ANNA — A familiar Shelby County face has joined the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors.
Andy Bixler, superintendent of Anna Local Schools, began a two-year term Aug. 6 during the board’s first meeting of the 2015-16 school year held in Columbus. Bixler will serve as a Class A representative on the state board, representing the Southwest District.
“I wasn’t expecting this,” said Bixler of his election to the board of directors. Members of the Southwest District voted Bixler onto the board of directors. He will remain on the Southwest District board during his two-years on the state-level board. “This is going to be a brand new experience for me.”
The local district boards, said Bixler, are represented by small, medium and large school districts. He represents the small schools in the Southwest District. He was elected to the Southwest Board by the principals in the district.
“Terms on the state board of directors are for two years,” said Bixler. “Openings are rotated by school size and it was the small schools turn this time.”
The OHSAA is the governing body of high school and junior high sports in Ohio. It is a voluntary, non-profit organization that governs 822 high schools and 832 middle schools, which includes approximately 400,000 student-athletes.
“The board of directors meet several times during the year,” said Bixler. “We help establish tournament regulations and enrollment counts on a two-year basis for the schools.”
All member schools, said Bixler, vote on the board’s constitution and bylaws.
“The board of directors makes recommendations to the member schools if changes are needed,” said Bixler. “There’s always a lot going on.”
Currently the board of directors is addressing the ongoing debate about competitive balance among the member schools.
“There’s a perception that some schools — whether they are private, public or have multi-high schools in one district — have an advantage at tournament time,” said Bixler. “
Last year, the board of directors approved a competitive balance proposal for the playoffs. The referendum uses a multiplier formula for adjusting enrollment numbers for football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball and softball. The plan is expected to begin in the 2016-17 school year.
“The office is trying to work out the mechanism to collect the information,” said Bixler. “I know the changes are not in play right now. I think this is going to be an ongoing discussion during my two-year term.”
The board of directors, said Bixler, is designed so schools of different sizes and from different areas of the state are represented on the board.
“This is an effective way to make sure there is representation of the different schools in Ohio,” said Bixler.
Bixler, a 1988 graduate of Bellefontaine High School, received his Bachelor of Science degree in education from Miami University in 1992 and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Dayton in 1996.
He began his career in education teaching mathematics at Brookville High School from 1992 to 1995. He then taught math for four years at Preble Shawnee High School. During his seven years in the classroom, he coached football, basketball and track at various levels. He was the head basketball coach at Preble Shawnee from 1997 to 1999. In 1999, he became high school principal at Preble Shawnee.
Bixler then moved to the high school principal’s job at Anna High School in 2001 and served in that position for five years. In 2006, he accepted the superintendent’s position at the Anna Local Schools and currently remains in that role.
He was initially elected to the Southwest District Board as a AA representative in 2004. He was re-elected to serve the board as a Class A (small school) representative in 2006. He has served continuously on the Southwest District board for the past 11 years and this term on the Board of Directors is his first.
Bixler and his wife, Kim, have been married for 18 years and have three children, Bart, Hope and Blake. Bart is in eighth-grader and Hope is in sixth-grade at Anna Middle School. Blake is a second-grader at Anna Elementary.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SidneyDailyNews.