Rich Steger, a 27-year physical education teacher, was appointed on Dec. 7 as Valley Central’s Interim Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics.
He is replacing Bill Miller, who was promoted on Sept. 29 to Interim Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. In addition to his districtwide duties, Miller also was running the Athletic Office for the last two months.
“Even though the pandemic has delayed the beginning of sports, there is still a lot of work to do in the Athletic Director position,” Miller said. “Both positions deserve full attention, and I am pleased that Rich Steger will now serve the district in the (Athletic Director position. He has a great skill set for the role.”
The Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association on Nov. 25 postponed the start of winter athletics to Jan. 19 although Orange Ulster-BOCES Interscholastic Coordinator Chris Mayo said schools may continue their offseason workouts based on district polices.
The Valley Central School District is operating on remote learning until Jan. 19.
High-risk sports, which include basketball, wrestling, football, competitive cheerleading, volleyball, and lacrosse, have not been approved to go forward by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Dept. of Health. All other sports have been cleared to play by the state.
The postponed fall sports season has been moved to March and April, while the New York State Public High School Athletic Association has set April 19 as the start for spring sports.
“I know (Valley Central) has a stellar program as both my daughters participated in athletics (here) and I was able to see firsthand how valuable those experiences are for our students,” Steger said.
Steger has worked as a physical education teacher in all three of the district’s elementary schools. He also taught in the summer school and evening high school programs. He has been an advocate throughout his career as a teacher and has had a longtime leadership role with the teachers, secretaries, and paraprofessionals’ union.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland, a master’s degree in special education from Mount Saint Mary College and a certificate of advanced study in Administration from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
“The entire program is strong because of the dedicated work of both previous athletic directors, Bill Miller and Mike Bellarosa,” Steger said. “I look forward to continuing to move VC forward in athletics, physical and health.”