News Detail

DSHA Athletic Director Peggy Seegers-Braun Receives National Recognition

DSHA Athletic Director Peggy Seegers-Braun is one of 10 high school athletic directors around the country to receive the Bruce D. Whitehead Distinguished Service Award from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). She is recognized for her length of service, as well as her special accomplishments and contributions to interscholastic athletics on a local, state, and national level. 
Ten individuals who have made outstanding contributions to interscholastic athletics have been named recipients of the 2020 Bruce D. Whitehead Distinguished Service Awards given by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA).

These individuals were honored last week at the virtual National Athletic Directors Conference conducted jointly by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the NIAAA, but will not receive their awards until the 2021 conference next December in Denver, Colorado.

The Bruce D. Whitehead Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to individuals from within the NIAAA membership in recognition of their length of service, as well as their special accomplishments and contributions to interscholastic athletics at the local, state and national levels. Nominations are submitted by state athletic directors associations, screened by the NIAAA Awards Committee and selected by the NIAAA Board of Directors.

This year’s award winners include Daniel Armstrong, CMAA, athletic director, Northwestern High School, Kokomo, Indiana; Johnny Johnson, CMAA, athletic director, Russellville (Arkansas) School District; Todd Livingston, CMAA, athletic administrator, South Portland (Maine) High School; Scott Nordi, CAA, retired athletic administrator, Tacoma, Washington; Tim Sam, CMAA, athletic director/assistant principal, North Valley High School, Grants Pass, Oregon; Peggy Seegers-Braun, CMAA, athletic director, Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Bob Stratton, CAA, executive director, Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, Glen Allen, Virginia; Steve Throne, CMAA, athletic director, Millard South High School, Omaha, Nebraska; Joe Thomson, assistant athletic director, Wilmington (Delaware) Friends School; and David Suiter, retired athletic administrator, Mannington, New Jersey.  

The following are biographical sketches on this year’s award recipients:

Peggy Seegers-Braun, CMAA
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Peggy Seegers-Braun, CMAA, is in her 33rd year as athletic director at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School (DSHA) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she has also been a multi-sport coach and physical education instructor. Divine Savior Holy Angels is the only athletic administration position Seegers-Braun has had in her illustrious career after spending her early years as a coach and teacher at University School Milwaukee.
In addition to serving on the awards committee since 2017, Seegers-Braun has occupied a variety of roles for the NIAAA over her 33 years of membership, including ad hoc mentoring committee member, National Athletic Directors Conference workshop facilitator and moderator, and state delegate for Wisconsin, a position she has filled at each of the past six national conferences.
Seegers-Braun has held a number of titles within the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association (WADA) including past president, president, president-elect, vice president, WADA Board District VII representative, gender representative for District VII, conference chair in charge of coordinating the 2018 WADA Conference, co-chairperson for the strategic planning committee, the WADA liaison to the officials advisory committee, and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control.
As a result of her exceptional service record, the WADA recognized Seegers-Braun with the District VII Athletic Director of the Year and State Athletic Director of the Year awards in 2017. A member of the WIAA Sports Advisory Committee and scholar-athlete committee for several years, Seegers-Braun has also hosted numerous WIAA seed meetings and sectional and regional events for a variety of sports.
Locally, the two-time University of Wisconsin-La Crosse graduate has been president of the Greater Metro Conference (GMC) four separate times since its formation in 1997-98, served on its by-law committee and appeal committee, and been a liaison for several sports including boys and girls volleyball, girls tennis and girls swimming and diving.
Some of Seegers-Braun’s accomplishments during her tenure at DSHA include expanding the athletic department from 14 teams to 41 teams, assisting in planning the construction of a $12.5 million athletic and classroom facility and a new softball diamond, chairing the development of the athletic department’s five-year strategic plan on two separate occasions, and creating the Student Athletic Advisory Council.

