Geary County Schools hired Ryan Norton as the new athletic director for Junction City High School.
Norton officially starts in July, but he said he has already been training alongside current athletic director Matt Westerhaus to get a running start with the position. Westerhaus is stepping down from the position to become the activities director for Great Bend High School.
Originally from Emporia, Norton holds experience coaching cross country and track at the middle and high school levels and has taught computer science at Fort Riley Middle School since 2010.
Norton said one of the reasons he started his career in education was because of his interest in sports. He said he has been looking forward to stepping into an administrative role in the field he loves.
“I wanted to get some great experience coaching and I have been able to do that since (I graduated),” he said. “I wanted to stay with the district, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to go ahead and transition since the position was open.”
Norton said one of his biggest goals in his new position are to improve communication between the athletic director and coaches, between coaches and their students and between the athletic department and parents and community members.
Additionally, Norton wants to focus on student engagement in practices and competitions, taking actions to increase that engagement and setting expectations for students for both their academic classes and athletics.
Norton said going through the Education Leadership Academy through the district helped him prepare for an administrative role. He said his traits of listening to others and supporting others by being present at events will also assist him as he steps into his new role.