Ask the AD - Derek Maki, Dundalk High School
Today we're featuring Derek Maki from Dundalk High School in Baltimore County! Derek spoke with us about a variety of topics, including the impact a new stadium has had on Dundalk's athletic program!
County Sports Zone:How did you become athletic director at Dundalk? How did your appointment come about?
Derek Maki:It was being in the right place at the right time. I was the athletic director at Kenwood for 13 years and was moved to a teaching position at Dundalk in the summer of 2014.
Shortly thereafter the athletic director position at Dundalk became open and I was offered it by then principal Tom Shouldice. I gladly accepted the appointment since my goal all along was to remain in athletic administration. From the first day on the job until now I am able to say I am proud to be an Owl.
CSZ:How has the job of athletic director changed since you started? How has it stayed the same?
DM:The job has changed with the growth in technology in our society and you have to keep up with current trends. Also, when I first started athletic directors had to teach two or more classes per day. Now most schools give their athletic directors a reduced load or a non teaching schedule. It has become a year round, almost 24/7 type of position.
It has stayed same in the way that as an athletic director, one must be able to multi task and be a one man or one woman operation. Just like when I started in the position, most of my colleagues don't really know what the job entails and the hours put in. Every day brings new challenges and adventures and always has, but that is what makes the job so appealing to me.
CSZ:What do you enjoy most about your job?
DM:I like to be able to walk out on the fields and see four games going at one time and the students having fun in the midst of competition knowing that all the behind the scenes work that I put in was worth it.
My job is to serve others. I like to see my coaches develop and encourage them to continue their professional development because it all comes back in their ability to help our students. The students benefit and that's why we are all in the business of education to begin with.
CSZ:What're a couple keys to running a successful athletics program?
DM:One must be organized, consistent, and be able to build positive relationships. Having a strong coaching staff and a supportive administration is very important. Dundalk has always had many of its faculty involved in coaching and that is essential. The administrations I have worked with all have had the same philosophy and they realized how much of an impact a strong athletic program has on the climate of a school.
CSZ:How would you rate this past year for Dundalk Athletics? Were there a couple highlights that stand out?
DM:I believe that Dundalk Athletics has been on the rise in recent years. We've earned the respect of other programs by having competitive teams who respect the game and display good sportsmanship.
Some of the highlights this year include our football team making the state playoffs, our boys basketball team playing the the regional final for the second year in a row, being able to field a JV girls soccer team for the first time in many years and seeing the continued development of our track programs.
CSZ:How do you view the athletic director's role within the community of a high school?
DM:I believe an athletic director needs to build positive relationships with the community. I attend booster club meetings , alumni meetings and volunteer at our school booth at the Dundalk Heritage fair. It's important to get the pulse of the community and I encourage our coaching staff to do the same.
It's important to recognize the past history of Dundalk and it's athletes as well. We revived the athletics Hall of Fame a few years back and it has been a successful way of recognizing community members. We also like to interact with our local businesses and always emphasize the many positive things that go on at Dundalk High School.
CSZ:A few years back Dundalk had a brand new stadium get built. How has that addition improved Dundalk Athletics?
DM:The stadium has helped raise the visibility of not only our athletic program, but the school in general. The students like the opportunity to play "under the lights." It has really help develop a sense of community pride. The football team has sold out the stadium a number of times in the three years I have been there.
With the installation of a turf field last year, it is one of the best facilities in the county. We have hosted state track meets and all our soccer and lacrosse games are played there, giving the community an opportunity to support their neighborhood school.
CSZ:Is there anything exciting or new from the Dundalk Athletics department that we should be on the look out for?
DM:Well, we want our student-athletes to continue to be good citizens on and off the field and will be rolling out a new character building program this fall. I'm excited about it.
I'm also proud of the fact that we have 12 current coaches and five former coaches who are nationally certified by the NFHS, more than any other Baltimore County school. We will continue that trend, having more coaches getting certified this year. I'm excited to have some great new coaches who will add their experience to our staff in the coming school year.
|July 14th, 2017||By: Wick Eisenberg|