New NFHS Officers, Board Members Elected for 2017-18
28 Aug, 2017
Jerome Singleton, commissioner of the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL), is the new president of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for 2017-18. Singleton, the 58th president of the NFHS, began his one-year term July 3 following the NFHS Summer Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island.
Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CAS-CIAC), was elected by the NFHS Board of Directors to the position of president-elect for the upcoming year.
In addition, the following individuals were approved by the NFHS National Council for four-year terms on the NFHS Board of Directors: Billy Haun, executive director, Virginia High School League (VHSL), Section 2; Kerwin Urhahn, executive director, Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), Section 5; and Owen St. Clair, superintendent of Wyoming Indian Schools in Ethete, Wyoming, at large, Sections 5-8.
Singleton has served as SCHSL commissioner since July 2005 after seven years as the organization’s associate commissioner and three years as assistant commissioner. During his time as associate commissioner, Singleton was responsible for the administration of football, basketball, track and field, and cross country. He formulated and implemented SCHSL policies for boys and girls athletic programs and also supervised the publicity of the SCHSL athletic activities and services.
Singleton has been a member of several NFHS committees, including the Equity Committee, Citizenship Committee, Coaches Education Committee, Track and Field Rules Committee, and the NFHS Strategic Planning Committee.
Prior to joining the SCHSL, Singleton was an assistant principal at Irmo (South Carolina) Dutch Fork High School; an assistant athletic director, teacher and coach at Charleston (South Carolina) Burke High School; an assistant principal at Greenwood (South Carolina) Northside Junior High School; and a teacher and coach at Greenwood High School.
Singleton graduated from Newberry (South Carolina) College in 1981 with a degree in physical education, and he earned his master’s degree from Clemson (South Carolina) University in 1987.
Niehoff was named deputy executive director of CAS-CIAC in July 2010 and assumed the executive director’s position in January 2011. She began her career in Connecticut public education in 1989 as a physical education instructor at Greenwich High School. In the succeeding years, she was a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal and principal at the middle school and high school levels.
Niehoff was a highly successful field hockey coach at Litchfield High School and Joel Barlow High School with four conference titles and one state championship. She has served on the United States Field Hockey Association Board of Ethics since 1996. Niehoff also coached high school volleyball, softball, basketball and track. In 2000, Niehoff was appointed assistant principal of Har-Bur Middle School in Burlington. Four years later, she assumed the position of principal of Lewis Mills High School, a post she held until joining the Connecticut association.
Niehoff served on the Education Committee of the United States Olympic Committee, authoring the “OlympiKids School Celebration Guide,” acting as U.S. delegate to International Olympic Academies in Greece and Canada, and representing the USOC at numerous national conventions, conferences and educational programs. She was co-founder and dean of the “Passing The Torch” Academy For Youth Sport Leadership, a USOC initiative to promote leadership and the spirit of Olympism within the realm of youth sport.
Prior to joining the Connecticut association, Niehoff served on numerous CAS and CIAC boards and committees, including the Field Hockey Committee, CIAC Board of Control and chair of the Sportsmanship Committee. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, a master’s from Southern Connecticut State University, a sixth-year degree in educational leadership from Central Connecticut State University and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Connecticut.
Haun was named executive director of the VHSL in July 2016, after serving as the chief academic officer and assistant superintendent for instruction of the Virginia Department of Education for two years.
Haun has 36 years of experience in education at the school, division and state levels. He was a middle school and high school teacher and coach in four counties in Virginia for 17 years. Haun then served in Albemarle County for 12 years as a middle school and high school principal and five years as the assistant superintendent for student learning.
During his tenure as principal of Monticello High School in Albemarie County, Virginia, Haun served as chairman of the VHSL Jefferson District, chairman of VHSL Region II and two years (2005-07) on the VHSL Executive Committee.
Haun earned a doctorate from the University of Virginia, master’s from Shenandoah University and a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Urhahn joined the MSHSAA as executive director in 2006 after serving as superintendent of schools in Portageville, Missouri.
Prior to joining the MSHSAA, Urhahn taught all levels of high school mathematics and coached volleyball, basketball, baseball and golf at Bloomfield High School from 1991 to 1997, and assumed the role of athletic director in 1994. Urhahn was named principal in 1997 and served three years before becoming the superintendent of the Portageville School District in 2000.
A member of numerous professional organizations, Urhahn is a representative on the Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA) State Accountability Committee, and also serves on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education MSIP Performance Committee. From 1998 to 2001, he served on the MSHSAA Southeast Investigative Committee. Nationally, Urhahn is chairman of the NFHS Technology Committee.
Urhahn, who served on the MSHSAA Board of Directors prior to joining the staff, earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southeast Missouri State University, an educational specialist designation from St. Louis University and a doctorate from St. Louis University.
St. Clair became superintendent of the Wyoming Indian Schools in July 2015, after serving the school district in various roles for 20 years. Prior to becoming superintendent, St. Clair served as principal at Wyoming Indian Elementary School for 12 years. He began his career as a middle school teacher and coach before moving to the high school level, where he was head football coach for three years.
In 2011, St. Clair was selected for a “Twenty Under 40” award, given to 20 individuals under the age of 40 who have shown a record of achievement and have demonstrated an ability to help lead Wyoming in the future. He was also a finalist for the Wyoming Elementary School Principal of the Year award in 2014.
St. Clair is also currently serving his third term on the Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) Board of Directors, where he was president of the board during the 2012-13 school year.
St. Clair earned an associate’s degree from Central Wyoming College, bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree in education administration from Montana State University.
About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS): The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 16 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.8 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.