WATERLOO REGION (June 23, 2023) – On Monday night, at the beautiful Hubertushaus site in Manheim, the dedicated educators who extend their duties into athletics were honoured for their efforts during the return of the District 8 Coaches Appreciation Evening.
Annually, each district within the Central Western Ontario Secondary Schools Association (CWOSSA) presents one person with the McNally Award. This award is in memory of Gordan McNally, former executive director of CWOSSA, and presented to someone who exemplifies the same dedication, spirit and love of sport as Professor McNally.
Rockway’s Lindsay Shantz was the 2022-2023 District 8 recipient of the McNally Award for her dedication to athletics programming.
“Lindsay exemplifies sportsmanship, fair play and works tirelessly to make her players better people,” said Ray Boehm who serves as District 8 president and athletic director at Rockway.
A new award was created this year to recognize teacher-coaches who are still in their early years of teaching, and have made an exceptional contribution to athletics. The Young Leader Award recipient must also exemplify a high level of sport values that align with the objectives of District 8.
The first ever Young Leader Award was presented to Lisa Lang from St. David Catholic Secondary School. Since beginning her teaching career, Lang has coached track & field, volleyball and basketball, holds the position of athletic director at St. David and has served on the District 8 Executive Committee.
“She is a motivating coach in track and field and these athletes always appreciate her organization and dedication to their development,” said Sarah Collins, a colleague of Lang’s. “We are thankful that she is so diligent in this role, and us coaches and our athletes are fortunate to have Lisa Lang involved in athletics at St. David.”
A special presentation was also made to a long serving District 8 Executive Committee member who is stepping away from his role at the end of the school year. Long time teach-coach, and Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) administrator Dan Hutter served on the Executive Committee for many years, and brought insight, balance and fairness to difficult conversations.
“Dan has a big heart and is an outstanding teacher and coach,” said Gerald Foran, Superintendent of Education for the WCDSB. “He is all about the students, and for our District 8 student-athletes.”
The night was made possible by a partnership between District 8 member schools and the Catholic Community Foundation of Waterloo Region (CCFOWR). This partnership helped secure important and valued sponsorships from Johnson’s Insurance, the MSK Centre and Cargill Foods as well as many others.
“Judging by the enthusiasm, smiles, and good cheer, the District 8 Coaches Appreciation Evening was a rousing success,” said Frank Wittmann who serves as vice-chair of the CCFOWR and has coached many years within District 8. “The Catholic Community Foundation of Waterloo Region was happy to provide sponsorship funding and was well represented with ten board members volunteering their time.”
Teacher-coach Patrick George from St. David was pleased the event made a return after a more than 10 year absence. “It was really appreciated, and it was so great to see so many faces and have the chance to reconnect,” George said. George retired recently but still volunteers his time coaching at St. David.
District 8 and the CCFOWR will continue to seek sponsorships for the event through the year to ensure the sustainability of the event that recognizes the coaches who help to provide thousands of opportunities to student-athletes participating in school sport.