BDHS Athletic Director Melissa Gehring Joins WIAA Executive Staff

After 20 years in the Beaver Dam Unified School District Athletic Director Melissa Gehring has accepted the position of Assistant Director with the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. 

“It is bitter-sweet excitement. I’m really fortunate to be able to continue working in a field that I’m really passionate about, and in a different capacity serve the community that I’ve grown to love the last 20 years.”  Gehring told DailyDodge.com.  “As hard as it is to leave (the Beaver Dam Unified School District), I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I knew a couple of years ago if I ever went anywhere else I couldn’t go do this same job for another school because I’m so loyal here in Beaver Dam, But this is different. I feel like can still serve the people that I love here and continue on with what I’m really passionate about.”

Gehring began her career in the BDUSD as a social studies teacher in 2002.  During her time in BD also had a stint as head girls volleyball coach that included a trip to the 2004 WIAA State Tournament.  She took the role of Associate Principal and Athletic Director in 2013.  

“I started here right out of college and didn’t know where Beaver Dam was.” Gehring said.   “I found it on the map and decided to apply. It’s the people that have kept me here.” 

Gehring was named the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association District Six Athletic Director of the Year this past spring and has led professional development at both the state and national level.

Gehring will continue to work for the BDUSD until August.

Here is the WIAA press release announcing Gehring’s position with the organization.

MELISSA GEHRING TO JOIN WIAA EXECUTIVE STAFF

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association announced the hiring of Melissa Gehring as an assistant director for the association today. She will assume her role at the organization’s headquarters on Aug. 1, 2022.

“I was fortunate to have benefitted from my participation in athletics during my formative years,” Gehring said.  “After spending the last decade working to provide similar experiences and opportunities for the students in Beaver Dam, I’m honored to have the privilege to continue that effort on a state-wide level.”

Gehring’s responsibilities will include the administration, coordination of duties and tournament planning for the sports assigned as well as other administrative duties.

“We are very excited for Melissa to join our staff,” Executive Director Stephanie Hauser said. “With the addition of her experience, talent and passion for education-based athletics, we will continue to grow as a team and to improve in our efforts to provide the best possible service to our 516 member schools.”

Gehring has served in the Beaver Dam School District since 2002. Most recently, she has held the positions of associate principal and athletics/activities director since 2013. In those roles, she coordinated and managed the high school athletic programs and activities. Gehring was responsible for all events, facilities, extra-curricular safety, security, transportation and branding. In addition, she had oversight of the Physical Education, Health and Music Departments.

During her nine years in those positions, she led the facility design, planning and implementation of a successful $49 million referendum. She was also responsible for navigating an all-sport conference realignment process, development of a department mission statement, creating higher academic eligibility standards and accountability, and development of a Unified Sports program.

Upon joining the district in 2002, Gehring served as varsity volleyball coach, assistant softball coach, and Unified Sports basketball coach until 2012. She also taught history, sociology, general psychology, advanced placement psychology and served as the social studies department chair in 2013, when she added the role of interim dean of students for one year.

Prior to her experiences at Beaver Dam H.S., Gehring held a number of roles at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire after she played on the Blugolds’ women’s volleyball team from 1999-2001 and on the women’s basketball team in 1998-99. She worked as an office assistant in planning and preparations for events, volleyball camp counselor, student assistant women’s basketball coach, freshmen orientation adviser and intramural official.

In addition to her work experiences, Gehring has held leadership committee positions at the statewide and national levels. She is a current member of the WIAA Sports Advisory Committee and the Conference Realignment Task Force. Gehring is also the District 6 representative and the former District 6 gender representative for the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association, and she has coordinated the State Leadership Training Institute program for the organization. Furthermore, she was an AD Insider presenter in 2020.

Gehring’s athletic administration involvement at the national level includes serving as the Wisconsin representative on the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Professional Development Academy as well as a member of the 2021 U Executive Leadership Cohort program.

Among the honors she has been bestowed is being named the WADA District 6 Athletic Director of the Year in 2021 and being credited with Beaver Dam H.S. earning the WIAA Award of Excellence three times.

Gehring earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history and political science education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2002. She received a master’s degree in Teaching and Learning from Carroll University in 2008, and obtained an Educational Leadership Certification from Concordia University-Mequon in 2014.

Originally from Eau Claire, Wis., Gehring resides in Beaver Dam and is married to her husband, Bill. They have five children, Maddie, Ian, Donovan, and twins Bella and Elsa.

If you have a question about this story or have an idea for a future local sports story, please email Wade Bates at [email protected]