meeting last month.
An award designed to honor individuals who have made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, athletic director and coaching professions, the officiating avocation and fine arts/performing arts programs, the NFHS Citation is one of the most highly regarded achievements in high school athletics and performing arts.
The 2021 NFHS Citation recipients will receive their awards June 30 at the annual NFHS Summer Meeting in Orlando, Florida. In addition, the NFHS will honor the 2020 Citation recipients in Orlando since the in-person 2020 Summer Meeting was cancelled due to the pandemic. (See listing of 2020 Citation recipients later in release.)
The eight 2021 state association Citation recipients are Sherry Bryant, Section 1, associate executive director, Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA); Kelly Geddis, Section 2, retired assistant executive director, West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC); Mark Dreibelbis, Section 3, associate commissioner, North Carolina High School Athletic Association; Kathy Vruggink Westdorp, Section 4, assistant director, Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA); Lisa Lissimore, Section 5, associate director, Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL); Mike Plunkett, Section 6, assistant executive director, Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA); Brian Bolitho, Section 7, director of business development, Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA); and Brian Michelotti, Section 8, associate director, Montana High School Association (MHSA).
Bryant is in her 28th year on the MIAA staff and serves as the association’s controller. She has held numerous roles during her time on staff, including technology coordinator, women’s leadership and equity coordinator, and human resources director. She is former chair of the NFHS Field Hockey Rules Committee.
Geddis was a coach and athletic director at Morgantown High School in West Virginia from 1981 to 2002, when she joined the WVSSAC. During her 16 years at the WVSSAC, Geddis handled the sports of cheer, volleyball, swimming and diving, softball and tennis, as well as coaches education and Title IX compliance. She was a member of the NFHS Spirit Rules Committee for eight years and chaired the WVSSAC Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.
Dreibelbis has been associate commissioner of the NCHSAA since January 2005. He has been supervisor of officials, director of Student Services, national trainer for the NFHS Coach Education Program and rules clinician for eight sports. He has served on the NFHS Football and Basketball Rules Committees. Prior to joining the NCHSAA, Dreibelbis was associate director of athletics for 13 years at his alma mater, Appalachian State University. Dreibelbis has been an NCHSAA basketball official for 30 years and an NCAA basketball official for 26 years.
As assistant director of the MHSAA, Westdorp is in charge of coaching education, women’s leadership issues and Title IX, in addition to the sports of girls lacrosse, girls competitive cheer and girls gymnastics. She currently chairs the NFHS Education Committee and NFHS Girls Lacrosse Rules Committee. Prior to joining the MHSAA, Westdorp was principal of Forest Hills Central High School, director of athletics at Grand Rapids Creston High School and director of health and wellness for the Grand Rapids Public Schools.
Lissimore has served as associate director of the MSHSL for 32 years, administering the sports of basketball, softball, swimming and diving, cross country, synchronized swimming and badminton. She also manages the MSHSL Hall of Fame and several recognition programs for high school students. Lissimore has served on several NFHS committees, including the Citizenship Committee, Student Services Committee, Hall of Fame Screening Committee and Strategic Planning Committee.
Plunkett’s 41-year career in education is divided between the past 20 years as the fine arts administrator for the OSSAA, and the previous 21 years as music teacher at Carl Albert High School in Midwest City, Oklahoma. Plunkett was chair of the NFHS Music Committee for three years and served on the NFHS Strategic Planning Committee. During his time at Carl Albert, his 1988 jazz band team won the Oklahoma state championship.
Bolitho has served as director of business development for the Arizona association since 2005. He is responsible for website and technology development through development of AZPreps365.com and digitizing tasks for AIA member schools and other stakeholders. He also oversees marketing and broadcast production.
Michelotti is in his 16th year as assistant and associate director of the Montana association. He handles the sports of football, golf, tennis and wrestling and also serves as the MHSA’s technology director, sports medicine liaison and sportsmanship liaison. He is currently a member of the NFHS Football Rules and Technology Committees, and previously served on the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and National Records Committee.
2020 NFHS Citation Recipients
Twelve leaders in high school activity programs were selected to receive Citations last year and will be honored in Orlando as well. Eight of the 12 award winners 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 2020 state association recipients are Tom Mezzanotte, Section 1, retired executive director, Rhode Island Interscholastic League, Warwick, Rhode Island; Mark Byers, Section 2, chief operating officer, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; Nessie Harris, 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, retired 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 2020 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.