Ridgefield School District’s Director of Athletics and Activities, Brynan Shipley, was recently named the 2A Greater St. Helen’s League Athletic Director of the Year.
Shipley, who has worked at the school district for four years, originally served as the athletic director and the varsity basketball coach. Prior to that, she taught middle school math and English in Kalama.
“I am honored and grateful to be recognized for such an award,” said Shipley. “I work in an extraordinary league with an inspiring group of athletic directors that have a broad range of experience. To be chosen by them is reassuring that we are doing good things in Ridgefield. This accolade was given to me, but I feel it is a testament to the staff that surrounds me as well as the respect and support of our community.”
She said being a middle school teacher and a varsity basketball coach helped her secure her current position when there was an opening.
“At times, I miss being in the classroom but feel my role is best served in athletic administration,” Shipley said.
Growing up, Shipley said she played many sports, but she centered her focus on basketball and soccer in high school. She then attended Skagit Valley College, Washington State University in Vancouver, and Concordia University. Her college experience in sports was short-lived, Shipley said, as she suffered two ACL injuries from playing basketball.
One thing Shipley loves about her job is the variety of tasks at hand.
“A typical day is honestly just one that is never typical,” she said. “Organization and multitasking are key for staying on task, as you never know what the day will bring. This is one thing I love about the job though, as no day is like any other.”
As the middle and high school athletic and activities director, she said some of her day-to-day tasks include scheduling games and officials, planning game management and event staff, roster management, supervision or evaluation of coaches and athlete eligibility. She also meets and communicates with students, coaches and parents
“Thankfully, I have a rock star administrative assistant in Suzanne Tudor, and together, we make a great team,” Shipley said.
She said those around her are also worthy of recognition.
“While the award has my name on it, I really feel like the credit should also include Suzanne (Tudor) and our coaches. This job has been especially trying during COVID, but our families, athletes, and coaches have done an awesome job at following the necessary guidelines required for us to continue to compete,” Shipley said.
Although she loves her job, she elaborated on how COVID-19 has posed challenges.
“COVID introduced an entire new set of responsibilities for athletic directors but that has been the case for everyone involved in athletics in one way or another,” Shipley said. “We have had to understand and implement ever-changing guidelines and requirements. Coaches, parents, officials and athletes have all had to make adjustments, and many have not been easy, but for the most part, I feel that we have all handled it with grace and patience.”
Shipley is also proud of her children Brody, who is a sixth grader at Sunset Ridge Intermediate, and Kaelyn, who is a senior javelin thrower on the track team at the University of Arizona.
The 2A Greater St. Helen’s League consists of RA Long, Mark Morris, Woodland, Hockinson, Ridgefield, Columbia River, Fort Vancouver, Hudson’s Bay and Washougal.
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