Heartfelt Efforts

May 15, 2015

This week it was announced that the MI HEARTSafe School Award Program will honor 122 elementary, middle and high schools in Michigan this month for demonstrating their preparedness for cardiac emergencies.
Among the criteria these schools have met are these:
  • A written medical emergency response plan (ERP), reviewed at least annually with staff.
  • A medical emergency response team (MERT) with current CPR/AED certification, sufficient to respond to an emergency during school hours AND during organized after-school activities and sports.
  • At least 10% of staff, 50% of coaches and 50% of PE staff with current CPR/AED certification.
  • The sufficient number of accessible, properly maintained and inspected AEDs, ready to use, with signs identifying AED locations. Sufficient number is estimated by time to scene, in place, and analyzing within a target goal of 3 minutes.
  • The performance of at least one cardiac emergency response drill per year, including recognizing signs of sudden cardiac arrest and using the American Heart Association’s Chain of Survival: calling 9-1-1 and use of bystander CPR and AED until EMS arrive to provide advanced life support.
  • All athletic preparticipation screening completed with the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) form (updated in 2010).

MI HEARTSafe School designation is awarded for a period of three school years.

For questions about MI HEARTSafe Schools Award Program and how to qualify and apply for MI HEARTSafe designation, contact Deb Duquette at 517-335-8286 or email duquetted@michigan.gov.

Cheering for Sportsmanship

July 31, 2018

(This blog first appeared on MHSAA.com on January 8, 2013.)


I try to start each new school year at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association summer camp at Michigan State University. I talk briefly about who the MHSAA is and what it does; and then two or three dozen high school newspaper editors and writers ask me questions; and in doing so, they give me clues to what’s going on in our schools and what’s important to our students.

Several years ago, when I opened the session to questions, one young man asked: “Mr. Roberts, what’s your job?” I paused, and then said, “I guess I’m the head cheerleader for high school sports in Michigan.”

So then this precocious student asked: “Okay, what do you cheer for?”  With a briefer pause, this is some of what I said:

  • I cheer for sportsmanship that’s not merely good, but great.

  • I cheer for sportsmanship, not gamesmanship.

  • I cheer for playing by the rules, both the letter and the spirit.

  • I cheer for maximum effort to try to win each and every contest.

  • I don’t cheer for winning at any cost; I do cheer for learning at every opportunity.

  • I cheer for losing with grace and for winning with even greater grace, with humility and modesty.

  • I cheer for the lessons of victory and the even greater lessons of defeat.