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The Iowa High School Speech Association presented the IHSSA Fine Arts Administrator of the Year October 15, 2021 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames. The award was conceived in 2005 by the Executive Committee of the IHSSA. It is presented to a distinguished individual of statewide reputation and outstanding accomplishments. This is the highest honor the Iowa High School Speech Association may confer on an administrator. The contribution and service given by the inductee stem from dedication and commitment to the IHSSA and other arts activities in their school beyond normally expected and superlative identification. This year's recipients are Mike Haluska former Superintendent of Decorah schools and Gary Zittergruen former Superintendent Benton Community schools

Mike Haluska has been involved with school activities in Decorah community for many years. At this time, he has recently retired from his position as the Superintendent of Schools for the Decorah Community School District. He has been a passionate believer in the Arts and Activities at Decorah and a true support for all programs in his school. He has the belief that speech, music, drama, debate and all activities teach students valuable lessons they can learn no other way. Mr. Haluska has made it his mission to ensure the students of Decorah Schools will have access to quality, thriving activity programs for years to come and all programs are treated fairly. From his nomination letter from IHSSA coaches in his districts it was stated, "He advocates for students to be able to be involved in fine arts activities and supports us as educators and coaches. Specifically, he takes time after school hours to attend rehearsals, musicals, plays, concerts, and speech contests. Driving across the state to attend events where Decorah students and other performed. Mike and his wife were always there to support the Arts. He recognizes the importance of students experiencing education in the arts and makes SURE they have that opportunity."

Gary Zittergruen has been involved with school activities in Benton community for many years. At this time, he has recently retired from his position as the Superintendent of Schools for the Benton Community School District. He has been a passionate believer in the Arts and Activities at Benton Community and a true support for all programs in his school. He has the belief that speech, music, drama, debate and all activities teach students valuable lessons they can learn no other way. Mr. Zittergruen has made it his mission to ensure the students of Benton Community Schools will have access to quality, thriving activity programs for years to come and all programs are treated fairly. From his nomination letter from IHSSA coaches in his districts it was stated, " My own Superintendent would never ask how our students did in contest but there would always be an e-mail from Gary the Monday after contest telling us what a great job we did. He was not even my own administration but there he was taking the time to write a note of congratulations. Making sure we knew he was there for all school districts in the state for the Arts. "

Both recipents of this award this year served the IHSSA as members of the IHSSA Executive Committee for several years.

Is with pleasure that the IHSSA welcomes Mike Haluska and Gary Zittergruen as the IHSSA Fine Arts Administrator's of the year for 2021.


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