Raye McDonald Joins IHSA Staff; De La Salle's Diane Brown Appointed To Board; Hinsdale Central To Host Lacrosse State Finals

State Stories


Raye McDonald Joins IHSA Staff; De La Salle's Diane Brown Appointed To Board; Hinsdale Central To Host Lacrosse State Finals

Bookmark and Share
The IHSA Board of Directors met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, September 11, 2017, where the Board announced the hiring of Raye McDonald (right) as the IHSA’s Coordinator of Special Programs.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to join the Illinois High School Association staff,” said McDonald. “This is a major step for me, both professionally and personally, and I am thrilled to contribute to the exceptional work of this organization.”

McDonald comes to the IHSA from Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tennessee, where she has served as an Assistant in the Athletic Department since 2015. Her administrative duties at the school included coordinating schedules, team travel, assignment of officials, gameday operations of over 30 high school and middle school teams, as well as compliance with Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) by-laws.

“We are very pleased to be able to welcome Raye to the IHSA team,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “She has shown an unbridled work ethic, and genuine passion for helping students throughout her career. We believe she will be a valuable asset in advancing the IHSA programs she administers and promoting the Association’s mission as a whole.”

Before joining Battle Ground Academy, McDonald served as the Video Services Coordinator for Belmont University Athletics in Nashville, Tennessee. She has immersed herself in a variety of professional experiences in the sports world, having previously served as a Sports Reporter for MTTV Channel 10 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She also completed three internships, including a marketing role with D1 Sports Training and Therapy, as a Blue Belle campus liaison at Middle Tennessee State, and in event marketing and management with Elite Athletic Events.

“Raye’s diverse work experience really set her apart in the search process,” said Anderson. “Her time in high school and college athletics, as well as with private organizations, will allow her to bring a unique perspective to the IHSA. I look forward to her calling upon her past experiences to enhance the IHSA and its programs.”

McDonald is a 2006 graduate of Franklin High School in Franklin, Tennessee, where she participated in girls’ lacrosse as a student-athlete. She graduated Cum Laude from Middle Tennessee State in 2010 with a Degree in Radio/Television Broadcasting and also holds a Master’s Degree in Sport Administration from Belmont University.

“I am confident my experiences working in collegiate athletics and my time at Battle Ground Academy have adequately prepared me for this position,” said McDonald. “I am excited to work with the IHSA staff, community, and Illinois member schools.”

McDonald’s initial duties at the IHSA are expected to include oversight of the March Madness Experience, preparation of state final elements for all tournaments, and facilitation of the IHSA Road Race.

1. The Board approved a recommendation to name Hinsdale Central High School as the host of the IHSA Boys & Girls Lacrosse State Finals. The inaugural State Finals will take place from May 31 through June 2, 2018. Hinsdale Central will host the state finals in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“We had three good options to host the inaugural IHSA Boys & Girl Lacrosse State Finals this spring, and are appreciative to all the groups for their interest and efforts during the hosting selection process. We believe that Hinsdale Central is a great state final venue to begin the IHSA lacrosse era. Not only do they have topnotch facilities and offer a central geographic location based on the majority of the participating schools, but their Athletic Director Dan Jones and his staff have experience hosting IHSA State Final events. We are excited to debut the IHSA Boys Lacrosse and Girls Lacrosse State Finals this spring, and know that Hinsdale Central will offer our student-athletes and coaches a memorable experience.”

2. The Board approved a recommendation to appoint Chicago (De La Salle) Principal Diane Brown to the vacant Division 1 Board of Directors seat.

3. The Board approved the financial arrangements for IHSA Chess Sectionals. The IHSA Chess State Series will include a Sectional round for the first time in 2018.

4. The Board approved an annual waiver of IHSA By-laws 3.021 and 3.022 for Berwyn-Cicero (Morton). IHSA rules allow schools who only offer 20 credit hours (four classes) per semester, and on a weekly basis, the ability to apply for a waiver.

5. The Board approved a Program for International Students at Chicago (Morgan Park Academy).

1. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Decatur (D. Lutheran). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.030.

2. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Peoria (Richwoods). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.030 and 3.040.

At each meeting of the Board of Directors, there are certain items the Board discusses, but upon which no action is taken. The following is a report of those items from the September 11, 2017, agenda:

1. The Board recognized Wauconda Principal Dan Klett and presented him with a plaque following his final Board meeting. Klett served eight years on the Board, including as the Board President from 2012-2016.

2. The Board heard a report on schools who have filed waivers to play up a State Series classification. All waivers require a two-year commitment. The schools, sports, new class, and applicable years on each waiver are listed below:
School                                        Sport                  New Class       Years
Chicago (DePaul College Prep)      Boys Basketball     3A                 2017-18 & 2018-19
Chicago (Phillips)                          Football                 5A                 2017-18 & 2018-19
East St. Louis (H.S.)                     Football                 7A                 2017-18 & 2018-19

3. The Board heard a presentation from IlliniCloud on sports/e-gaming and the involvement of high school students in this activity. The IHSA will begin officially tracking high schools with e-sports programs via its Emerging Sport/Activity tracker.

4. The Executive Director updated the Board on the IHSA’s plans for the New Principals’ Workshop and IPA Conference.

5. The Board heard an update on by-law submissions thus far. By-law submissions are due to the IHSA office by October 10, 2017 in order to be included in the 2017-18 Legislative process that begins in November.

6. The Executive Director updated the Board on the Illinois Council of Private Schools meeting he attended at Bishop McNamara High School.

Theme picker