ATHENS — The Athens School Board approved the hiring of longtime Northern Tier League referee and Towanda native JB Sullivan as the school district’s new Supervisor of Athletics and Youth Programs during Monday’s board meeting.
Sullivan, who has been a basketball and soccer official in the NTL, jumped at the chance to join the Athens administration and work with the student-athletes in the district.
“I have a tremendous passion for sports. Since I was a little kid, I’ve played sports and it has always been a huge passion in my life,” said Sullivan. “I believe in the power of sports and its ability to help with the education process. I think that it’s a job that while very demanding, it’s going to be very worthwhile.”
Athens Superintendent Craig Stage felt that Sullivan stood out among the 40-plus candidates who applied for the job.
“To be honest with you, through all the candidates, he seemed to be the most well-rounded in terms of approaching the athletic, academic and the community aspect (of the job),” said Stage. “We think he’s going to be very professional in all that he does, and we’re very excited about that. He’s very creative and that was the other thing we were very excited about. He came with a lot of great ideas.”
Stage believes Sullivan will work well with the coaches, students and the community as a whole.
“I can’t wait to see how he can build the connection between the community and the school. How he can promote our athletic programs and how he can design academic programs that will support our already existing curriculum,” said Stage.
Sullivan is excited to join the Wildcats’ family and is looking forward to keeping their athletic programs heading in the right direction.
“I’m very proud of the spring sports teams this year having NTL titles with baseball, softball, girls track. I think we have eight athletes that are going to be competing (at the state track meet) this Friday and Saturday,” said Sullivan. “We have a lot of great coaches, a great board and administration, so there’s an outstanding foundation to work with ... we’ll just try to build from that and keep moving forward.”