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Tom Mix, Published October 18 2013

NDHSAA Executive Secretary Sherm Sylling announces retirement

VALLEY CITY, N.D. – After 15 years serving as the Executive Secretary of the North Dakota High School Activities Association, Sherm Sylling will retire from the position next June.

The NDHSAA announced Sylling’s retirement in a release on its website on Friday.

Sylling, the NDHSAA’s Executive Secretary since 1999, informed the association’s Board of Directors as well as the NDHSAA General Assembly of his retirement plans at meetings held Oct. 16-17 in Bismarck.

“I’m 66 years old, and I just feel like it is time to step away,” said Sylling, who officially retires June 30 of next year. “I have really enjoyed the job and continue to enjoy going to work every day. I feel very comfortable with our staff and feel the timing is right.”

Sylling is the fifth full-time Executive Secretary of the NDHSAA following Robert King (1988-1998), Bruce Anderson (1981-1987), Frank Smith (1966-1980), and Earl Abrahamson (1949-1965).

“Sherm is just a good man,” said Fargo Public Schools activities director Todd Olson, who also is the president of the NDHSAA Board of Directors. “He is a statesman for high school activities in our state. He has had some turnover in his staff, and they have become more progressive. I think he has put the association in a position where it can be very successful moving forward.”

“Sherm is a tremendous leader,” NDHSAA assistant to the executive secretary Brian Bubach added. “He is respected not only within the administrations of our member schools, but on a national level as well. It has been a privilege to work for him.”

The NDHSAA Board of Directors will be formulating a timetable and process for identifying Sylling’s successor at a future date.

“We haven’t really discussed it as a board at this time,” Olson said. “At our November meeting we will probably try and lay out a timeline. In my mind, we probably want to have the process in a similar time frame to when superintendent positions are being hired in North Dakota, so that puts us in January and February for getting to the interview process.”

Prior to joining the NDHSAA, Sylling was a superintendent of schools in Cathay, Grace City, Fessenden-Bowdon and Watford City.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562