Stevenson-Carson School District proudly introduces John Hallead, the district’s new Athletic Director, who started in February, as athletics returned for the 2021-22 school year.
Hallead sees the position as the culmination of what he has been working toward for his entire career. “I am incredibly excited to work for our students and families in our communities of Stevenson and Carson,” he said. “I am looking forward to building a competitive and honorable athletic program that stresses character at both Stevenson High School and Wind River Middle School.”
Hallead decided to apply for the Athletic Director position in order to become a bigger part of the community where he and his family live. “While I was employed by White Salmon Valley School District, I felt very disconnected from the communities of Stevenson and Carson, so I volunteered to help with the levy committee here last year,” he explained. “I began developing a working relationship with Superintendent Colvard who is a major reason why I applied for the position.”
Initially, Hallead reached out to offer his assistance in finding an athletic director, but after speaking with Superintendent Ingrid Colvard about the position, he realized the position was what he had been looking for. “During our conversation, I realized I was considering the position at which point Ingrid encouraged me to apply,” remembered Hallead. “Long story short, I applied and wholeheartedly accepted when I was offered the position!”
Over his life, Hallead developed a passion for athletics which led to an extensive background in understanding how to manage athletics both as a coach but also as a director. “When I was growing up economically-disadvantaged in a single-parent family, athletics provided me an outlet to meet male role models who served as my coaches,” he said. “Additionally, participating in sports taught me valuable life skills such as teamwork, understanding roles, and the importance of a strong work ethic.”
Beyond playing the sports themselves, Hallead attributes fundraising for helping him to respect and appreciate the importance of community. “Sports showed me grace and altruism as local community members helped me with my equipment needs and assisted in paying registration fees and camp fees,” he said. “Long ago, I pledged to return the favors I was given by providing for the youth in my communities as much as I can.”
This passion led to his pursuit of an athletic director position. “I feel I can contribute more to more kids by being an athletic director more than I could as the coach of a single sport,” said Hallead. “Serving as the AD has definitely broadened my scope of positively affecting our youth more so than previous positions I have held over the years.”
Hallead plans to reinforce the spirit of positive sportsmanship and the love of the sport for Stevenson-Carson athletics. “Our student athletes should leave each practice, game and season with a feeling of having fun and enjoying the fulfilling experience that stems from being an integral part of their respective programs,” he said. “Having fun means kids will return to the sport and will grow mentally, physically, and socially through their experience.”
Hallead points to Stevenson-Carson’s dedicated coaching staff as the reason for so many students finding a passion in school sports. “We have coaches that want the best for kids and work to provide fun and fulfilling experiences for each of them,” he said. “Additionally, our athletics department will strive to make extracurricular opportunities equitable for all students – a place for all students.”
Along those lines, Hallead intends to create resources and support so kids from all walks of life and all genders can participate. “We will create opportunities for kids whose families may be struggling financially and ensure our coaching staff teach more than just athletic fundamentals and techniques,” he said. “We will stress character, discipline, and the lifelong skills and traits that will help our students become positive, successful, and contributing members of our community.”
Hallead plans to build partnerships with the community to provide new opportunities for local businesses to support district athletics while also promoting the goods and services offered in Stevenson and Carson. “Small communities often have financial constraints, but I feel if one door closes, there are many more to discover and I’m certainly willing to look for them,” he said. “One major project I am currently working on is to renovate the South End Tennis Court in order to provide a variety of athletic opportunities for our athletic teams as well as to provide activities for physical education classes at Wind River Middle School.”
Prior to accepting his position at Stevenson-Carson, Hallead has worked full-time for four different school districts as a teacher and coach, and, prior to that, two additional districts as a long-term substitute teacher. He has also served as a collegiate coach for two sports. His most recent role was as Columbia High School’s physical education teacher in White Salmon School District where he was also the head football coach for his first six years and head baseball coach the past nine years. “For me, working in education and athletics is about providing a place for all students and to give opportunities to those who may not have them otherwise,” he said. “Education offers so many opportunities to impact others that a typical job does not and it’s those extra layers that I enjoy the most whether that’s mentoring other coaches or providing a listening ear for a student in need.”
Hallead graduated from Ellensburg High School and earned his Bachelor of Education degree from Central Washington University. He went on to earn a Master of Science degree from California University and is one mentorship away from earning his second Master of Science Degree. Additionally, he holds a Registered Athletic Administrator credential from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, an Accredited Interscholastic Coach certification, and a Certified Interscholastic Coach certification along with four different certifications in weight room instruction including a Certified Personal Trainer credential from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Hallead’s wife also works in education as a guidance counselor for Columbia High School in White Salmon. He has three daughters and a son with the youngest daughter entering her senior year of high school and his son entering his sophomore year. Additionally, Hallead has a furry family that includes two dogs and a cat. “They demand a lot of attention at home,” he laughed. When Hallead has free time, of which he has very little, he enjoys watching his son’s athletic events and his daughter’s theater performances. He also enjoys golfing, going to the beach, and listening to what he refers to as “the glory years of music” from the 1960s.
Many people do not know that Hallead was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the seventh round of the Major League Baseball draft in 1994. He played four seasons in the team’s minor league system, and, as a result of giving up eligibility to play collegiately by signing a professional contract, he received a full four-year academic scholarship to the college of his choice. “It was a big leap moving from a small town to the greatest stage in the world for baseball,” he recalled. “A friend always reminds me to remember that at one point in my life, I was playing with the top 1% of athletes in the world; I am very proud of my experiences in athletics.”