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2006 Norris Award Presented To Jeanne Skinner

EAST LANSING, Mich.  – April 29 – One of the state’s leading volleyball officials and rules interpreters, Jeanne Skinner of Grand Rapids (below, with current MHSAA Executive Director Jack Roberts and former director Vern Norris) has received the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Vern L. Norris Award for 2006.

2006norrisThe Norris Award is presented annually to a veteran official who has been active in a local officials association, has mentored other officials, and has been involved in official's education. It is named for Vern L. Norris, who was executive director of the MHSAA from 1978-86, and well-respected by officials on the state and national levels. Skinner received the award at the MHSAA’s 27th annual Official’s Awards and Alumni Banquet on Saturday evening (April 29) at the Sheraton Lansing Hotel.

In her 31st year as a registered MHSAA official, Skinner’s knowledge and expertise in volleyball has earned her assignments at all levels of MHSAA tournaments, including the Finals for a stretch spanning more than a decade at one point in her career.

Her work on the court signifies only part of the contributions she has made to the sport statewide. She is a founding member and past president and vice president of the West Michigan Volleyball Officials Association, and still serves the association as a certified trainer.

Skinner also founded the Michigan Women’s Coaches Association, which is now the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association.

A state rated collegiate volleyball official, Skinner also is a founding member, assignor, trainer and evaluator for the Michigan Professional Volleyball Officials Association, assigning for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

For the MHSAA, Skinner has conducted volleyball rules meetings throughout the state, served numerous terms on volleyball committees, and works for the train the trainers program.

Skinner works tirelessly to recruit and train volleyball officials throughout Michigan, and her career has paralleled the growth of volleyball in this state.

“Jeanne is among the two or three most influential persons in Michigan volleyball officiating,” said MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts. “The MHSAA has been blessed by her dedication to the high school level and her mentoring of so many officiating colleagues for Michigan’s most popular high school girls sport.”

A former teacher in the Wyoming Park school district, Skinner received her bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University, and her master’s degree from the University of Michigan. Currently she teaches volleyball officiating at Aquinas College.

“Jeanne is a very unassuming person who leads by example,” said MHSAA Assistant Director Gina Mazzolini. “Her teaching background combined with her knowledge of the game of volleyball allow her to effectively instruct and mentor officials at all levels.  She has a genuine concern for the officiating profession and promotes it at every opportunity.”

Previous recipients of the Norris Award are:

  • 1992 – Ted Wilson, East Detroit
  • 1993 – Fred Briggs, Burton
  • 1994 – Joe Brodie, Flat Rock
  • 1995 – Jim Massar, Flint
  • 1996 – Jim Lamoreaux, St. Ignace
  • 1997 – Ken Myllyla, Escanaba
  • 1998 – Blake Hagman, Kalamazoo
  • 1999 – Richard Kalahar, Jackson
  • 2000 – Barb Beckett, Traverse City; Karl Newingham, Bay City
  • 2001 – Herb Lipschultz, Kalamazoo
  • 2002 – Robert Scholie, Hancock
  • 2003 – Ron Nagy, Hazel Park
  • 2004 – Carl Van Heck, Grand Rapids
  • 2005 – Bruce Moss, Alma

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,800 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.


NOTE: Click here to download a high resolution image of Jeanne Skinner. Skinner (center) is shown with Vern L. Norris (right) and MHSAA Executive Director John E. "Jack" Roberts (left).


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