Begun over 34 years ago, the purpose of the program is to give recognition to athletic administrators around the country who exemplify the highest standards of their profession. The award plaques are provided by Herff-Jones.
According to NASPE President Fran Cleland of West Chester University of Pennsylvania, "By making a significant impact on the lives of students, Ronnie Chavis has made an outstanding contribution to his school and community. He is also recognized as an administrator of an exemplary athletic program and educator who keeps athletics an integral part of the total education program."
Public Schools of Robeson County Superintendent Dr. Johnny Hunt, said, "Mr. Chavis has demonstrated time and again that he is an exceptional communicator and gifted teacher and coach. The perfect model for a school system athletic director, he is a highly dedicated professional who knows how to motivate his coaches and student athletes to strive for excellence."
Among his many accomplishments, with a Carol M. White Physical Education Grant he purchased each of the seven high schools in his district a fitness center that included new conditioning and physical education equipment. All 35 elementary and middle schools in the district received physical education supplies and equipment as well as special software. He worked with the Public Schools of Robeson County Board of Education to fund a lighting project that provided lights for all the baseball, softball, and two football fields. In addition, Chavis established the Robeson County Coaches Golf Tournament, which has raised over $15,000 to assist coaches and athletes that have experienced hardships.
Among his most recent professional awards, he has received the NCHSAA Distinguished Service Award, the North Carolina Athletic Director of the Year; the National Federation High School Citation and the NIAAA State Award of Merit.
Ronnie has previously served as the president of the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association and served a term on the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors. Chavis received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina-Pembroke and another graduate degree from Campbell University.
Don Patrick of Newton-Conover is a previous national award winner in 2003 and there have been six North Carolina athletic directors who have earned the Southern District honor since 1998.
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is a non-profit professional membership association that sets the standard for practice in physical education and sport. NASPE's 16,000 members include: K-12 physical education teachers, coaches, athletic directors, athletic trainers, sport management professionals, researchers, and college/university faculty who prepare physical activity professionals. NASPE seeks to enhance knowledge, improve professional practice, and increase support for high-quality physical education, sport and physical activity programs through research, development of standards, and dissemination of information. It is the largest of the five national associations that make up the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (AAHPERD).