State Stories


2014 IHSA Distinguished Service Award Winners

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On June 16, 2014, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) conducted its recognition ceremony for its eighth annual class of IHSA Distinguished Service Award winners. Members of the IHSA staff, Board of Directors and past honorees gathered to recognize the honorees and their families. The 2014 winners included:
   -Sr. John Baricevic, Belleville (Scholastic Bowl)
   -Dan Fulscher, Lincoln (Wrestling Official)
   -Dr. Jim Green, Jacksonville (Sports Medicine)
   -Rob Grierson, Skokie (Scholastic Bowl)
   -Matt Norris, Hersey High School (Boys Tennis State Finals)
   -John Novak, Hersey High School (Boys Tennis State Finals)
   -Drew Potthoff, Woodstock Central Catholic (Multiple Committees)
   -Jim Prunty, St. Ignatius High School (Multiple Committees)
   -Katie Hogan VanCleve, Peoria (Wheelchair Basketball)
   -Elighie Wilson, Chicago Heights (Speech)
   -Dr. Preston Wolin, Chicago (Sports Medicine)
   -Dan Young, Hersey High School (Boys Tennis State Finals)

Each honoree was recognized, and then had the chance to address the attendees. Below are some quotes from their respective speeches:

“Serving as a Deputy Incident Commander of NATO and going to Hurricane Ivy and going to Hurricane Katrina, I’m going to tell you right now that the IHSA is top of the tops when it comes to doing things correctly, honestly and within budget. It’s a true honor every year when I get my Regional, Sectional or whatever assignment it may be.”
–Wrestling Official Dan Fulscher of Lincoln

“I’m lucky enough to work for four Park Districts who allow me to pursue my passion, which is to provide opportunities for people with disabilities. The IHSA has been an awesome partner in that, and all the staff from the IHSA I have worked with has been equally enthusiastic.
–Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Manager Katie Hogan VanCleve of Peoria

“It has truly been a pleasure to work with an organization that made such an impression on me during my high school speech competition years from 1972-1976. As a young black male who enjoyed speaking, acting, and singing, it was comforting, during those days to participate in IHSA sanctioned events because of the emphasis the organization placed on individuality, fairness, acceptance of diversity, and personal responsibility. These principles/values have influenced my teaching, coaching, and life.”
–Speech State Final Manager Elighie Wilson of Chicago Heights, who was chaperoning students at a debate tournament and unable to attend, but submitted his comments to be read.

“The IHSA gives us the opportunity as physicians to have input on the safety of the games that we play, and the opportunity to make things safer and healthier for our student-athletes. There is not one other endeavor I have been involved with in sports medicine that has given me more satisfaction than working for the IHSA.”
–Sports Medicine Advisory Committee member Dr. Preston Wolin of Chicago

“Bass Fishing is one of those neat things the IHSA offers that many people may not know about. I have run two of those Sectionals and it is such a great feeling to watch kids that may not ever get recognition in anything else in high school do something that they love. That’s what the IHSA is all about.”
–Athletic Director Drew Potthoff of Woodstock Marian Central Catholic.


-Top: 2014 IHSA Distinguished Service Award winners (not pictured: Elighie Wilson)
-Right top: Sr. John Baricevic & Rob Grierson accept their awards from Wauconda High School Principal & IHSA Board President Dan Klett
-Right middle: Matt Norris speaks on behalf of his fellow Hersey High School colleagues John Novak (L) and Dan Young (R).
-Right bottom: Longtime friends Dr. Preston Wolin (L) and Jim Prunty (R) pose for a photo.


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