Sunnyside's athletic director is our Regional Classified School Employee of the Year
Congratulations to our ESD 105 Regional Classified School Employee of the Year for 2018: Reed Hornung, the Sunnyside School District’s athletic director! Hornung (pictured holding award with Sunnyside High School principal Ryan Maxwell) has helped usher significant cultural changes in Sunnyside's school community after being with the school district for less than two years, and initiated a system of core values for athletes that has spread into a school-wide program.
Hornung learned of his selection during a surprise announcement at Sunnyside High School's spring semester kickoff assembly on March 12, which also happened to coincide with the start of Classified Public School Employee Week in the state of Washington. The regional award honor the excellent contributions made by secretaries, custodians, cooks, paraprofessionals, finance officers, bus drivers, counselors, and other non-certified public school employees. Candidates for the local award are reviewed for their contributions in improving student achievement, their leadership and collaboration, and their overall outstanding work performance for their school community.
The athletic director began his work at Sunnyside in the fall of 2016, and is responsible for all 18 of the high school’s athletic programs as well as the school district’s 7th-8th grade sports offerings. He directly oversees 66 coaches throughout the school year who work with more than 420 student athletes at the class 4A school district.
During this current school year, Hornung organized a core values team for Sunnyside’s athletic department that developed a set of “Grizzly POWER Core Values” – with “POWER” serving as an acronym for the qualities of Perseverance, Ownership, We before me, Excellence, and Respect. After learning about this project, high school principal Ryan Maxwell asked Hornung to implement this program school-wide among teachers, students, coaches, and support staff as a way to expand discussions about these core values and give formal recognition to students who demonstrate those positive qualities.
As part of his goal to establish a healthy and competitive culture in school athletic programs, Hornung has also helped create a Student Athlete Leadership Committee that is comprised of two people from each sports team and meets four times a year to discuss and improve the Grizzlies’ athletic programs. He's also established a goal of 90% retention in sports programs among Sunnyside's athletes, and a goal for Sunnyside's athletic programs to provide at least 100 community service hours during the school year. This past winter, three Sunnyside teams have made it to state at the 4A level -- something that's not happened at the school in nearly 30 years -- and the school has produced five league champions since the fall.
Before coming to Sunnyside, Horning worked as an operations assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs football team in 2013, a recruiting assistant for the University of Louisville football program during 2013-2014, and director of player personnel for Utah State University football during 2015.
Hornung will now serve as the south central Washington region’s candidate for the 2018 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year title. That statewide award is scheduled to be announced on May 14 by OSPI during a special reception at the Old Capitol Building in Olympia. Hornung will be one of up to nine candidates, each selected through their respective regional ESDs, to be considered for the state title, and will participate in weekend professional development sessions at Olympia during May 12-14.
He added in his application materials: “Sunnyside is the only athletic director position I applied for. I knew there were kids here who needed extracurricular activities in their life. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this Sunnyside family.”
(Pictured at left: Hornung receiving award from Sunnyside School District superintendent Kevin McKay.)