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Steve Endsley to retire as Illinois Elementary School Association executive director

Steve Endsley to retire as Illinois Elementary School Association executive director

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BLOOMINGTON — Illinois Elementary School Association executive director Steve Endsley announced he will be retiring at the end of the 2020-21 school year.

IESA associate executive director Nicole Schaefbauer will succeed Endsley and become the first female to lead the association.

Endsley was hired by the IESA in 1988 as an assistant executive director and was promoted to executive director in 1996. Membership grew from 600 to more than 900 schools in Endsley's time as executive director with new activities started including golf, bowling, cheerleading and chess while many of the existing activities were expanded to accommodate the growth.

"It is hard for me to believe that I started with the IESA 32 years ago," said Endsley. "While we have accomplished so much over the years, I am only successful because of the IESA board of directors and staff, the member schools, the administrators, athletic directors, coaches, officials and all of the other people that work together to give students an outstanding experience in education-based activities.

"My staff is unbelievable and they do not get the credit they deserve. We have worked together as a team to help make IESA the outstanding organization it has become. When I was hired, I was the fourth employee. Today we have nine employees. I am so proud of what we do for students in our member schools."

Endsley's career in education began at Pekin Edison Junior High School in 1979-80. He is just the fifth person to serve as the IESA's executive director in the association's 92-year history.

"I am proud of the national presence IESA has developed," said Endsley, who lives in Normal and has one son, Justin, who is a sophomore at Southern Illinois University studying sports management. "My whole goal when I became the executive director was to do things the right way, and by doing so I believed that students would have really great experiences. I hope that has been the case."

Schaefbauer started with the IESA in 1999 as an assistant executive director and was promoted to associate executive director in 2001. She has been the administrator for boys and girls basketball, girls volleyball, track and field, chess, speech, music, scholastic bowl, cross-country, softball and bowling.

In addition, Schaefbauer has worked closely with the Illinois High School Association's officials committee and organized the first-ever IESA athletic director's workshop.

"It is both a tremendous honor and weighty responsibility to serve as the executive director of the IESA," said Schaefbauer. "I thank the Board of Directors for their support and for entrusting this role to me. I look forward to continuing to work with the talented staff here at the IESA, the dedicated administrators, coaches and officials around the state and the whole IESA family to advance the mission of this organization."

Schaefbauer and her husband, Skipp, live in Normal and are the parents of two daughters.


Pantagraph reporter Jim Benson's top five games

Pantagraph reporter Jim Benson's top five games

Contact Jim Benson at (309) 820-3404. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_benson

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