The Alhambra Unified School District (AUSD) has decided to implement a new position in the athletic department—district athletic director. Heather Semelmacher from Mark Keppel High School (MKHS) was appointed as the district athletic director (AD). AUSD wanted to incorporate a district AD to enhance athletics
According to Kirsten Neilson, the new on-site AD and current cheer adviser, Semelmacher brings expertise to the program and is vigorously working on improving the athletic department at all three high schools in the district.
“I think [Semelmacher] has been working to streamline the physical process,” Neilson said. “I know she’s really pushing us to become digitized on our sport physicals so our coaches don’t have to carry around a large amount of paperwork. She’s also working on making sure we are all CIF and Title Nine compliant.”
Semelmacher is excited to be a part of the school and hopes to expand and support each school equally. To improve the athletic department, Semelmacher wants more student athletes participating in more than one sport, since there are three seasons. She also wants to bring more spirit and morale to the campus through team spirit and student support.
“[Our number one concern is] making this as smooth of a transition as possible so none of the athletes or coaches feel like they lost a full-time AD,” Semelmacher said. “I’m trying to be active at all three sites on a weekly basis, daily basis, and then for games also.”
Since Semelmacher was a student athlete for her entire collegiate career, she wants the students to feel like they have someone they could come to at the district level. Students are welcomed and encouraged to reach out to the department about what they need or want.
“I would like to make it universal where the coaches feel like they have two ADs,” Semelmacher said. “They can come to us for growth and expansion and the students feel like we haven’t skipped a beat.”
AUSD hopes this arrangement will have all three schools streamlined and functioning on the same timeline, so one school does not feel like they are getting less than another.