Criss named VP of IHSAA Student Advisory Committee

Friday, August 9, 2013
Nathan Criss

South Putnam senior Nathan Criss, an offensive lineman for the Eagles football team, was selected to the Indiana High School Athletic Association Student Advisory Committee, the IHSAA announced Thursday.

Criss served on the SAC last year as well and was elected vice president for the 2013-14 school year by his peers.

"I got involved in it at the Student Leadership Conference last year," Criss said. "They tell you about it and you have like a week to apply for it."

Each year the IHSAA receives nominations from school principals on behalf of junior-class student-athletes from IHSAA members schools. From that group, 23 were selected for interviews by members of the IHSAA Executive Committee, Executive Staff and returning members of the SAC.

From the interviews, nine juniors were selected to join the group of nine returning seniors.

The SAC represents the entire IHSAA membership of 409 schools and its structure reflects that of the IHSAA Board of Directors in terms of classification and districts, as well as female, urban schools and minority representation.

Hayley Betz, a senior at Evansville Harrison, was elected president of the SAC.

"It's very diverse," Criss said. "Our president has definitely got a Southern twang to her."

The IHSAA began sponsoring the SAC in 2001-02 to give the group of student-athletes hands-on experience and a voice to the IHSAA staff.

The SAC meets four times annually -- twice each semester -- and is responsible for:

* Hosting meetings with student peers at the upcoming Fall Area Principals Meetings;

* Assisting with the awards ceremonies at IHSAA state championship events throughout the school year

* Planning and administering the annual IHSAA Student Leadership Conference in June and

* Engaging in and support the activities of Special Olympics Indiana.

Other functions of SAC include the development of an IHSAA Captain's Handbook, which will be distributed to member school this fall as well as assisting in the creation of multiple public service announcements addressing good sporting behavior that will be utilized during 2013-14 state championship events.

"We really get a big opinion heard at the principals meetings," Criss said. "When we work at the state championships we go down on the field and help pass the medals and hand out the big trophies. Once in a while you might see my arm on the TV."

Other senior members include: Amber Cowell, Culver Academy; William Kelly, Lakeland; Turner Perkins, Danville; Sara Slabaugh, Bremen; Ellen Smith, Plymouth; Kirsten Spangenberg, Boone Grove; Casey Yager, Rushville.

Newly elected juniors are: Joel Boser, Hamilton Heights; Jude Diagostino, Tri-West; Olivia Gettlefinger, Bloomington North; Christian Kreiger, Fort Wayne Canterbury; Olivia McMillan, Connersville, Jordan Meurer, North Knox, Michael Montgomery, Tindley Accelerated, Gracie Norton, Mooresveille and Lexi Place, Bloomfield.

"Monday I met with Jude," Criss said. "Our biggest thing is Special Olympics ... We are going to try to have a Special Olympics night (when we play Tri-West). We're going to call it 'Under the Lights with the Special Olympics.'

"We're going to try to get some Special Olympic athletes, get some awareness and get some funds raised for that."

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