GOOSE LAKE – The Rebels have a new leader.
Northeast High School announced Troy Hansen as its new activities director last month, replacing Gary Lueders and Diana Gardner, who had been co-serving in the role while the school searched for a new candidate.
Although he is stepping into a new position, Hansen is no stranger to the area or the school he will be serving. The East Central High School graduate (Miles) has served as a science teacher at the high school for the past 13 years and led the middle school’s activities considerations the past two years.
He also helmed the girls’ basketball team during a five-year span from 2006-2011. With a well-balanced resume at his disposal, Hansen said the time was right to further his career.
“Northeast has a strong tradition of very successful athletic programs and the opportunity came to be apart of every program so I thought it was a good time for me professionally to take the next step,” Hansen said.
Hansen hit the ground running in the position, to say the least. His first press release in late May was significant, as it announced coaching changes to three major sports: football, girls’ basketball and volleyball. Hansen said he was heavily involved in the decision and interview processes for each of the new faces.
Jerad Block (football), Scott Maddasion (girls’ basketball) and Aubree Tanzillo (volleyball) each stepped down from their posts, paving the way for Mark Lee, Johnny Driscoll and Jake Schaefer, respectively, to fill those roles.
“Gary [Lueders] and I had a great conversation about moving forward,” Hansens said. “He just felt more comfortable if I had the majority of the decision-making so we rolled that way. I conducted the interviews, got some guidance from Gary, and made the decisions based on the conversations.
“I can’t say enough about Gary and how great of a resource he was in helping me with the transition.”
While the timing of stepping into the top spot of the school’s athletic realm was chaotic, Hansen handled the adversity in stride.
“It wasn’t an ideal situation that we were handed and that is to no one’s fault,” Hansen said. “My philosophy is that we want to have the best person there that is going to be the best benefit for all of our kids, whether that is on a competition field, the classroom or the community. I think we have three excellent candidates.”
Hansen is a proponent of the ideology that suggests active high schoolers perform better in the classroom, citing consistent participation as his primary goal as activities director, especially considering the school’s low enrollment figures.
“We want our kids to be involved in as much as they feel comfortable in and that level of involvement really translates to the success our kids have academically,” he said, “whether they are competing on the speech team or playing football on Friday night, we want to create students that are well-rounded individuals and one way we can do that is getting them involved in extra- and co-curricular activities.”
While Northeast has struggled in the win-loss column in several sports across the athletic spectrum, Hansen said he is confident that both the new coaches and those remaining in their positions can restore the rich history of the Rebels.
“We want to have the right adults in the right positions so our kids feel comfortable to learn and thrive under them and if those things happen we are going to see success on the competition field and in the performance centers,” Hansen said.