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Jim Tenopir Named NFHS Chief Operating Officer


Contact: Bruce Howard 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 26, 2010) — Dr. Jim Tenopir, executive director of the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) for the past nine years, has been named chief operating officer of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), effective July 1. 

Tenopir will assume the organization’s No. 2 position previously held by Bob Gardner, who officially succeeds Bob Kanaby as NFHS executive director on May 1. 

“I am particularly pleased to have Dr. Jim Tenopir join our staff after serving as executive director of the Nebraska School Activities Association since 2001,” Gardner said. “He possesses uncommon leadership ability and a good understanding of the NFHS and its issues, and how we plan to move the organization forward.” 

After graduating from Sterling (Kansas) College in 1970, Tenopir began a 40-year career in education as a teacher and coach at Otis-Bison High School in Otis, Kansas. He moved to Nebraska in 1972 as a teacher and coach at McCook Junior High School and has served in Nebraska for the past 38 years. 

In 1974, Tenopir moved into administration as athletic director at McCook (Nebraska) High School and served in that position for eight years. He was activities director and assistant principal at Scottsbluff (Nebraska) High School for one year before beginning an 18-year stint as superintendent of the Cambridge (Nebraska) Public Schools. 

Tenopir was named executive director-elect of the NSAA in June 2000 and officially assumed the position in June 2001. Among his numerous accomplishments during the past nine years, Tenopir was instrumental in moving the NSAA staff into a new building in Lincoln in 2008. 

During his years as NSAA executive director, Tenopir was highly involved with the NFHS. He was a member of the 2008-2011 NFHS Strategic Planning Committee and served a four-year term on the NFHS Board of Directors, which was culminated by serving as president during the 2008-09 school year.  

In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Sterling College, Tenopir earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from Idaho State University in 1977, a specialist degree in educational administration from Kearney (Nebraska) State College in 1982 and a doctorate of education in administration, curriculum and instruction from the University of Nebraska in 1993.  

Earlier this year, Tenopir received the Award of High Distinction from the Nebraska State Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Other honors include the David W. Hutcheson Award from the University of Nebraska in 2004 for outstanding service to education in Nebraska, an alumni citation from Sterling College in 2007, the Outstanding School Administrator Award from the Nebraska Rural Community Schools in 1990 and the Distinguished Service Award from the Tri Valley Health System in Cambridge, Nebraska (1990-2000).  

As NFHS chief operating officer, Tenopir will manage day-to-day operations of the national office staff, chair the Rules Review Committee, oversee the NFHS committee process, supervise fulfillment of NFHS publications and products, and guide the staff in providing service to the 51 member associations.  

About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) 

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and fine arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and fine arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and Rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing Rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.5 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; produces publications for high school coaches, officials and athletic directors; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, spirit coaches, speech and debate coaches and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS Web site at 

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National Federation of State High School Associations
PO Box 690 • Indianapolis, IN 46206 • PHONE: 317.972.6900 • FAX: 317.822.5700


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