State Stories


Robeson High School Principal Gerald Morrow Joins IHSA Board of Directors

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The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors met at its regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA office in Bloomington on Monday, September 15, 2014, where the Board appointed Chicago (Robeson) Principal Gerald Morrow (right) to the IHSA Board of Directors.

Morrow, who was in attendance Monday, officially begins his Board appointment at the October meeting (Oct. 15). Morrow fills the At-Large Minority position on the Board that was vacated by the retirement of Bethalto (Civic Memorial) Principal Debra Pitts.

“I feel like I have come full circle,” said Morrow during the meeting. “I played on a state championship basketball team at King High School in Chicago (1986) and was then fortunate enough to be selected to officiate the IHSA basketball state finals (in 2010 & 2011). It feels good to be here and I hope to be able to build a bridge between the IHSA and my division.”

“We are glad to welcome Gerald to the Board and believe he will offer a unique perspective with his experiences,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “(Whitney Young Principal) Dr. Joyce Kenner was a great representative on our board for many years, but we haven’t had a Board member from a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high school since her departure in 2010. It was fitting that Gerald began today, as we had discussions on how we can increase CPS participation and interaction in the IHSA process. I think Gerald will be important to those efforts.”

1. The Board approved a recommendation to define “Extenuating Circumstances” in the IHSA Handbook. The definition is as follows:

Definition of Extenuating Circumstances. (Article 1.420)
“In the context of IHSA By-law 3.043.3, “extenuating circumstances” are those which have had a significant adverse impact on a student’s education or well-being which would be remedied, in whole or in substantial part, by a transfer of schools. In order to be considered “extenuating”, the circumstance must be specific to the student in question and must have been brought to the attention of the school’s principal and appropriate members of the school’s faculty and administration. If applicable, the school must have been given the opportunity to take corrective action. Discipline issues, conflicts with peers, conflicts with school personnel, academic performance and any issue relating to athletics, are examples of circumstances that generally will not be considered “extenuating.”
Insofar as each circumstance is unique, the IHSA, acting through its Executive Director or, in the event of an appeal pursuant to Section 1.460 of the IHSA Constitution, the Board of Directors, shall have sole discretion to determine whether a circumstance is “extenuating”.

1. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Lombard (Montini). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.047.

2. The Board modified the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Crystal Lake (Central). The student was initially ruled to have eligibility through the end of the 2014-15 school year per IHSA By-law 3.051. The student is now eligible through the 2015-16 school year.

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 15, 2014, agenda:

1. The Executive Director updated the Board on the Concussion Education Program as a part of the new state law. Over 16,000 coaches have now completed the mandatory program. Today (Sept. 15) is the deadline for fall coaches to complete the test.

2. The Executive Director commended IHSA official Sharon Walker on her acts of generosity at a recent volleyball match at Tri-Valley High School.

3. The Board heard an update from the Executive Director on the by-law proposals that have been submitted thus far for the upcoming legislative process. The deadline to submit proposals is October 14.

4. The Board heard an update from Assistant Executive Director Matt Troha on NFHS National High School Activities Month, which will be celebrated in October. The IHSA will send posters to all member schools to help promote the event.

5. The Board recognized Chicago (DePaul College Prep) principal Dr. Jim Quaid (right) for his service to the IHSA Board of Directors. Monday’s meeting was Quaid’s final on the Board, as he completed his nine-year term limitation. Quaid is one of 14 Board Directors to serve nine years the IHSA board. Dr. Quaid served on the Board as the principal at four different high schools, including Oak Park (Fenwick), Aurora (Marmion) and Chicago (Gordon Tech), which recently became DePaul College Prep.

6. The Board discussed ways to improve CPS participation in IHSA processes, including appointing a CPS principal as a liaison or reserving a Board seat for a CPS principal when no CPS principals are filling any of the current Board seats.

7. The Board heard an update from the Executive Director on the schools that have petitioned to play up a classification per IHSA Policy 17. Per the policy, schools who move up must do so for two school years.
 School  Sport  New Class
 Chicago (St. Rita)
 Boys Basketball
 4A     2014-15 & 2015-16
 Chicago (St. Rita)
 Boys Golf
 3A     2014-15 & 2015-16
 New Lenox (Providence Catholic)
 Wrestling  3A     2014-15 & 2015-16
 Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South)
 Girls Volleyball
 4A     2013-14 & 2014-15

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