Gladstones Applebee goes elementary
The former high school AD says hes most proud of raising the academic bar for athletes
Jere Applebee, the athletic director at Gladstone High School since 2004, has resigned that position to work full time in student management at John Wetten Elementary School.
I still like athletics and I will miss being around the kids and the game, and the coaches, said Applebee. The part Im not going to miss is the demand of all the evening requirements.
Applebee says that there have many times over the years where evening events have meant 14- to 15-hour days, sometimes four days in a week.
Applebee, 55, started at Gladstone in 2000, teaching health and physical education classes and coaching girls basketball.
He became athletic director in 2004, while still coaching basketball and teaching a couple of classes. He continued as basketball coach through the 2007-2008 season.
The last two school years, because of budget reductions, he has worn two diverse hats, working half-time as athletic director at the high school and half-time in student management at the elementary school, a position he shared with another administrator.
Im doing a lot of the same things at the elementary school, only the continuity is better, Applebee said. Its a big elementary school. There are 750 students. It gives me the opportunity to get to know the kids better, and the kids have opportunity to know me better.
Besides student management, Applebee says his main responsibilities at John Wetten include state testing and PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention System).
Applebee said the thing he is most proud of during his tenure at the high school is changes we made with school athletics and academics.
Seven years ago our coaching staff decided to raise the academic requirements for participating in athletics, Applebee says. The OSAA (Oregon School Activities Association) says you cant have more than one F and still participate in athletics. We have five periods at Gladstone, so that meant you could have four Ds and one F and still participate.
Seven years ago the coaches at Gladstone got together and chose to raise the bar. At Gladstone you have to have at least a 2.0 GPA with no Fs to be eligible to participate in athletics....
Our kids rose to the challenge. We have 17 sports [at Gladstone] and in the last three years weve had 50 of 51 varsity sports teams receive the OSAA/Dairy Farmers Academic Award, which means theyve had varsity team GPAs of 3.0 or higher....
Thats what Im most proud of: raising the academic expectations of the kids.
Gladstone High Schools athletic teams have had plenty of success during Appebees tenure as athletic director. Most recently, during the past school year, Gladstones girls soccer team won its third state title in the past four seasons; and in the spring, Gladstones girls track team defended its state team title, while the Gladiators advanced to the semifinals in softball.
I think the quality of coaches is one of the reasons our programs have continued successful, even with the budget cuts, said Applebee. And Ive had a quality athletic secretary in Denise Durkee. Between Denise and the coaches, Ive been surrounded by quality people.
Plus, the booster club has been invaluable. With the budget cuts weve had, theyve supported us financially the last two years, funding our equipment budget 100 percent. They organize and work all concessions for games, and that brings in additional money into our athletic programs. Weve got a new scoreboard, and they made a huge contribution to the scoreboard.
There have been several improvements to Gladstone High School athletic facilities since Applebee took over as athletic director.
In 2008, artificial turf was installed, along with a new track, in the schools multi-purpose stadium.
The turf and new track gave us more flexibility for practices and PE classes, plus its saved money, in that we havent had to reseed due to wear and tear on the softball and baseball outfields.
There have been improvements made to the baseball and softball fields, in 2010 the gym floor was replaced and new bleachers were installed in the main gym. And this past summer, a new scoreboard was installed for the high schools artificial turf facility.
Im excited about doing something different and Im looking forward to a new challenge, said Applebee. I wont have near as much evening supervision stuff, and I think my wife will like that.