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News and Notes

News and Notes 7.4

Tom DeKeyser, Superintendent

Good Things Come In Threes

This week, Whitmore Lake Public Schools Athletic Director, Brad McCormack, earned distinction from the National Interscholastic Association of Athletic Administrators (NIAAA) as a Certified Athletic Administrator, or CAA.

To earn this distinction, Mr. McCormack has demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and expertise in the field of interscholastic athletic administration. The voluntary certification process included a thorough evaluation of his educational background, experience, and professional contributions, as well as a rigorous, comprehensive written examination.

Mr. McCormack is one of an elite group of interscholastic athletic administrators nationwide to attain this level of professionalism.  On behalf of the WLPS Board of Education and the staff and students of WLPS, I congratulate Mr. McCormack and thank him for his dedication to keeping our students as active as possible over the past year.

This summer, I was so thankful to be able to participate in the Trojan Open, our annual golf tournament aimed at raising funds for the WLPS sports programs.  Even with the masks and social distancing, it was a fun event and something Mr. McCormack excels at managing.  

Also at the event were two other former athletic directors, Mr. Bob Henry and Mrs. Denise Kerrigan; both held the position of AD prior to Mr. McCormack.  Both also earned distinction as a CAA.  Seeing all three of them together made me realize how lucky I was to have such competent professionals working with me and serving our school’s athletic needs.

Mr. Henry was the longest-serving AD in WLPS history and is still active in a less public way.  I appreciate his knowledge of how sports have changed, his attention to coaching needs, and his willingness to listen to new ideas even if the ideas go up against his long-held positions and values.  For instance, when I shared my desire to depart from the TCC and join the MIAC, which he initially didn’t support, his first questions were all about how our students would benefit.  He put his own feelings aside and thought about others.  His integrity is deeply ingrained in the philosophies of WLPS athletics.  He currently serves on our Board of Education, and I’m grateful he continues to share his wisdom as we navigate current challenges both in athletics and in the classrooms.

Denise Kerrigan, Director of Finance and Operations

Mrs. Kerrigan succeeded Mr. Henry.  She managed our athletic department through the biggest budget cuts in recent memory.  She led with a revenue-generating philosophy to sustain all our sports. She even added some in the midst of the cuts.  In her first few years as AD, she increased revenue by 300%!  Like Bob, she is not the “flag-waving” type, and you don’t always see her or hear her voice, but her dedication to our students and the athletic programs is one of the reasons we even have a school today.  Even in her current position as Director of Finance and Operations, she works very closely with athletics and believes participation in sports helps students academically, emotionally, and physically.  

Mr. McCormack was the new kid.  He came to WLPS without any connections but quickly embraced our community.  Mr. McCormack’s willingness to learn new things and revive traditions is what I appreciate most about him.  From a coach’s perspective, he’s right there with them, and they respect him for that.  His energy level draws kids into sports, and he is motivated by that daily.  The idea of a student NOT participating in something drives him crazy.  He loves a good, natural athlete. We all do.  But he really loves the kids who try something new and, despite failure, keep showing up to be a part of the team.

COVID-19 has altered our world in so many ways.  Mr. McCormack didn’t let it dissuade his mission, though.  He has found ways to keep students active and using their minds. He has been a strong advocate for allowing sports to actually happen this year.  During days when things haven’t looked or felt right, he has found ways to make them great days to be a Trojan! 

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