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S.D.'s Pickering recipient of (NFHS) Citation
By Staff reports

June 12. 2014 9:37AM
Twelve leaders in high school activity programs across the country have been selected to receive National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citations, including Ken Pickering from South Dakota.

An award designed to honor individuals who have made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, athletic director and coaching professions, the officiating avocation and fine arts/performing arts programs, the NFHS Citation is one of the most highly regarded achievements in high school athletics and performing arts.
The 2014 NFHS Citation recipients will receive their awards July 1 at the 95th annual NFHS Summer Meeting in Boston, Mass.

Eight of the 12 award winners represent NFHS-member state high school associations. The other four Citation recipients represent NFHS professional organizations for officials, coaches, music leaders and speech/debate/theatre directors.

The eight state association recipients are Paul Hoey, associate executive director of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference; Brad Cashman, retired executive director of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association; Gary Phillips, assistant executive director of the Georgia High School Association; Sandy Searcy, assistant commissioner of the Indiana High School Athletic Association; Debra Velder, assistant director of the Nebraska School Activities Association; Wadie Moore, assistant executive director of the Arkansas Activities Association; Marie Ishida, retired executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation; and Gary Matthews, executive director of the Alaska School Activities Association.

Other Citation recipients are Jeff Hilyer, Official Citation recipient, football official, Opelika, Alabama; Tom Zimorski, Coach Citation recipient, retired deputy director of the Virginia High School League; Rosanne Malek, Music Citation recipient, fine arts coordinator for the Iowa Department of Education; and Ken Pickering, Speech/Debate/Theatre Citation recipient, retired assistant executive director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association.

About Ken Pickering - NFHS Speech, Debate and Theatre Association
Ken Pickering retired from the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) in 2012 after an outstanding 48-year career in secondary education.
Almost half of Pickering’s career as an educator was spent with the SDHSAA. During his 22 years as assistant executive director of the state association, Pickering was responsible for administering the organization’s speech, drama, music, journalism and student council activities.

In addition to his day-to-day duties at the SDHSAA, Pickering was involved with many speech and debate organizations at the state and national levels. He was president (1968-71) and secretary-treasurer (1975-79) of the Speech Communication Association of South Dakota and was South Dakota’s voting delegate at the annual Debate Topic Selection Meeting.

Pickering also served as secretary-treasurer of the South Dakota Forensics Coaches Association (SDFCA) and was a member of the SDHSAA Speech Advisory Committee for 12 years. Nationally, Pickering served a term on the NFHS Speech Committee and was a frequent speaker at the NFHS Summer Meeting, NFHS Music Conference and NFHS Speech Directors Meeting.

Before joining the SDHSAA in 1989, Pickering taught social studies and English, coached speech and debate, and directed theatre activities for 26 years at Clear Lake (South Dakota) High School. His teams won the SDHSAA State Policy Debate Championship six times and finished second six other times. Thirteen of his students won individual event championships at the state tournament, while an additional 20 students placed second. Pickering’s Oral Interpretation teams won 26 consecutive district championships.

Pickering was the recipient of the SDHSAA Distinguished Service Award for 2011-12, and he was recognized by the South Dakota Music Educators Association in 2011 for his years of dedicated service to music. He has been honored by the SDFCA three times, including Coach of the Year in 1979-80, Distinguished Service Award in 1984 and induction into the SDFCA Hall of Fame in 1989.

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