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EAST LANSING, Mich.  – June 1 – Two individuals who have combined for nearly 80 years of service to educational athletics in administrative, coaching and officiating roles, Keith Alto of Newberry and Betty Wroubel of Clawson have been named the recipients of the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Allen W. Bush Award for 2010.
Al Bush served as executive director of the MHSAA for 10 years. The award honors individuals for past and continuing service to prep athletics as a coach, administrator, official, trainer, doctor or member of the media. The award was developed to bring recognition to men and women who are giving and serving without a lot of attention. This is the 18th year of the award, with the selections being made by the MHSAA's Representative Council. 

Alto retired in 2002 after 34 years of service as a teacher, athletic director and principal at Newberry High School, but has remained active as a game official in football and track and field, and will complete his 42nd year of service at Saturday’s (June 5) MHSAA Upper Peninsula Track & Field Finals in Kingsford, where he will receive his award.  He has also officiated basketball.

As an official, Alto has worked MHSAA Finals in football on two occasions and track and field on four previous occasions.  As an athletic administrator, he brought the MHSAA’s coaches education efforts to the Upper Peninsula for the first time, served on the Association’s Upper Peninsula Athletic Committee, and on the organization’s governing board – the Representative Council – for three terms.  He also served as a tournament manager for numerous MHSAA post-season events.

Alto has been previously recognized by his peers as the Upper Peninsula Athletic Director of the year, and as a Regional Athletic Director of the Year by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.  In the community, he has served as president of the board of directors for the Helen Newberry Joy Hospital; and on the boards of the Newberry Country Club and Trinity Lutheran Church.  

He is a graduate of Northern Michigan University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and his Master’s degree in Educational Administration. 

“Keith Alto’s passion for education and educational athletics is evident in his life’s work,” said John E. “Jack” Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA.  “He is respected for his knowledge and administration of game rules in the athletic classroom, and for providing the best educational environment for the young people he served in the academic classroom.  He brought a great work ethic to us in his service on the Upper Peninsula Athletic Committee and the Representative Council.  We’re pleased to honor him with the Bush Award.”

Wroubel has seen the name of her school change over the years from Pontiac Catholic to Oakland Catholic to Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, but she has been a constant at 1300 Giddings Road with 36 years of dedicated servant leadership as a teacher, coach and administrator, in addition to over 20 years as a registered game official.

An outstanding coach in softball and volleyball, Wroubel directed Pontiac Catholic to a Class C softball crown in 1983, and Notre Dame Prep to a volleyball title in the fall of 2007.  Two of her softball teams have been finalists and four others have advanced past the Regional level of play; while five of volleyball squads have reached the Final round of that tournament.  Her coaching honors include Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association in 2007; and being inducted into the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association and Detroit Catholic High School League Halls of Fame.

Her leadership skills of the athletic program at Notre Dame Prep saw the school being honored this year with the Exemplary Athletic Program Award from the Michigan Interscholastic Administrators Association.  The school hosts a variety of Detroit Catholic High School League and MHSAA Tournaments annually, and has also hosted the Association’s Coaches Advancement Program on several occasions.  The Catholic High School League honored Wroubel with its Tom Kelly Athletic Director of the Year Award in 2007.  The recently completed athletic training facility at Notre Dame Prep has been named in her honor – the Betty A. Wroubel Athletic Performance Center.

She is a graduate of Central Michigan University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education; and she earned her Master’ degree in Classroom Teaching from Michigan State University.  In the community, she volunteers at a local soup kitchen, works with youth sports programs and is a Eucharistic minister at her church.  Wroubel will receive her award at a date and time to be announced.

“The fruits of a labor of love by Betty Wroubel for school sports and the school community are visible in the success her teams and program have enjoyed,” Roberts said.  “Betty Wroubel has developed the character of a school and the character of its people by displaying a sense of hard work, a sense of fair play, a sense of integrity – and all of this with a sense of humility – we can call be proud of.  The Bush Award is another fitting honor recognizing the great work Betty has done.”
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,600 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition.  No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools.  Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.


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