Contact:  John Johnson 
517.332.5046 or [email protected]

EAST LANSING, Mich.  – June 29 –  A pair of individuals who have distinguished themselves as athletic administrators for more than 20 years apiece -- Dennis Chartier, formerly of Iron Mountain; and Rick Schmidt of Holt – have been named the recipients of the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Allen W. Bush Award for 2011.

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 19th year of the award, with the selections being made by the MHSAA's Representative Council.

Chartier returned to his hometown of Iron Mountain High School in 1988 as an assistant principal and athletic director; before becoming the building principal in 1994, and then the district superintendent in 1995 until 2009.  Prior to that, he had been a teacher, coach and administrator in the Rosholt, Wis., Public School District.

While at Iron Mountain, he oversaw the remodeling of the elementary, middle and senior high schools in the district; increased the district’s fund equity from $35,000 to over $1 million; developed before and after school child care programs and was instrumental in major fundraising efforts affecting the schools and the community at-large.  For nearly 10 years, he was the co-director of the Tom Izzo-Steve Mariucci Golf Classic, raising over $3 million.

Chartier was also a registered MHSAA basketball official for 17 years, working games from the District to the Finals level.

He was honored as a Regional Superintendent of the Year by the Michigan Association of School Administrators in 2009; received an Excellence Award from the Michigan Association of School Boards in 2008; and was named the Upper Peninsula Community Schools Outstanding Administrator in 1996.

A 1980 graduate of Northern Michigan University with a degree in physical, health and drivers education, Chartier also received his Masters of Arts in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1986.  He currently resides in Phoenix, Ariz., where he is a teacher and coach in the Deer Valley Unified School District. 

“Dennis Chartier is someone who has literally sat at every table in education where he could impact the lives of kids and communities – a teacher, coach, administrator and game official – and did it so well,” said John E. “Jack” Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA.  “His love of education, educational athletics and community was on display in everything he did.  We’re pleased to honor him with the Bush Award.”

Schmidt has just completed his 23rd year as an athletic director in the Greater Lansing area, and his 10th at Holt High School, where he administers a 27-sport program.  While at Holt, he has been a force in the development of new athletic facilities that play host to a number of MHSAA Tournament events each year.

For 13 years prior to his current position at Holt, Schmidt was the athletic administrator at Lansing Waverly High School, where he also coordinated community activities, including senior citizen programming and Summer youth recreation.  He also coached baseball and basketball while at Waverly at different levels, and spent two seasons as the varsity baseball and seven years as the girls varsity basketball coach at the school.  He also served as an advisor to the Student Senate at Waverly.

Schmidt has worked closely with the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, serving on committees and earning the title from the association as a Certified Athletic Administrator.  The MIAAA honored Schmidt as a Regional Athletic Director of the Year in 2000.  He has also been involved with the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan, the Mid-Michigan Area Athletic Directors Association and served a term as the Secretary for the Capital Area Conference from 1999-2001.

A 1982 graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in education, physical education and leisure; Schmidt was a recreation coordinator for Waverly Community Services and a program coordinator for the Michigan Recreation and Parks Administration prior to going into school athletic administration.

“Rick Schmidt brings a can-do attitude to his work that has resulted in first-class athletic programs on his watch,” Roberts said.  “He has been a great leader by example, and has won the respect of everyone around him by showing how much he cares.  These are traits that make him an excellent choice for the Bush Award.”

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,500 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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