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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Jan. 28 – As leader of one of the Lansing area’s most successful athletic programs and a key voice in the creation and growth of the Capital Area Activities Conference, Teri Reyburn has contributed significantly to mid-Michigan sports during 15 years as athletic director at DeWitt High School. Those successes and her continuous service to Michigan High School Athletic Association programs will be celebrated Sunday, Feb. 2, when she receives the MHSAA’s 27th Women In Sports Leadership Award during the WISL banquet at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West.
Each year, the Representative Council considers the achievements of women coaches, officials and athletic administrators affiliated with the MHSAA who show exemplary leadership capabilities and positive contributions to athletics.
Both DeWitt’s girls and boys golf teams have won two MHSAA Finals championships apiece during Reyburn’s tenure. The football program has played in four Finals, and both the boys basketball team and competitive cheer teams also have finished as MHSAA runners-up. The Panthers girls basketball team has advanced to three MHSAA Semifinals, and the boys and girls soccer teams and baseball team have combined for five Semifinal appearances during her time guiding the athletic program.
Since taking over as DeWitt’s interim athletic director in March 1999, and then fulltime that summer, Reyburn also has led in the hosting of more than 80 MHSAA tournaments at various levels in various sports, plus more than 20 rules meetings and a number of clinics in coordination with statewide coaches and officials associations.
“Teri Reyburn has provided nearly two decades of quiet, steady leadership in her school district and serves as a mentor for those who are following her in the athletic director role,” said John E. “Jack” Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. “She’s a role model for not just women, but anyone who aspires to a career in educational athletics. We’re pleased to honor her with the Women In Sports Leadership Award.”
Reyburn is a 1972 graduate of Cedar Springs High School and formerly served on the Portland Public Schools board of education for 11 years before her family moved to DeWitt. She worked as a media specialist, middle school sports coordinator and assistant to the high school athletic director for five years before taking over the Panthers’ high school sports program on an interim basis after the death of previous director Jim Lutzke in 1999.
Reyburn was among athletic directors who played a significant role in the formation of the Capital Area Activities Conference, which combined schools from four leagues in 2003. She also played a significant part in the formation of DeWitt High School’s Hall of Fame, which has inducted 35 athletes and nine teams since 2008.
“I absolutely love the kids. And I take a huge amount of pride in being able to put on and prepare an event, have hundreds or thousands walk in and sit down, enjoy themselves and walk out and leave not knowing the amount of work it took,” Reyburn said. “We have a large amount of volunteers who make that happen. I have some of the most amazing coaches, and the parents support their kids too. It doesn’t get any better than here, and I love what I do.”
Reyburn has spoken at WISL conferences on both the role of Title IX in high school athletics and “Tackling the Media Blitz” for young coaches and athletes. She has served on the WISL planning committee as well as on the MHSAA’s Scholar-Athlete Award, athletic equity, competitive cheer rules, site and officials selection committees.
Reyburn was recognized as her region’s Athletic Director of the Year in 2006 by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
The first Women In Sports Leadership Award was presented in 1990. Past recipients are:
1990 – Carol Seavoy, L’Anse
1991 – Diane Laffey, Harper Woods
1992 – Patricia Ashby, Scotts
1993 – Jo Lake, Grosse Pointe
1994 – Brenda Gatlin, Detroit
1995 – Jane Bennett, Ann Arbor
1996 – Cheryl Amos-Helmicki, Huntington Woods
1997 – Delores L. Elswick, Detroit
1998 – Karen S. Leinaar, Delton
1999 – Kathy McGee, Flint
2000 – Pat Richardson, Grass Lake
2001 – Suzanne Martin, East Lansing
2002 – Susan Barthold, Kentwood
2003 – Nancy Clark, Flint
2004 – Kathy Vruggink Westdorp, Grand Rapids
2005 – Barbara Redding, Capac
2006 – Melanie Miller, Lansing
2007 – Jan Sander, Warren Woods
2008 – Jane Bos, Grand Rapids
2009 – Gail Ganakas, Flint; Deb VanKuiken, Holly
2010 – Gina Mazzolini, Lansing
2011 – Ellen Pugh, West Branch; Patti Tibaldi, Traverse City
2012 – Janet Gillette, Comstock Park
2013 – Barbara Beckett, Traverse City
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.