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New NFHS Officers, Board Members Elected

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Bruce Howard

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 24, 2009) - Ennis Proctor, executive director of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA), is the new president of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for 2009-10. Proctor, the 50th president of the NFHS, began his one-year term July 2 following the NFHS Summer Meeting in Chicago.

Nina Van Erk, executive director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), was elected by the NFHS Board of Directors to the position of president-elect for the upcoming year.

In addition, three new NFHS Board of Directors members were approved for four-year terms. All Board of Directors members were approved by the NFHS National Council. Sherm Sylling, executive secretary of the North Dakota High School Activities Association (NDHSAA), Section 5; Kevin Charles, executive director of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA), Section 2; and Karen Sanford Gall, executive director of the Big Sky State Games in Montana, at large, Sections 5 and 8, will begin their terms this year.

Proctor began his career in education as a teacher and coach in Titusville (Florida) Public Schools in 1964. After three years at Titusville, Proctor moved back to Mississippi to serve as a coach, athletic director, assistant principal and principal at the high school level.

In 1991, Proctor was named executive director of the MHSAA. During his 18 years as executive director, Proctor has served as president of both the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and the South Jackson Rotary Club. At the national level, he has served on the NFHS Appeals Board, the NFHS Football Rules Committee and the NFHS Hall of Fame Screening Committee. He was also chair of the Operations Subcommittee of the NFHS Strategic Planning Committee last year.

Proctor received his bachelor's, master's and educational specialist degrees from Mississippi College, and a doctoral degree from Mississippi State University.

Van Erk, who has served on the NFHS Board of Directors for two years, was named NYSPHSAA executive director in 2000 after working as the director of health, physical education and athletics in the Katonah (New York) Lewisboro School District for five years. Previously, she served as athletic director of Rhinebeck (New York) Central Schools from 1983 to 1995. Van Erk began her career in education at Rhinebeck Central Schools in 1977 along with serving as recreation director of the town of Rhinebeck beginning in 1979.

Van Erk has served on numerous committees including the Section 1 Athletic Council for 11 years, the Section 1 Executive Committee for nine years, the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee for nine years and the NYSPHSAA Championship Advisory Committee for three years.

At the national level, she has served on the NFHS Annual Meeting Planning Committee and currently is a member of the NFHS National High School Spirit of Sport Award Selection Committee. She has also presented at several conferences including the NFHS Summer Meetings in Chicago and San Diego, the NFHS Legal Meeting and the National Athletic Directors Conference in San Antonio.

Van Erk received an associate's degree in physical education in 1975 from Marymount College in Arlington, Virginia, and a bachelor's degree in physical education from Ithaca (New York) College in 1977. In 1981, she received a master's degree in health education from Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, and in 1984 she earned certification as a school administrator/supervisor from the State University of New York in New Paltz, New York.

Sylling was named executive director of the NDHSAA in 1999, after serving as a superintendent of schools in North Dakota for 29 years. He is a former board member and president-elect of the NDHSAA and former president of the North Dakota Association of School Administrators.

Sylling has been honored at both the state and national levels. He received the North Dakota High School Coaches Association Award of Merit, as well as the National High School Coaches Association National Distinguished Service Award.

Sylling graduated from Valley City State University in 1970 with a degree in biology. He worked as a science teacher and superintendent of schools in a small school district his first year out of college. In 1974, he received his master's degree in education administration from North Dakota State University. Sylling has also coached basketball and track at various times throughout his career.

Charles joined the DIAA in 2004 as coordinator of officials and was named executive director in 2005. He previously was employed by the Delaware Division of Public Health for 25 years before his retirement in 2004.

A longtime member of the Delaware Wrestling Officials Association (DWOA), Charles was a wrestling official for 31 years and served on the DWOA Board of Directors for more than 25 years. In addition, he served 17 years as an officials assignor and worked seven years as the DIAA state wrestling rules interpreter. He chaired the DIAA State Wrestling Committee for five years and was the DIAA State Wrestling Tournament Director for five years for both dual and individual tournaments.

A graduate of Dover (Delaware) High School, Charles has a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Delaware and a master of science degree in athletic administration from Delaware State University.

Sanford Gall graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1982 with a degree in journalism and public relations. After working briefly for an advertising agency and in marketing for the Casper Events Center, she returned to the University of Wyoming as the outreach director of the university's athletic department. During her tenure with the University of Wyoming, Sanford Gall volunteered at the Cowboy State Games, a multi-sport festival modeled after the Olympics that celebrates health, fitness and participation. More than 40 states across the country host State Games each year and the top participants from each state qualify for the State Games of America.

In 1990, Sanford Gall returned to her home state of Montana to work in a public relations position at the Big Sky State Games. She quickly moved through the ranks to assistant director and eventually to executive director in 1996. A strong advocate for healthy eating and active lifestyles, Sanford Gall has helped promote statewide programs and coalitions like Eat Right Montana and Shape Up Montana. She has served as the governor's appointee on the executive board of the Montana High School Association since 2006.

Sanford Gall competed in track and cross country at the University of Wyoming and continues to participate in competitive distance running. She holds several course records across Montana and the nation and has qualified several times for the Olympic Marathon Trials.

This press release was written by Bethany Julka, a summer intern in the NFHS Publications/Communications Department and a rising senior at Butler (Indiana) University. 

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