Daniel Armstrong, CMAA
Kokomo, Indiana
Daniel Armstrong, CAA, is currently in his 33rd year as an educator and his 15th year as athletic director at Northwestern High School in Kokomo, Indiana, where he has previously occupied roles as head baseball coach and as an assistant coach for basketball and football.
Armstrong has been associated with the NIAAA since he became athletic director at Northwestern and has occupied a number of different leadership positions. He has taught several leadership courses over the past four years as a member of the National Faculty for Legal Issues, and served as an NIAAA state delegate, webinar course instructor, and section 4 summer meeting representative each of the past three years. He has also been a leadership training course facilitator at four national conferences and was a featured workshop speaker in 2012, 2018 and 2019.
In his home state, Armstrong has been heavily involved with the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (IIAAA) and is currently its professional development coordinator and in his second year as IIAAA President. His previous positions include terms as the IIAAA president, vice president and second vice president; director, junior director, and membership director for IIAAA District 2; and three years on the IIAAA/Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Advisory Committee. Armstrong has also been a leadership training instructor for the IIAAA for eight years, as well as a moderator and workshop presenter at state conferences and an author of multiple articles published in the IIAAA newsletter.
In 2019, he took up additional responsibilities with the IHSAA, joining realignment committees for baseball, softball, basketball, and soccer.
As the leader of the Northwestern High School athletic department, Armstrong has hosted 78 IHSAA sectional and regional events, established and served as chair of the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame since 2013 and led the coordination of the school’s multi-field turf project. He also created and hosted the Central Indiana Leadership Conference in 2019, an event that brought more than 200 student-athletes from 16 schools to Northwestern for leadership skill development.
Armstrong has been athletic administrator president for the Mid Indiana Conference and Hoosier Athletic Conference during his tenure and hosted the league’s boys and girls soccer championship tournament each year from 2015 to 2020.

Johnny Johnson, CMAA
Russellville, Arkansas
Johnny Johnson, CMAA, has been a high school athletic administrator in Arkansas for the past 19 years after a successful career as a college basketball coach. Now in his ninth year as athletic director for the Russellville School District, Johnson first served the Little Rock School District for 11 years in the same capacity.
Prior to his time at the high school level, Johnson became the all-time winningest men’s basketball coach in College of the Ozarks history, which resulted in him being inducted into the college’s sports hall of fame in 2011. He also served as an assistant at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). During his three-year stint at UALR, the Trojans competed in two NCAA tournaments and one National Invitation Tournament.

A member of the NIAAA for 18 years, Johnson has recently elevated his level of service to include time as a section 6 representative on the NIAAA Board of Directors, a role on the scholarship committee – including one year as committee chairman – and responsibilities as liaison to the sports turf committee and credentials committee. Johnson was the presider for the opening general session at last year’s National Athletic Directors Conference and has attended national conferences as a state delegate on five prior occasions. He is a past recipient of the State Award of Merit and was awarded an NFHS Citation in 2019.
Johnson has taken on leadership roles with the Arkansas High School Athletic Administrators Association (AHSAAA) as well, serving as president, vice president, secretary, program chair and AHSAAA liaison to the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA). He has become a veteran AAA state tournament director, boasting experience in organizing basketball, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, and track and field events at the Class 5A, 6A and 7A levels. In addition to hosting numerous state tournaments, he has hosted several state-level events, including the State Meet of Champs for track and field and the State Special Olympics Basketball Tournament.
Two of Johnson’s biggest accomplishments were establishing the Jammin’ For Jackets and Hoops for Hunger basketball tournaments. Johnson started the Jammin' For Jackets Basketball Tournament during his tenure as the Little Rock School District athletic director. The tournament raised funds to provide letter jackets for all the first-year letter winners in all sports in the Little Rock School District. Johnson started the Hoops For Hunger Basketball Tournament in 2016 to fight hunger in the Russellville area and surrounding counties. The tournament has raised over $270,000 in the past five years.
Johnson is married to Robin Johnson, an elementary counselor in the Russellville Scholl District. They have two sons, Drake and Bryce.

