The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors met for its regularly scheduled meeting, which was held virtually on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, where the Board approved the hiring of Matt Jensen (right) as the IHSA’s new Director of Information Technology.
“I am thrilled to join the IHSA family and work on modernizing the technology, website, and offerings that are available to IHSA member schools,” said Jensen. “I believe that my experiences working for nearly twenty years in school districts throughout the state will create opportunities for growth and align with the mission and vision of the Association.”
Jensen comes to the IHSA after leading the technology departments at Illinois school districts in Farmington, Dunlap, and Washington.
“We are excited to welcome Matt to the IHSA staff,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “His background working in schools and passion for sports are going to serve our member schools well. He is a dynamic programmer and we believe his past experiences will help him hit the ground running at the IHSA.”
Jensen attended Peoria High and Peoria Heights High School and continued his education at Illinois Central College. He was one of the first area graduates of the Cisco Systems Network Academy and has held certifications in VMWare and Citrix. He has led district technology initiatives ranging from network redesigns, server farms, website redesigns, student information systems, and many other projects throughout his career. He has also designed and developed data warehouses for data integrations across multiple systems with business intelligence dashboards and analytics.
Jensen has a true passion for sports and activities and has built multiple applications for area tournaments and events throughout the years for statistical tracking.
"Working at the IHSA has been a dream of mine for many years,” said Jensen. “It's surreal to be a part of such a wonderful organization and an amazing group of individuals."
Jensen resides in Mahomet. His son Tyler is studying biochemistry at Loyola University in Chicago. Jensen enjoys cheering on his niece Addyson, gaming with his nephew Wilson, fishing with his family in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, and his dog, Ellie.
1. The Board approved a recommendation to extend the IHSA Cheerleading season limitation by one week for Chicago Public Schools.
2. The Board approved a recommendation to conduct the IHSA All-State Academic Team banquet in April. The banquet was held virtually in 2021 due to the pandemic.
APPEALS & ELIGIBILITY RULINGS
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 3.043.3.
2. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Chicago (Marist). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.043.3.
At each meeting of the Board of Directors, there are certain items the Board discusses, but upon which no action is taken, or that action may not be required. The following is a report of those items from the January 12, 2022, agenda:
1. The Board discussed COVID-19 testing and vaccination protocols for IHSA State Series sites. The IHSA will follow host venue policies regarding testing and vaccination for student-athletes, coaches, fans, officials, media, and any other game personnel. More information will be provided by IHSA staff to participating schools based upon the policies in place at venues as State Series tournaments progress. The current policy for the State Farm Center, which will host the IHSA Individual Wrestling State Finals in February and the IHSA Boys Basketball State Finals in March, can be found here.
2. The Board discussed protocols for replacing teams in the State Series who withdraw due to COVID-19 issues after advancing. The Board has directed the IHSA staff to develop guidelines by sport.
3. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the NFHS Winter Meeting held from January 3-6, 2022.
4. The Board heard a report from the staff members on the Lets Connect meeting held from January 6-7, 2022.
5. The Board welcomed David Rosengard, the Executive Director of Sports Administration for Chicago Public Schools, to the Board. David will serve in the newly created non-voting liaison position that the Board approved at their meeting in December, 2021. The liaison role is reserved for representation from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) when CPS is not officially represented on the IHSA Board.