Tom Mezzanotte, executive director of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL), is the new president of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for 2014-15. Mezzanotte, the 55th president of the NFHS, began his one-year term July 3 following the NFHS Summer Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.
Tom Welter, executive director of the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA), 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: Jerome Singleton, commissioner of the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL), Section 3; Eddie Bonine Sr., CAA, executive director of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA), Section 7; and Anna Battle, Ed.D., assistant superintendent for district operations, Tempe (Arizona) Union High School District, at large, Sections 3 and 7.
Mezzanotte was named executive director of the RIIL in 2004 after serving more than 30 years in the Providence (Rhode Island) School Department. He has held administrative positions at various high schools and middle schools in Rhode Island, including assistant principal of Mount Pleasant High School and head principal at S.W. Bridgham Middle School and Providence Classical High School. In addition, he served in central administration as the executive director of student support services for the Providence School District.
Mezzanotte’s involvement in high school athletics started in 1972, when he coached varsity football at Johnston (Rhode Island) High School as well as varsity girls volleyball at Providence Central High School.
Mezzanotte had extensive involvement with the RIIL prior to joining the staff. He was a member of the RIIL Principals’ Committee on Athletics for 10 years and served terms as chairman and director of football.
Mezzanotte, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Providence (Rhode Island) College, previously served on the Rhode Island Association of School Principals Executive Board. He has received many awards, including the 2011 Rhode Island Athletic Trainers Association Service Award, the 2008 United States Scholar-Athlete “Power of Good Award,” the Distinguished Service Award from the Rhode Island Athletic Administrators Association, the Above and Beyond Award in 2003 from the Employer Support of the National Guard and Reserve, the Brown University Athletic Appreciation Award, the Sons of Italy Award and induction into the Classical High School Hall of Fame.
In addition to his service on the NFHS Board of Directors, Mezzanotte previously was a member of the NFHS Annual Summer Meeting Advisory Committee and NFHS Football Rules Committee, and he recently has served on the NFHS Task Force for the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities.
Welter, a native of Oregon, joined the OSAA in 1995 as assistant executive director and was chosen executive director in 2001.
After graduating from Oregon State University in 1971, Welter taught in Whyalla, South Australia, for three years before returning to Oregon in 1974, where he began a 20-year term of service at Central Catholic High School in Portland. He began as a teacher and coach and was the school’s athletic director for 18 years and vice principal/dean of students for 15 years.
During his years at Central Catholic, Welter was president of the Oregon Athletic Directors Association (OADA) in 1990-91. In 2010, he received the OADA Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the Oregon Athletic Coaches Distinguished Service Award. He also was honored by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) with the NIAAA State Award of Merit in 1993 and the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 1996. Welter was inducted into the Central Catholic High School Hall of Fame in 2005 and the OADA Hall of Fame in 2014.
Among his previous service to the NFHS, Welter was a member of the Sanctioning Committee (1995-98), Football Rules Committee (1995-2004) and the Strategic Planning Committee (2008). He has made several presentations at the NFHS Summer Meeting, NFHS/NIAAA National Athletic Directors Conference and NFHS Legal Meeting.
Singleton has served as SCHSL commissioner since July 2005 after 10 years as the organization’s associate commissioner and one year 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 the 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.
Bonine has served as executive director of the NIAA since January 2007 – just the third full-time director of the association following Bert Cooper (1974-89) and Jerry Hughes (1989-2007). Prior to joining the Nevada association, Bonine was senior director of student services for the Washoe County (Nevada) School District for six years, and principal at Fernley (Nevada) High School.
Bonine began his career in education as dean at Mohave Valley (Arizona) Valley High School and assistant principal at Camp Verde (Arizona) High School after graduating from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1986. He later earned his master’s from the University of Phoenix.
During his stint at Washoe County, Bonine was president of the Nevada Athletic Directors Association from 2006 to 2008 and vice president of the NIAA Board of Control from 2004 to 2007.
Among his honors, Bonine was named Nevada High School Principal of the Year in 1997, and he received the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) State Award of Merit in 2011. He also has earned his Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) designation from the NIAAA.
In her position as assistant superintendent for district operations with the Tempe Union High School District, Battle oversees the district’s athletic programs. Prior to joining the district office, Battle was principal of Desert Vista High School in Phoenix for eight years and Tempe High School for four years. Before moving into the principal’s position, Battle was athletic director at Desert Vista for six years.
During her tenure at Desert Vista principal, Battle was instrumental in the school being recognized as the best college-prep high school in Arizona. In addition, U.S. News and World Report selected Desert Vista as one of the top schools in the nation.
A member of the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) Executive Board, Battle has authored two books – Trust and Leadership, which stresses the importance of relationships among teachers, administrators, students and parents in schools, and The Principal as Student Advocate, which was released in 2011.
Battle earned a bachelor’s degree in special education, master’s degree in secondary education and a doctorate of education in administration and supervision from Arizona State University, where she was a basketball and track athlete. She also has completed a Superintendent Certification at the University of Phoenix.
Battle was chosen Arizona Principal of the Year in 2011 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). She has served as Arizona director for the NASSP and East Valley representative for the Arizona School Administrators Association. In addition, she was a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association Advisory Board.
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 7.7 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 Web site at www.nfhs.org.