Todd Livingston, CMAA
South Portland, Maine
Todd Livingston, CMAA, has served two Maine high schools and one middle school over his 17 years as an athletic administrator including at his alma mater, South Portland High School, where he has worked since 2011. Prior to his return to South Portland, Livingston was the athletic director at Falmouth High School for four years and Greely Middle School for four years.
In 15 years as an NIAAA member, Livingston has attended nine National Athletic Directors Conferences and represented Maine as a state delegate twice. He has completed 37 leadership training courses and has previously been a course facilitator and CAA test administrator.
Livingston has also attended 15 of the last 16 Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) state conferences and has served on the board of directors since 2011. He has presented workshops and facilitated and instructed 10 leadership training courses at state conferences and was also a member of the strategic plan committee and POP manual committee. His involvement has garnered numerous awards, including four special achievement awards, the Keith Lancaster Professional Development Award and the 2016 Robert Lahey Athletic Administrator of the Year Award.
He has catered to the Maine Principals Association (MPA) as well, currently serving on the baseball committee, classification committee and technology committee, and formerly holding positions on the ball selection committee and the football committee, including two years as football committee chair. He has also been an MPA regional and state championship site manager for lacrosse, soccer and volleyball events.
The majority of Livingston’s work with athletic leagues has been with the Southwestern Maine Activities Association (SMAA), for which he has been president, vice president, culture committee chair, webmaster, league historian, and liaison for baseball, track and volleyball. He has been an avid SMAA committee member as well, working on the constitution committee, pregame protocol committee, assignor contract committee and SMAA/Western Maine Conference (WMC) Ad-Hoc Committee. While at Falmouth High School, the University of Maine, Orono and University of New England alum served the WMC as tennis liaison, swimming liaison, and student-athlete summit committee member and site director.

As a coach, Livingston has helped guide baseball, boys basketball, and boys and girls soccer programs at four high schools and spent one year as an assistant baseball coach at Dartmouth College.

Scott Nordi, CAA
Tacoma, Washington
Scott Nordi, CAA, recently retired from a career in athletic administration that comprised 17 years as athletic director at two schools in Lakewood, Washington — Clover Park High School, which he served from 2004 to 2012, and Lakes High School, where he was employed from 2012 until this past June.
In addition to his current duties as the finance chair for the NIAAA 5th Strategic Plan Committee, the University of Washington and Lesley College alum has been a member of the NIAAA Executive Board for the past five years and previously served on the awards committee and as finance committee chair. He was also an NIAAA state delegate seven times between 2006 and 2014.
Nordi is in his 12th year as a member of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Representative Assembly and spent more than a decade as a tournament manager for both the state football championships and state football semi-finals.
He remains a major contributor to the Washington Secondary Schools Athletic Administrators Association (WSSAAA) as well, serving on the executive board and the finance committee, and as exhibit hall chair and CAA test administrator at state conferences. Previously, Nordi spent two years as WSSAAA Board President and two additional years as state conference chair and won the WSSAAA Athletic Administrator Outstanding Service Award in 2016.
The former multi-sport coach and athletic trainer is a past president of both the Pierce County League (PCL) and the 2A/3A and 3A levels of the South Puget Sound League (SPSL), which awarded him back-to-back Athletic Director of the Year honors in 2010-11 and 2011-12. He has also spent multiple years as football commissioner for SPSL 3A, SPSL 2A/3A, PCL and the Western Cascade Conference, as well as soccer commissioner for the Seamount League.
Nordi is in his eighth year on the executive board for the West Central District (WCD) and previously led the executive board as president in 2016-17. He has also been a basketball tournament manager and a member of the eligibility committee for WCD, which named him Athletic Director of the Year in 2011-12 and 2016-17.
Nordi currently resides in Tacoma, Washington, where he is a two-time past president of the Tacoma Athletic Commission.

Tim Sam, CMAA
Grants Pass, Oregon
Tim Sam, CMAA, has worked as a math teacher, coach, athletic director and assistant principal for more than three decades during his time in high school education and athletic administration. The bulk of his career was spent at North Medford High School, where he was a highly decorated golf coach and boys basketball coach in addition to his role as athletic director.
Three years ago, Sam moved to North Valley High School in Grants Pass, Oregon, where he currently serves as athletic director and assistant principal.
Sam has attended five National Athletic Directors Conferences and completed 44 leadership training courses over his 16-year membership with the NIAAA, and has served on the mentoring committee, ad hoc mentoring committee, and the blue ribbon panel. Additionally, Sam has spent three years as both a NIAAA state delegate, the state leadership training coordinator and the state AD mentorship chair.
In the Beaver State, Sam has been a fixture with the Oregon Athletic Directors Association (OADA) and has served in almost every high-level position, including one-year stints as president, vice president, state conference chair, treasurer, and secretary. He was also a part of the executive board for nine years and spent three years as the Board’s 6A Classification State Representative.
He has been a part of 16 OADA conferences and presented leadership training courses at nine of them, in addition to past roles as tour of champions character committee chair, scholarship golf tournament chair, and mentoring committee chair, through which he has mentored more than 20 new athletic directors. Sam’s additional committee memberships include the athletic director’s conference steering committee and the ambassadors of character committee.
Between two athletic leagues — the 6A-7 Southwest Conference and the 4A-5 Skyline Conference — Sam has served as president for a total of seven years and a liaison for 13 different sports and has hosted numerous league and regional championship events.
The University of Oregon and Southern Oregon University alum coached for 36 years — 26 at North Medford — including 22 years as a basketball coach and 18 years with girls golf, during which he mentored one individual state champion and two state runners-up, and guided the team to its top four state finishes in school history.

