In a year where Dallas Center-Grimes High school witnessed their softball, soccer (boys and girls), cross country (boys and girls), volleyball, cheer-leading, and other activities grace the state tournament/state meet stages, it could very well be safe to say it’s been quite successful for DC-G. If you thought that would be all, you would be mistaken as Steve Watson, Activities Director for Dallas Center-Grimes high school was awarded the central district AD of the Year.
It is a well earned honor for Watson and to those who know him, a long time coming. At least seven activities alone have graced the state stages under Watson’s watch and while he feels honored by the award, it’s one that he mentioned he didn’t earn alone.
“This award has just as much to do with the coaches, players, and community members as it does with me,” began Watson. “It takes everyone buying into our goals and visions in order to make things successful and that’s where our coaches and other faculty have really come in handy. Dallas Center-Grimes high school has established a great atmosphere filled with positivity and the desire to succeed and that has played a big part in the successes of our activities from athletics to fine arts.”
In that same breath, the coaches, faculty members, and community members are quite aware of the time and effort put forth by Watson. One such individual, DC-G head football coach Scott Heitland, commented on Watson and his honor.
“I know for a fact that Steve is very deserving of that honor,” began Heitland. “For the longest time, Steve has been providing students at Dallas Center-Grimes opportunities to succeed in a variety of things. He has been an instrumental part in creating the nurturing and successful atmosphere here at DC-G. He’s a great AD but an even better person overall and when you are a school that’s growing, there’s no better person to move things along positively than him.”
Only a handful of individuals earn such an honor and just like any sport, there is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes on. With the goal of success driving nearly every decision made, one of Watson’s guiding principles has been to provide every student at Dallas Center-Grimes high school with opportunity.
“Giving every student the opportunity to succeed is our primary focus whether it’s in the classroom or on the playing surface,” began Watson. “I always want to see our kids succeed and some of the greatest ways to do that is to surround them with coaches who will push them and build them up, top equipment so they can grow and advance, and great facilities to play in.”
Certainly all the success and growth for DC-G High School has been a long time in the making back to when the school resembled closer to a Class 1A school than a Class 3A school. There have been a lot of peaks and valleys and a lot of growth and Watson has been there through it all in his 24th year as activities director. Earlier in the week, Watson reflected on the growth of Dallas Center-Grimes high school.
“This school has gone through a lot of changes both with facilities and growth of the student body,” said Watson. “It’s been great to see this school and community grow from a small school to a big school that continually earns state wide recognition whether it be in athletics, fine arts, or other. It’s been quite the journey and I’m honored to simply have been here for it all.”
With any profession, there are ups and downs, challenges and accomplishments. The world of an Activities Director is no different and Watson talked about the challenges and joys he’s experienced in his position.
“The biggest challenge that usually faces activities directors especially these days is the continual growth of the student body,” said Watson. “That then effects scheduling with events in school and with other schools and is a continually moving target. On the other hand, one of the best things about my job is that I get to watch and see our students grow. I love watching them succeed and grow not just as an athlete, singer, artist, and so forth, but as a person as well.”
Overall, Watson has been improving the lives of students at DC-G for 32 years. His state wide recognition is well deserving and one he won’t soon forget.
“I’m honored by the award and it does feel good but what feels better is sharing this with all the other deserving individuals who have helped me along the way,” said Watson.
Watson is the 45th athletic/activities director to earn this award.