The National Federation of State High School Associations announced that Ashe County High School in West Jefferson has earned Level 1 status in the NFHS School Honor Roll.

The newly instituted NFHS School Honor Roll is a national recognition program designed to promote professional development for high school coaches by completing specific online education courses through the NFHS Learning Center (www.NFHSLearn.com).

In earning Level 1 status, more than 90 percent of the coaches at Ashe County High School completed the core course “Fundamentals of Coaching” along with three of the Learning Center’s most significant courses — “Concussion in Sports,” “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” and “Protecting Students from Abuse.”

“We want to congratulate the coaches and administration at Ashe County High School for taking this significant step in prioritizing professional development,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “These four courses will definitely help the coaches at Ashe County High School to handle the daily challenges in high school sports and should serve as a challenge for other schools to follow their example.”

“I am extremely proud of our coaching staff here at Ashe County High School,” said David Koontz, athletic director and assistant principal at ACHS. “With their commitment to professional development as coaches, we continue to strive toward our goal of being the best educational-based athletic program in the state of North Carolina. We believe that by investing in professional development opportunities for our coaching staff, they will be fully prepared to teach our student-athletes the skills needed to be successful in the classroom, on the field and in their future endeavors.”

As a physical sign of completing Level 1 certification, ACHS will receive a large display banner for its school gymnasium to commemorate its accomplishments and dedication to professional development and education-based activity programs.

Schools can earn Level 2 status (and a Level 2 banner) on the NFHS School Honor Roll when more than 90 percent of their coaches — excluding volunteer coaches — complete courses that pertain specifically to sports they coach, along with “First Aid, Health and Safety,” “Heat Illness Prevention” and “Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.”

A Level 3 banner will be awarded for schools that reach 90-percent completion for the “Sportsmanship,” “Strength and Conditioning,” “Teaching and Modeling Behavior,” “Engaging Effectively with Parents” and “Bullying, Hazing, and Inappropriate Behaviors” courses.

“Earning the NFHS School Honor Roll banner is a symbol that the school and its coaches are committed to providing a great experience for young people, and it’s something that everyone can be proud of within their communities,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS Director of Educational Services.

For more information on the NFHS School Honor Roll and to apply for participation in the program, please visit www.nfhslearn.com/home/administrators.

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