Bob Stratton, CAA
Glen Allen, Virginia
Bob Stratton, CAA, is a retired activities administrator and educator who served four different high schools in Hanover County and Henrico Country, Virginia, over his 36-year career. The former teacher, coach and physical education director is also the newly selected executive director for the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (VIAAA) and functions as the liaison between the VIAAA and the NIAAA.
In his 24 years as an NIAAA member, Stratton played a role on the awards committee, represented Virginia at seven section 2 meetings, and has acted as an NIAAA state delegate seven times. For his service, he was awarded the NIAAA State Award of Merit in 2009 and received an NFHS Citation in 2018.
Prior to being named executive director, Stratton’s involvement with the VIAAA was extensive, as he was VIAAA President in 2010 and 2011, president elect in 2009 and 2010, and treasurer from 2006 to 2010. He has also spent 22 years as a member of the VIAAA Board of Directors and previously served on the selection committee for the first VIAAA Executive Director and as state athletic conference chair. In addition to numerous other accolades from his coaching career, Stratton was presented with the VIAAA AAA Athletic Administrator of the Year award in 2009 and was inducted into the Virginia High School Hall of Fame in 2018.
Stratton personally coordinated more than 100 postseason events at the district, regional, and state levels and managed the Virginia High School League State Volleyball Tournament in each of the eight years leading up to his retirement. He was also the athletic chairman for the Central Region Principals/Athletic Directors from 2006 to 2013 and won both Capital District Athletic Administrator of the Year and Central Region Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2006.
A 27-year member of the Virginia High School Coaches Association, Stratton is a three-time winner of both the Capital District Baseball Coach of the Year and Capital District Golf Coach of the Year awards and was named Central Region Baseball Coach of the Year in 1996.
Stratton obtained his bachelor’s degree from Atlantic Christian College in 1979 and earned his master’s degree in administration from George Washington University in 2001.

Steve Throne, CMAA
Omaha, Nebraska

Steve Throne, CMAA, has influenced numerous students the past eight years as the athletic director at Millard South High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Throne came to Millard South in 2013 after serving three years as the assistant principal/athletic director at Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa. Prior to his stint at Sergeant Bluff, he was a teacher and coach for 17 years at Millard South and Lourdes Central Catholic High School in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

Throne has led Millard South to be a preferred location for conference and district tournaments in several sports. He also has served on the Metro Conference Basketball Committee since 2013 and was the committee chair in 2019-20.

Throne has been a member of the Nebraska State Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association (NSIAAA) for eight years and has been active in the organization. He has served on the NSIAAA Board of Directors for seven years, and was vice president in 2015-16, preceding a stint as president from 2016 to 2018. He also served on the NSIAAA Scholarship Committee and is its professional development coordinator. In 2019, he won the NSIAAA State Award of Merit.

Throne also served on Nebraska Schools Activities Association (NSAA) Student Advisory Committee and the sports medicine advisory committee.

Throne has been very active at the national level too. He has been on the NIAAA Credentials Committee since 2017 and is currently vice-chair. He was a member of the 5th NIAAA Strategic Committee in 2019 and has been a CAA test administrator since 2016. Throne has taught workshops and LTI classes at the state and national level.

