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Outgoing AD King says he wants to have more time with family

By David Barr davidbarr@pressandjournal.com
Posted 6/21/17

“You only get to be a father once.”

Jeremy King, who is stepping down as the Middletown Area High School’s athletic director after four years, said family played a big role in his …

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Outgoing AD King says he wants to have more time with family

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“You only get to be a father once.”

Jeremy King, who is stepping down as the Middletown Area High School’s athletic director after four years, said family played a big role in his decision to approach the district about a job change. He also is leaving his position as assistant high school principal at Middletown Area High School.

While he still plans to attend the games and other events, he wanted the opportunity to have fewer evening responsibilities. King has two children younger than age 10.

He also will still be in the district, as a business education teacher at MAHS, taking over for the retiring Justine Shippling, who is leaving after 33 years with the district. The decision was approved during the Middletown Area School District board meeting Monday night.

King said that as the athletic director, he interacted with the students on a higher level, and there wasn’t as much day-to-day interaction with the students as there would be as a teacher.

He said in the classroom you “really get a chance to learn a lot about the students, more than just what sports they play” and he can have an effect on students as he once did at Conestoga Valley Middle School in Lancaster, where he taught business education prior to his arrival in Middletown.

King came to the Middletown Area School District in the fall of 2013, taking over for William Mills, who retired that July. He will officially step down Aug. 14.

The job will be advertised, both internally and externally, with hopes of the job being filled by the start of the school year. The school board usually does not meet in July, but Superintendent Lori Suski said that a special meeting could be held to approve filling the position.

King said he took the athletic director job because Middletown was not at a place athletically where it should have been.

Now, he said, he has helped lay the foundation and has Middletown on track. All they need to do is “build the house” according to King.

King earned an administration certificate in educational leadership and supervision from Penn State Great Valley and a teaching certificate from Temple University in marketing and economics.

He’s always had an interest in the study of money and economics and realized that through teaching business education, he could make an impact on young people, he said.

“It’s a perfect fit,” King said of his new position.

His starting salary as athletic director four years ago was $75,100. As a business teacher, he will make $67,935, according to Monday’s school board agenda.

As far as his time as the athletic director position goes, what he is most proud of is the consistency and the accountability Middletown athletes have shown during his tenure and making sure that all the coaches were provided with what they needed to succeed.

It wasn’t just the athletes and the coaches that King helped when they needed it. Kim Kennedy, president of the girls soccer and the track and field/cross country booster clubs, spoke at the board meeting Monday and told of King’s willingness to help all athletic branches.

“Mr. King has gone above and beyond for everyone in this school district,” Kennedy said. “Whether it’s boys or girls teams, it doesn’t matter. If it was athletics, he was there for us and he helped us get things done. If I needed an extension cord, he got it for me. If I needed ice, he got if for me. If we needed extra plugs or whatever, he had it for us.”

At Monday’s meeting, track and field coach Nick Macri said King took a leap of faith in hiring him for the job and that he really appreciated it.

The Middletown athletic program is coming off one of the best years in school history.

The football team recorded a perfect regular season before going on a tear through the District 3-3A playoffs, capturing the district title and advancing to the state title game before losing to Beaver Falls 30-13, finishing with a 14-1 overall record.

The boys basketball team reached the District 3-4A title game, losing to Lancaster Catholic 86-78 in overtime, and made it to the quarterfinals of PIAA-4A state playoffs, losing to Quaker Valley 77-66.

The girls basketball team also earned a playoff berth despite finishing with an overall under-.500 record. Middletown defeated Tulpehocken 48-30 in the opening round of District 3-3A playoffs and lost to Delone Catholic in the second round. The season came to an end in a state playoff game against Neumann-Goretti.

The boys track team won its first Mid-Penn Conference Capital Division title in 27 years.

Before the 2016-17 school year, the boys and girls basketball teams had never qualified for the state tournament in the same season, and there had never been a school year where the football team and either of the basketball teams qualified for states at the same time, King previously told the Press & Journal.

Although he has prior teaching experience, one of King’s concerns is making sure that he doesn’t let the students down, he said. With a subject such as business education, it can be difficult to find a happy medium where students aren’t over-challenged or under-challenged with the material.

King said that his advice for whomever takes over is to keep the athletes at the forefront and they will be successful.

“I think that’s what gave me so much success,” King said.

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