Mike McGurk of LSNHS receives NIAAA Distinguished Service Award

// Posted By Janie Rohlfing

Mike McGurk of Lee’s Summit North High School is among 11 high-school athletic directors receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). The award is being presented to administrators from throughout the nation on Dec. 12 at the national conference, held in Phoenix this year.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to individuals from within the NIAAA membership in recognition of their length of service, special accomplishments and contributions to interscholastic athletics at the local, state and national levels. Nominations are submitted by state athletic directors associations, screened by the NIAAA Awards Committee and selected by the NIAAA Board of Directors.

Mr. McGurk has worked as activities director and assistant principal at LSNHS since 2013. He began his career in secondary education in Virginia, spending 16 years at various schools. In Missouri, Mr. McGurk has worked at LSNHS and previously spent five years as the activities director at Jefferson City High School.

At Lee’s Summit North, Mr. McGurk serves more than 1,900 students in ninth through 12th grades. Over the past four years, he has developed a student activity advisory council to assist in the implementation of a student leadership program, designed a Rising Freshman Preview Night and managed multiple district and sectional tournaments.

During his time in Virginia, Mr. McGurk was the director of student activities at James W. Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria. While at James W. Robinson, Mr. McGurk helped coordinate a $200,000 facility improvement plan and directed the Virginia High School League (VHSL) AAA state gymnastics, lacrosse and wrestling tournaments.

Mr. McGurk, who holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from George Mason University (Virginia) and a master’s degree in education leadership, was a teacher and basketball coach at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Va., from 1992 to 2002, to begin his education career.

Mr. McGurk served on the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) Board of Directors and recently concluded a term as president. In that role, he began a mentoring program and led the first state association strategic plan.

Nationally, Mr. McGurk has been on the NIAAA Awards Committee since 2013 and vice-chair since 2015. He co-developed LTC 726 on student leadership development, has been a workshop presenter at the National Athletic Directors Conference and has had two articles published in Interscholastic Athletic Administration magazine.

About the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA)

The NIAAA is the professional organization for interscholastic athletic administrators. The association is accredited by AdvancED and North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, the NIAAA promotes and enhances the profession of athletic administration for high school and middle school athletic administrators. Since 1977, the NIAAA has served those who lead education-based athletic programs in the nation’s schools. With current individual membership of nearly 11,000, the NIAAA consists of members from athletic administrator associations in the 50 states, and the District of Columbia, as well as over 40 international countries. Through its 48-course curriculum, and four levels of certification, the NIAAA is the national leader in providing professional development for athletic administrators, directors, coordinators, and supervisors, as well as those serving in assistant principal/athletic director, or activity/athletic director combined roles that lead school-based sports programs. While providing best-practices and serving as a resource for safe and plentiful participation opportunities for student-athletes, the NIAAA places further focus on member benefits, standards, communication, outreach, and recognition, while emphasizing the exchange of ideas among athletic administrators throughout the nation and the world. NIAAA champions the profession of athletic administration through education opportunities, advocating ethics, developing leaders and fostering community. The NIAAA, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a full and equal partner with the NFHS. For more information, visit the NIAAA website at www.niaaa.org.

NOTE: This year’s winners include Steve Bridge, CMAA, former athletic director, Elma (Washington) School District; Andy Chiles, CMAA, athletic director, Lake Nona High School, Orlando, Florida; Brent Cook, CMAA, assistant principal for activities/athletics, Dubuque (Iowa) Senior High School; Lane Green, CMAA, district director of athletics and activities, Blue Valley School District, Overland Park, Kansas; Lawrence Johnson, CAA, retired athletic director, Alamogordo (New Mexico) High School; Everett Kelepolo, CMAA, principal, Springville (Utah) High School; Mike McGurk, CMAA, activities director/assistant principal, Lee’s Summit (Missouri) North High School; D. Scott Morris, CAA, director of student activities, Fluvanna County High School, Palmyra, Virginia; Paul Pendleton, assistant principal, Tennessee High School, Bristol, Tennessee; Trish Witkin, director of athletics, Glastonbury (Connecticut) High School; and Steve Young, director of athletics, New Rochelle (New York) City School District.

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