Cincinnati, Ohio - April 12, 2017 – Saint Ursula Academy has earned the highest award given by the Ohio High School Athletics Association’s (OHSAA) Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Committee. This honor, the OHSAA Commissioner’s Award, is awarded to only one Ohio high school each year.
In order to be considered for the Commissioner’s Award, schools must be awarded the OHSAA Respect the Game Award. In order to win this, a school must complete a comprehensive checklist that confirms the various sportsmanship, ethics and integrity programs within their school. Besides developing a well-planned, educational program on sportsmanship, the form reminds schools to develop a comprehensive student-athlete campaign; a coach campaign; a student body, student support group, parents and fan campaign; and a public address announcers’ campaign. Up to 16 schools can win this award each year.
Meeting the ‘Respect the Game Challenge’ is the precursor to being considered for the Harold A. Meyer Award. That award, named in honor of the late OHSAA commissioner from 1969 to 1977, is presented to schools that demonstrate via a PowerPoint presentation they have completed an eight-part program that promotes sportsmanship, ethics and integrity in their schools and communities. Up to five schools can win this award annually. Saint Ursula Academy won the Harold A. Meyer award for 12 years in a row.
Only schools honored with the Harold A. Meyer Award may be considered for the highest award, the Commissioner’s Award. Only one school may win each year. Saint Ursula is the winner for 2016-2017. No school won the previous year. In order to be eligible, schools must not have had any coaches or athletes ejected during the previous school year. Plus, tournament managers, league commissioners, contests officials and rival school administrators were asked to verify positive sporting behavior of the potential winning school. Finally, a student from the school must submit an essay describing their school’s sportsmanship, ethics and integrity program or a unique element of the program. Annie Feldkamp ’16 wrote the essay during her senior year to include with the award application.
SUA has taken its position on ethical sportsmanship seriously with the formation of the Good Sportsmanship Committee in 2004. The Committee meets four times a year and consists of students, coaches, past parents and faculty members. SUA Sportsmanship Committee members this year include SUA President Lelia Keefe Kramer ’77, Athletic Director Mike Sipes, Asst. Athletic Director Jill Meiring, Margaret Lyon ’18 of Anderson Township, Kate Perazzo ’17 of Anderson Township, Ellie Rueve ‘17 of Hyde Park, Ashley Voelkerding ‘18 of Cleves, SUA Health/PE Department Chair Julie Perry, Varsity Swim Coach Ann Gartner ’77, Coach and Past SUA Parent Tom Keefe, and SUA Theatre Director Allison Hinkel.
The strict policies on ethical behavior have been consistently adhered to with the goal of promoting good sportsmanship throughout SUA to include the student body and all of the fans.
“We are grateful that the OSHAA has recognized our efforts to live up to the highest standards of good sportsmanship, ethics and integrity not only in athletics but in everything we do here at Saint Ursula,” says Mike Sipes, Saint Ursula Athletic Director.
Saint Ursula Academy is a Catholic, college-preparatory, secondary school for young women known for academic excellence and rich tradition. Saint Ursula welcomes students from more than 90 grade schools in the Greater Cincinnati area. The Academy is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. The campus, located at 1339 E. McMillan Street in East Walnut Hills has been the home of St. Ursula Academy and Convent since 1910. 86% of the Class of 2016 earned college scholarships totaling more than $22-million.
Photo caption: Shown L-R: SUA Athletic Director Mike Sipes, SUA Swim Coach Ann Gartner ‘77, SUA Health/PE Chair Julie Perry, Assistant Commissioner Ohio High School Athletic Association Roxanne Price, Ellie Rueve '17, Coach and Past SUA Parent Tom Keefe, Kate Perazzo ‘18, Ashley Voelkerding ‘18, SUA President Lelia Keefe Kramer.