Fairfield schools activities director Jeff Courtright has been named the Iowa High School Speech Association’s Fine Arts Administrator of the Year, its highest honor.
Courtright received the award Oct. 6 when he and wife Laurie traveled to the Gateway Hotel in Ames for the Iowa High School Speech Association’s Fine Arts speech coaches’ convention.
Courtright, who oversees sports, fine arts, clubs and all of the extra curricular events in the district, said it was “quite an honor and surprise.”
He was nominated a few years back by the high school’s speech coaches, and nominees remain eligible until chosen.
Courtright is adamant that this award is a reflection of the people he’s surrounded by and not specifically his efforts.
“I classify myself as an ordinary activities director who gets to work with extraordinary people including our coaches, teachers and administrators here at Fairfield,” explained the modest Trojan leader.
“Fairfield has done well and I get to accept this award on behalf of the school and the community,” added Courtright, who continued. “Our community feels it is important to stress all activities and not just sports and they give their time, resources and treasures to this school and this honor is a great reflection of our town.”
Courtright has been involved with school activities in Fairfield community for many years. He is a passionate believer in the arts and activities at Fairfield, and a true supportor for all programs in the school.
He believes that speech, music, drama, and all activities teach students valuable lessons they can learn no other way.
Many years ago, Courtright developed a “One Fairfield” mentality and took steps to instill this value in his coaches and sponsors.
FHS English teacher and speech coach Fred Hucke said of him, “He has been pushing the ‘One Fairfield’ slogan for years now, promoting the idea of supporting each other across all school activities. He practices what he preaches. When we hosted a speech contest, he was right there helping to make things easier for us. He is equally involved when our music departments hosts festivals and contests and all of this comes on top of the countless hours he spends getting all the details right for our sporting events. Mr. Courtright has made it his mission to ensure the students of Fairfield schools will have access to quality, thriving activity programs for years to come and all programs are treated fairly. “
From his nomination letter, former Fairfield speech coach Kevin Hosbond stated, “Our school has faced severe budget cuts each year. Often the speech team assistant position has been on the chopping block. Usually we are able to rally with students and parent groups to convince the school board of our needs. This year, Mr. Courtright took it one step further. He came up with a list of all the duties the speech coaches are responsible for, and then he told the school board that they could cut his salary if they thought it was so important to cut the assistant speech coach position. It was an amazing moment for our team, and for me personally, because that was my job on the line.”