We congratulate Colleen Antas, the first-ever female athletic director at Dwight D Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, Illinois.
The school currently serves about 1,800 students and has never won a state title since it was named in 1962 after the former president, who spoke at the 1951 dedication ceremony.
Prior to that, though—the school was originally dedicated as Blue Island Community High School in 1897—the school won state titles in boys’ tennis in the 1949-50 school year and in boys’ track and field in the 1954-55 school year.
(The Illinois High School Association didn’t sponsor any state championships for girls until after Title IX was enacted. That was in the 1972-73 school year, when the IHSA sponsored girls’ titles in bowling, tennis, and track and field. Volleyball was added to the girls’ list in the 1974-75 school year, and then several sports began to follow for girls in the years following that.)
“I love what I do,” The Red and White News quoted her as saying. “Being a woman shouldn’t stop you from doing whatever it is you want to do, whether it’s sports, a job, or any opportunity.”
The student newspaper at the school says Ms Antas is a graduate from Northwestern University and was named an Academic All-Conference athlete in the Big Ten three times. Her plans at Eisenhower include getting the public more involved in sports, given the recently completed stadium and her hope to leverage social media for the benefit of athletics at the school.