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Latora, Schultheiss Named 1999 Bush Award Recipients

EAST LANSING, Mich. - May 20 - Two respected athletic administrators who have been instrumental in expanding and improving the educational atmosphere of their programs, while serving their communities with a combined total of nearly 70 years of service have been chosen to receive the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Allen W. Bush Award for 1999.

This year's recipients are: Carl Latora, assistant principal and athletic director for Portage Northern High School; and Ron Schultheiss, athletic director of Charlotte High School.

Bush served as executive director of the MHSAA for 18 years. The award honors individuals for past and continuing service to prep athletics as a coach, administrator, official, trainer, doctor or member of the media. The award was developed to bring recognition to men and women who are giving and serving without a lot of attention. This is the eighth year of the award, with the selections being made by the MHSAA's Representative Council.

The recipients of this year's awards will be recognized at ceremonies in their communities at a future date.

Both Latora and Schultheiss have worked as teachers, coaches, officials and administrators; and share a common bond in having served the wrestling community as a coach and official during their careers. As administrators, they have shown their diversity and dedication to the total sports programs at their schools.

"Leaders bring people together to work for common goals and the common good," said John E. "Jack" Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. "When you think of what Carl Latora and Ron Schultheiss have done in their respective communities, you see that their work has had impact across the board. You see that their work touches every sport, every coach and every student-athlete in a positive way. They are truly great role models for others to follow. We're pleased to be honoring them with the 1999 Bush Award."

Here are brief biographical sketches of the 1999 Bush Award recipients:

Carl Latora - A long-time Kalamazoo area resident, Carl Latora graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1960, and went on to earn his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Western Michigan University. He has spent 34 of his 35 year career in education at Portage Northern High School, where he started as a wrestling teacher and coach, and moved into the athletic director's position 18 years ago. His work as athletic director at Northern has included the institution of four new sports - girls competitive cheer, girls gymnastics, and boys and girls soccer. He also instituted a sports Hall of Fame at Northern; as well as an overall booster club for the sports program; and has overseen the expansion and upgrading of the school's athletic facilities. He has served as a host for numerous MHSAA tournaments and rules meetings, and has served on a variety of Association committees. A registered official in wrestling, he has worked MHSAA finals in that sport and has been recognized with a 30-year service award. Latora has also been active with the Michigan and National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Associations, and the Michigan and National Associations of Second School Principals. He was nominated for the Bush Award by the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference.

Ron Schultheiss - A graduate of St. Louis High School and recipient of two degrees from Central Michigan University, Ron Schultheiss has spent over 30 years at Charlotte High School, first as a teacher and coach of cross country, track and field and wrestling. His wrestling teams won one MHSAA Lower Peninsula title and finished second on one occasion. He has also been recognized with a 30-year award for officiating in track and wrestling, being active in area officials associations in both sports. For the past 7 years, Schultheiss has served as Charlotte's athletic director, where he has spearheaded athletic facility renovation projects, and helped develop codes of conduct and handbooks for the school's student-athletes and coaches. He has been active as an MHSAA tournament manager and committee member, along with membership in the Michigan and National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Associations, and as treasurer of the Capital Circuit Conference. He has also served as president of the Band Boosters at Charlotte, advisor to the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes Huddle group, and has served as a youth director at his church. He was nominated for the Bush Award by the Capital Circuit Conference.