THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA’S
August, 2002 - Paul Vallas, the new Chief Executive Officer of the School District of Philadelphia makes the decision to pursue having the School District High Schools become members in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA). This decision paves the way for School District student-athletes to participate in PIAA Playoff competition for the very first time in the history of Public School Athletics.
September, 2002 - Marjorie Wuestner, Executive Director of the Office of Health, Safety, Physical Education and Sports Administration, makes the first phone call to PIAA administration to invite PIAA administrative staff to a meeting at the School District Administration Office, 21st Street and The Parkway.
October 30, 2002 - First joint meeting of School District of Philadelphia and PIAA administration. Three other meetings followed between November, 2002 and March, 2003.
November 21, 2002 - Second meeting of School District of Philadelphia and PIAA administration.
December 13, 2002 - School District of Philadelphia officially announces decision to apply for membership in the PIAA. Announcement comes in the form of a celebration held at William Penn High School. Coaches, athletic directors and championship teams were invited to be part of the celebration and historic event.
January 8, 2003 - PIAA membership applications are sent out to all high school principals.
January 21, 2003 - Team of Philadelphia administrators (Marjorie Wuestner, Robert Coleman, Danielle Floyd, Ray Rhone) travel to “sister city”, Pittsburgh, to meet with Vernon Young, PIAA District VIII Chair, to see athletic facilities and discuss PIAA policies and initiatives. Vernon Phillips becomes an important mentor to the Philadelphia team. Third joint meeting School District of Philadelphia and PIAA administration is held in Pittsburgh.
January 25, 2003 - All PIAA applications are returned to the Office of Health, Safety. Physical Education and Sports Administration.
March 12, 2003 - School Reform Commission reviews the applications and Board Resolution.
March 21, 2003 - Philadelphia team of administrators (Creg Williams, Deputy Chief Academic Officer; Marjorie Wuestner, Executive Director; Robert Coleman, Assistant Athletic Director; and Danielle Floyd, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff) asks the PIAA Board to accept membership from 37 Philadelphia high schools. The PIAA Boards of Officials in Hershey, Pennsylvania, unanimously votes to accept Philadelphia’s membership and Philadelphia officially becomes known at PIAA District XII.
May 8, 2003 - District XII Committee is formed. Robert Coleman is selected as District XII Chairperson. Marjorie Wuestner is Executive Director of District XII. Committee members are Martin Bednarek, Jack Creighton, Mike Hawkins, Cliff Hubbard, Mike Rodkey, Joe Stanley, Doug Macauley, Ron Cohen, Cheryl Mobley, Tom Jacoby, Kelly Barton, Maxine Harvey, Carole Cipriano.
July 1, 2003 - The first day that the School District of Philadelphia is an official member of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) District XII. The stage is set to begin a new sports legacy in a School District that has had a rich history in athletic competition. This begins an interim year, where the School District (PIAA District XII) adjusts to all changes in policies and is compliance with PIAA Constitution and By-Laws. State championship competition will begin in 2004-05.
Changing the athletic infrastructure that has been in place for over 100 years has offered many challenges. However, the Office of Health, Safety, Physical Education and Athletics has been on the “fast track” in making certain that the School District will be in PIAA compliance beginning July 1, 2003. Meetings and input from other administrative offices, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, athletic directors, sport chairpersons, coaches, principals, parents and students have helped create a new vision for Interscholastic Athletic Competition for Philadelphia student athletes.
July 1, 2004-05 - First year that School District of Philadelphia (PIAA District XII) is eligible to participate in PIAA State Championship Competition.