By Margie Doyle
Vicki Vandermay, a director of the Orcas Island Park and Recreation District, member of the Athletic Booster Club and a regular substitute teacher, will take on an additional assignment as half-time Athletic Director of the Orcas Island School District (OISD) this fall.
With her refreshing energy, Vandermay explains that, for her the Athletic Director (AD) position is not just a job, but says, “I’m passionate in the belief that sports are the all-round best way of helping kids be good people.”
Vandermay herself played volleyball, basketball and softball, and competed in track, growing up in the Vancouver, Wash. Area. “I always loved sports, it’s where I found myself. I figured out I was good at something and sports helped me.”
She earned a degree in Early Childhood Education and worked in college and private childcare centers, traditionally underpaid jobs. To pay the freight, she got a second job waiting tables. Her ready smile and efficient service was noticed by an executive at a long-distance phone company, who offered her a job in customer service. Vandermay rose up through the ranks to the position of secretary to the president of an oil company in Wilsonville, Oregon.
She credits her success to “seeing the potential in every person, being good at listening to people and being willing to help.” She realizes she’s also good at “talking through things and helping people see the other side.”
She took the school position in part because the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) requires a public school district to have an Athletic Director, and she was concerned about what would happen to the district’s athletic program.
Her approach is energetic and optimistic. “Let’s not criticize how we got here; I want to move forward, not just sit there and wait. Let’s trying something and see how it works. If it doesn’t, let’s go back – but let’s move on it!”
“We’ve got to figure out funding and go forward,” she says.
Vanndermay and her family moved to Orcas from the Vancouver-Portland area. Her two teenage daughters, Shelbie and Kilee play three different sports. Vandermay will continue on in her different roles and sees no problem in doing them all well. “I want to be around for the kids as much as I can. I have a great working knowledge of the athletic program.”
OISD has the funds for her part-time position and for the head coaches for fall sports at this point. “We don’t know what will happen in the winter and spring, but the Booster Club is trying to pick up the slack,” says Vandermay.
The Booster Club had gone dormant for awhile, and in the last year has revitalized as a 501(c)3 non-profit. Board members are Candace Bodenhamer, President, Dianna Hoffman, Treasurer, Justin Paulsen, Kevin O’Brien, Cathy Ferran and Vandermay, who serves as Secretary.
Currently, the Booster club is involved in matching a $10,000 grant, and has raised nearly $7,000 toward that goal with bake sales, car washes and volleyball and soccer camps, http://www.orcasboosters.org/
“The kids, parents and community have really stepped up to the plate,” Vandermay says.
Now the Booster Club is about to kick off a membership campaign at the start of the first full week of school. And even before classes start on Wednesday, Sept. 5, the varsity football team will play its first home game this Saturday, Sept. 1 at Dahl Field, behind the high school buildings.
You can bet Vicky Vandermay will be on the sidelines rooting the athletes on – just don’t look for her to be standing still.