BY JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Kenwood Academy’s Danae Russell was named the 2018-2019 Class 3A and 4A Division Athletic Director of The Year over the weekend for her strong work in both the community and the classroom.
The award was given to Russell by the Illinois Athletic Director Association in recognition of her commitment, desire, loyalty, character, and leadership qualities to administer a high school athletic program that exemplifies the highest standards of discipline, honesty, and dignity.
“We’re very proud of Ms. Russell,” said Sherry Ball, assistant principal at Kenwood Academy. “She’s a great asset to Kenwood. We appreciate everything she does for the students.”
In her fourth year as athletic director for the Broncos, Russell was recognized for her previous service as a learning projects coordinator for the Feed My Starving Children Illinois organization (2016), a special education teacher at Kenwood Academy from 2012 to present, a post-secondary facilitator for students with special needs, and efforts with numerous alumni associations for various fundraisers.
Since named athletic director in 2015, Russell has displayed strong character, leadership abilities, and has added two new programs to the Broncos sports varsity teams (Boy’s and Girl’s lacrosse), according to her colleagues.
Some of Russell’s most memorable accomplishments as an athletic director were leading her program to the 2019 Chicago Public League track and field championship and celebrating a City Championship appearance by the boys basketball team in 2016.
According to Russell, the IADA goal is to help improve athletic understanding and relationships with high schools in the state of Illinois and the nation, foster a closer working relationship with I.H.S.A., help the National Federation of State High School Associations, and other state high school associations.