(Editor’s note: Montana High School Association media release)
HELENA — Joanne Austin, a longtime Montana High School Association employee, has announced her retirement, effective June 30, 2018.
Austin, who has been with the MHSA since 1986, has served as a member of the office staff, as assistant director and for the past 13 years as Associate Director.
During the course of 32 years, Austin’s responsibilities included soccer, speech and drama, music, state tournament administration and track and field administration. She also served as the MHSA Gender Equity Compliance Officer for most of her tenure. Austin is known throughout our state and nationally for her gender equity expertise. She has conducted workshops numerous times at the state and national level. She was awarded the MHSA James C. Haugen Meritorious Service Award (for outstanding contributions to the MHSA) in 2005.
Austin’s contributions on the national level were not limited to presentations on gender equity. She chaired the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) Equity Committee and served as a member of the NFHS Coaches Education and the NFHS Annual Meeting Advisory Committees. She received the NFHS Citation in 2008 for her contributions to the six states of Section 8 and to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Her facilitation of speech/drama and music will be greatly missed by the MHSA membership. She was instrumental in instituting many positive initiatives and changes in fine arts activities over the years. In 2013 she received the Montana Music Educators Association (MMEA) recognition for dedication to music education. She was recently chosen to be inducted into the Montana Forensics Educators Association (MFEA) Hall of Fame.
The 179 MHSA member schools, the MHSA Executive Board and MHSA Staff congratulate Joanne Austin on her 32 years of exemplary service to the MHSA and wish her the best in her retirement and her future endeavors.