The governing Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association announced today that Ed Sheakley will no longer continue to serve as Executive Director of the Association. The Board acknowledged Mr. Sheakley’s dedication and accomplishments as Executive Director, and emphasized that Mr. Sheakley’s contract was not being terminated for cause, but decided that a new direction should be taken with the position of Executive Director and the leadership of the Association. In response, Mr. Sheakley announced he respects the Board’s decision and pledges his support for a constructive transition over the next several months.
While Mr. Sheakley will no longer serve as Executive Director of OSSAA, he will continue to be employed by the Association until January 13, 2017, as Senior Advisor to assist in the transition of his duties and to consult with whoever is selected to serve as interim director until a successor for the position has been chosen.
Each member of OSSAA’s Board voted to express appreciation for Mr. Sheakley’s many accomplishments during his tenure as Executive Director, which began with the 2009-2010 school-year, and for his twenty-four years of service at the Association. Mr. Sheakley was promoted to the Executive Director position in an extremely difficult and challenging time period for the Association. He implemented many internal protections to safeguard the finances of the Association, and increased the transparency of the organization by making monthly and year-end financial reports and audits available electronically to member schools. He also made certain that vendor contracts were opened up for formal competitive proposals, in an effort to maximize revenues and improve the quality of services provided for the Association.
During his tenure as Executive Director, Mr. Sheakley also increased the number of instructional workshops, both live and on-line, for member school representatives, to improve compliance with OSSAA rules and policies. The Association streamlined the process for enrollment of game officials and implemented revised procedures to expedite payment for their services. The Sports Medicine Committee was reactivated to help guide the Board and staff in health-related matters, such as the development of protocols for handling concussions and other head injuries.
“I am proud of those achievements,” Mr. Sheakley stated, “and I’m also very proud of the relationship we have established with Special Olympics Oklahoma, and for OSSAA’s ‘Win-Win Week,’ the only state activities association program in the country in which high school students are recognized annually for service-learning projects. The students at our member schools have created wonderful projects over the past few years to raise money and increase awareness for the cancer prevention and treatment programs at the University of Oklahoma’s Stephenson Cancer Center. We also organized a very successful year-long celebration in 2010-2011 for the centennial year of the Association. In addition, over the past five years, we have been able to increase reimbursements to schools participating in and hosting play-off competitions by over a half-million dollars, and since 2012 we’ve made reimbursements available in six activities for which schools had never received reimbursements before [A chart summarizing the reimbursement amounts over the past five years is attached]. I feel I will be leaving with the Association in very solid shape financially.”
“I also very much want to thank the staff I have worked with all these years,” Mr. Sheakley said. “We have very experienced and professional staff members, who are often called upon to speak at national meetings and to serve on national rules-writing committees. We’ve added permanent staff positions to help with electronic information management and media relations, and we have greatly improved and expanded our website and our use of social media during my time as Executive Director.”
Mr. Sheakley was under contract with the Association to serve as Executive Director until June 30, 2017. At its special meeting on August 24, 2016, OSSAA’s Board voted to amend the contract to provide that Mr. Sheakley will continue to be paid his full monthly salary and provided all benefits, including monthly retirement plan contributions during 2016. The contract was further amended to provide that the remaining monthly salary payments through June 30, 2017, and amounts that would have been paid for insurance coverages during that time period, would be paid in a lump sum prior to January 13, 2017. The remaining monthly retirement fund payments through June 30, 2017 will also be paid into Mr. Sheakley’s retirement fund account in a lump sum. In recognition of Mr. Sheakley’s hard work and twenty-four years of service to the Association, the Board also voted to make an additional payment of $50,000.
Sheakley also will be paid for accrued sick leave as of the date of his departure, consistent with OSSAA’s current policy.
Current Board President Mark Hudson also expressed his thanks to Mr. Sheakley for his hard work and years of service to the Association. “I applaud Ed Sheakley for 24 years of devoted dedication and his wholehearted commitment to the OSSAA. His passion and vision for our members was always evident in his tireless efforts to make the OSSAA the very best.” Mr. Hudson said that the appointment of an interim director would be considered at the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting on September 7, 2016, as would the process for choosing a successor for the Executive Director position.