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New Officers, Board Members Elected For National Federation

INDIANAPOLIS— Tom Mezzanotte, executive director of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL), is the new president of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for 2014-15. Mezzanotte, the 55th president of the NFHS, began his one-year term July 3 following the NFHS Summer Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. 

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is one of the member associations of the NFHS.

Tom Welter, executive director of the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA), was elected by the NFHS Board of Directors to the position of president-elect for the upcoming year.

In addition, the following individuals were approved by the NFHS National Council for four-year terms on the NFHS Board of Directors: Jerome Singleton, commissioner of the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL), Section 3; Eddie Bonine Sr., CAA, executive director of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA), Section 7; and Anna Battle, Ed.D., assistant superintendent for district operations, Tempe (Arizona) Union High School District, at large, Sections 3 and 7.

Mezzanotte was named executive director of the RIIL in 2004 after serving more than 30 years in the Providence (Rhode Island) School Department. He has held administrative positions at various high schools and middle schools in Rhode Island, including assistant principal of Mount Pleasant High School and head principal at S.W. Bridgham Middle School and Providence Classical High School. In addition, he served in central administration as the executive director of student support services for the Providence School District.

Mezzanotte’s involvement in high school athletics started in 1972, when he coached varsity football at Johnston (Rhode Island) High School as well as varsity girls volleyball at Providence Central High School. He had extensive involvement with the RIIL prior to joining the staff. He was a member of the RIIL Principals’ Committee on Athletics for 10 years and served terms as chairman and director of football.

Mezzanotte, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Providence (Rhode Island) College, previously served on the Rhode Island Association of School Principals Executive Board. He has received many awards, including the 2011 Rhode Island Athletic Trainers Association Service Award, the 2008 United States Scholar-Athlete “Power of Good Award,” the Distinguished Service Award from the Rhode Island Athletic Administrators Association, the Above and Beyond Award in 2003 from the Employer Support of the National Guard and Reserve, the Brown University Athletic Appreciation Award, the Sons of Italy Award and induction into the Classical High School Hall of Fame.

In addition to his service on the NFHS Board of Directors, Mezzanotte previously was a member of the NFHS Annual Summer Meeting Advisory Committee and NFHS Football Rules Committee, and he recently has served on the NFHS Task Force for the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities.

Welter, a native of Oregon, joined the OSAA in 1995 as assistant executive director and was chosen executive director in 2001.

After graduating from Oregon State University in 1971, Welter taught in Whyalla, South Australia, for three years before returning to Oregon in 1974, where he began a 20-year term of service at Central Catholic High School in Portland. He began as a teacher and coach and was the school’s athletic director for 18 years and vice principal/dean of students for 15 years.

During his years at Central Catholic, Welter was president of the Oregon Athletic Directors Association (OADA) in 1990-91. In 2010, he received the OADA Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the Oregon Athletic Coaches Distinguished Service Award. He also was honored by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) with the NIAAA State Award of Merit in 1993 and the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 1996. Welter was inducted into the Central Catholic High School Hall of Fame in 2005 and the OADA Hall of Fame in 2014. 

Among his previous service to the NFHS, Welter was a member of the Sanctioning Committee (1995-98), Football Rules Committee (1995-2004) and the Strategic Planning Committee (2008). He has made several presentations at the NFHS Summer Meeting, NFHS/NIAAA National Athletic Directors Conference and NFHS Legal Meeting.

Singleton is the NFHS representative from Section 3, of which North Carolina is a part. He has served as SCHSL commissioner since July 2005 after 10 years as the organization’s associate commissioner and one year as assistant commissioner. During his time as associate commissioner, Singleton was responsible for the administration of football, basketball, track and field, and cross country. He formulated and implemented SCHSL policies for boys and girls athletic programs and also supervised the publicity of the SCHSL athletic activities and services.

Singleton has been a member of the several NFHS committees, including the Equity Committee, Citizenship Committee, Coaches Education Committee, Track and Field Rules Committee, and the NFHS Strategic Planning Committee.

Prior to joining the SCHSL, Singleton was an assistant principal at Irmo (South Carolina) Dutch Fork High School; an assistant athletic director, teacher and coach at Charleston (South Carolina) Burke High School; an assistant principal at Greenwood (South Carolina) Northside Junior High School; and a teacher and coach at Greenwood High School.

Singleton graduated from Newberry (South Carolina) College in 1981 with a degree in physical education, and he earned his master’s degree from Clemson University in 1987.