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Board selects Hines as next AIA executive director

The Arizona Interscholastic Association’s executive board unanimously voted for David Hines to succeed Dr. Harold Slemmer as the next AIA’s executive director.

The announcement came during Monday’s monthly AIA board meeting. Hines, the AIA’s current assistant executive director, first joined the AIA in 2008.

“It’s a real honor,” Hines said. “I look forward to working with the (AIA) board and the membership. We’ve got to continue to be positive and continue listening to what the membership is asking and doing, and we’ve got to help produce the best we can for them.”

Hines’ experience with Arizona’s high schools began when he attended Tempe High (Class of 1973).

He eventually joined the Mesa School District, serving that district for 30 years as an administrator, teacher and track, cross country and football coach. Among his roles with the AIA, Hines has served as a tournament coordinator and AIA member school liaison. 

“I’m sure Dave will be a great AIA director,” Dr. Slemmer said. “Nobody is better prepared and as well-liked as he is within our association."

Dr. Anna Battle of the Tempe Union High School District and Mike Sivertson of the Peoria Unified School District were also in the running for the executive director post.  

“First of all, the applicants that we narrowed it down to were extremely, extremely excellent individuals, who in their own different ways could have done the job,” AIA executive board president Jacob Holiday said. “But what helped separate David from the other two was, first of all, he had the backing of the AIA. He’s (also) a great listener. As executive board members we represent different conferences and organizations, and we went back to our conferences, the people we represent. And the consensus was since we are the voice of the AIA we felt we needed to honor that with the people we represent. David was that person. David is very, very polished. He’s been around the AIA, and he’s a doer. That’s what we felt we want leading the future for the AIA.”

Financial report

The AIA’s annual audit report was presented to the board during Monday’s meeting.

An independent not-for-profit and government specialist public accounting firm performed the annual audit. The net results of the AIA’s programs (tournaments, officials, RefPay, AIA Sports Propeties, education/member services) were discussed during the auditor’s presentation.

Overall, the AIA continues to be in a sound financial position, according to the auditor. The AIA earned praise for its clean audit, comprehensive accounting records and compliance with General Accepted Accounting Principles.

After the auditor’s presentation, board member Sister Lynn Winsor and fellow board members applauded the efforts of AIA director of finance Denise Doser and her team, including Amy Richmond and Brandy Young. After the audit report, Doser gave her monthly financial report.

The director of finance said the AIA is a little ahead of last year’s gate receipt total with 67 percent of the budget complete. But Dr. Slemmer told the board not to draw any conclusions about the current gate receipt totals.

An extra conference was added this year, and it usually takes about 2-3 years to better gauge gate receipt trends. During April’s board meeting, the AIA will present its budget for the next school year.

Doser noted during her report that about $220,000 worth of free tournament entrances were tallied last year. The AIA is one of the few state associations that hand out lifetime passes, and AIA schools who pay their membership dues are handed free entrance passes as well.

Executive director report

Hines gave an update on the conference region schedule timeline during Dr. Slemmer’s monthly report.

The access to create a schedule will now be limited to just region chairs. Too many people used to have access, which led to unexpected scheduling changes, Hines said. 

Member schools can change their schedules but will have to talk to their conference leaders first. The changes can be done electronically.

Dr. Slemmer talked about the possibility of combining the student transfer 520 and student information 530 forms. If they are combined, athletic secretaries will no longer fill them out.

Athletic directors must do so, and the combined form would then become the legal binding document, Dr. Slemmer said.  

Hines also addressed reevaluating some ideas to improve the competitiveness of spiritline. The biggest challenge for spiritline continues to be access to a state championship arena.

The arena topic and others, including tryouts for 8th graders, the non-participation rule and reclassifying into big and small divisions, will be discussed during a meeting for spiritiline coaches on Aug. 5. On Monday, the board declined to accept a new policy that would have allowed 8th graders to tryout for high school spiritline teams during the school year.

The policy was debated at length by the board. Sister Lynn and Dr. Camille Casteel were the only board members who voted in favor of the policy.  

Approved agenda items

The following agenda items were approved by the board Monday:

--AIA lifetime passes for Leon Goodwin of Buckeye Union and Terrence Woods of Brophy, who each served for 27 years.

--The 32 contests and or program cancellation requests. Board member Jeanine Brandel noted that some of the cancellation requests were incomplete and or incorrectly filed.

Hines said a presentation on the monthly cancellation request problem will be made during the April 10 athletic director workshop.  

--Perry High and Marana’s student eligibility appeal (paper review)/request for hardship eligibility (domicile rule/legal guardian) requests.

--Seton Catholic’s waiver to exceed the maximum number of softball games played by some of its athletes. This would allow the school to play out both its junior varsity and varsity schedules and not cancel its programs and or games.  

--Saguaro’s request to rescind a self reported violation that was falsely submitted by a parent.     

School violations

The following violations were self reported by the schools. The punishment they each received are in bold.

Advisement for Casteel. A soccer coach encouraged a Payne Junior High School player to attend Casteel after a game, violating the recruiting rule.

Advisement for The Odyssey Institute spiritline program. A student withdrew from a state event due to a serious injury sustained during practice.

Warning for Mogollon softball. Two players without clearance from the high school office participated in a practice run by an assistant coach.

Warning for Deer Valley tennis. An athlete participated in two matches and some practices without being cleared by the athletic office.

Warning for Apollo baseball. Bench players ran onto the field after a “hard/late” slide at the plate. The game was called after the players entered the field of play. Players were ejected and didn’t play in the next game.  

Warning for Queen Creek baseball. Bench players ran onto the field after a “hard/late” slide at the plate. The players that left the bench didn’t travel to the next game.

On Monday, the AIA learned of another plate incident by Queen Creek and will look into the matter.  

Advisement for Bradshaw Mountain football. A junior varsity coach accidently named the wrong player as academically ineligible, leading to an ineligible player participating in a game. The contest was forfeited.

An advisement is a word of a caution.

A warning places a school in jeopardy of being placed on probation if another violation of any rule or regulation is committed. A school will not be eligible for the Overall Excellence Award during the warning period.  

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