Joe Thomson
Wilmington, Delaware

Joe Thomson moved from the coaching world to the corporate world before excelling as an athletic administrator in Delaware. He returned to the interscholastic world as athletic director and basketball coach in 2004 at Sussex Tech High School. After eight years at Sussex, he left to become the director of athletics at Wilmington Christian School. In 2017, Thomson became the assistant athletic director of Wilmington Friends School.

While at Sussex, Thomson served on the Henlopen Conference Board of Directors and led the school to be the first school in the county to win the State Sportsmanship School Award. It’s an accomplishment he repeated in New Castle County at Wilmington Christian.

Thomson has served 11 years on the board of the Delaware Association of Athletic Directors (DAAD) and has served as DAAD Director of Training and Certification. In that position, he developed a course program for athletic directors to obtain their CAA certification in two years and secured a state grant for athletic director education.

He has also been highly involved with the Delaware Interscholastic Activities Association (DIAA), serving on the boys basketball tournament committee since 2008. He also was on the DIAA Board of Directors from 2011 to 2014 and was chair of the DIAA Officials Committee from 2007 to 2019.

At the national level, Thomson is a member of the NIAAA National Faculty for LTC 618 and has taught workshops at three national conferences. At the 2015 National Conference, Thomson was a member of the blue ribbon panel discussion.

Thomson was named Delaware Athletic Director of the Year in 2012. He also has earned the NIAAA State of Award of Merit three times in 2012, 2016, and 2017.

David Suiter
Mannington, New Jersey

David Suiter retired in 2018 from high school athletic administration but continues to share his expertise as an adjunct professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education at Rowan University and assistant executive director of the Directors of Athletics Association of New Jersey (DAANJ).

Before retiring, Suiter spent 27 years at Salem (New Jersey) High School, first as teacher and coach from 1987 to 1999. In 1999, he became the of director of athletics and student activities, a position he held until 2014. From 2015 to 2018, Suiter worked as a part-time athletic director at Pitman School District.

While at Salem, Suiter was a leader with the Tri-County Conference, serving as its secretary, vice president and president. He also chaired the conference men’s basketball and golf committees.

Suiter has been heavily involved with the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), serving on its executive committee from 2003 to 2010. Suiter served as NJSIAA President in 2008-09 after successive years as 2nd vice president and 1st vice president. He also spent time on numerous NJSIAA committees, including the policy committee, finance committee, golf committee, coaches education committee and eligibility appeals committee.

Suiter served his fellow athletic directors in New Jersey as a presenter at the DAANJ Annual Workshop nine times. He also continues to be an at-large trustee and the chair of membership and conference registration for the DAANJ.

At the national level, Suiter is on the national faculty for LTC 723 and has been a NIAAA Delegate three times. He is also the state’s NIAAA Professional Development and Certification Coordinator since 2018.

Among his honors, Suiter was named Tri-County Conference Athletic Director of the Year in 2007, and was honored with the DAANJ Robert Hopek Award for Professional Development in 2015. Suiter has also been inducted into four halls of fame, including the DAANJ Hall of Fame, the Salem County Sports Hall of Fame, the New Jersey Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the South Jersey Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
About the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA)
The NIAAA is the professional organization for interscholastic athletic administrators. The association is accredited by AdvancED and North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, the NIAAA promotes and enhances the profession of athletic administration for high school and middle school athletic administrators. Since 1977, the NIAAA has served those who lead education-based athletic programs in the nation’s schools. With current individual membership of nearly 11,000, the NIAAA consists of members from athletic administrator associations in the 50 states, and the District of Columbia, as well as over 40 international countries. Through its 48-course curriculum, and four levels of certification, the NIAAA is the national leader in providing professional development for athletic administrators, directors, coordinators, and supervisors, as well as those serving in assistant principal/athletic director, or activity/athletic director combined roles that lead school-based sports programs. While providing best-practices and serving as a resource for safe and plentiful participation opportunities for student-athletes, the NIAAA places further focus on member benefits, standards, communication, outreach, and recognition, while emphasizing the exchange of ideas among athletic administrators throughout the nation and the world. NIAAA champions the profession of athletic administration through education opportunities, advocating ethics, developing leaders and fostering community. The NIAAA, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a full and equal partner with the NFHS. For more information, visit the NIAAA website at
    • Peggy Seegers-Braun


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