Latham, NY– Julie Bergman of Hancock Central School (Section IV) officially took over as the 50th President of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association on September 1st. Bergman begins a two-year term (2020-2022) as President after serving as an officer for the previous four years (2016-2020).
Also, on Tuesday, September 1st Tim Mullins of Bayport-Blue Point (Section XI) began his term as a NYSPHSAA officer in the role of second Vice President. Russell Bartlett, Superintendent of Tupper Lake Central School District (Section X), moves into the role of first Vice President. Bartlett served as second Vice President for the last two years. Paul Harrica (Section X) transitioned from President (2018-2020) to the role of Past President for the next two years and Jim Osborne (Section IX) completed his eight years of service to the Association as the outgoing Past President.
Julie Bergman is a former student-athlete at Binghamton High School (Section IV) and has been an educator for nearly 30 years. She previously worked at Franklin Central School District, Walton Central School District and Delaware Academy and Central School District at Delhi, all in Section IV. Currently, she is the PreK-12 principal at Hancock Central School District.
“Serving NYSPHSAA as President is an opportunity I never envisioned in my career. I am truly humbled and honored,” said Bergman. “I am looking forward to continued collaboration with Dr. Robert Zayas (NYSPHSAA Executive Director) and the other members of the NYSPHSAA office staff, officers, the Executive and Central Committees and sport coordinators to provide the student-athletes of New York State with a variety of athletic opportunities to supplement their academics.”
Harrica served as Association President from 2018-2020 and remains an active officer in the role of Past President. A career that has spanned over 45 years in high school and college athletics, Harrica has deep roots in Section X. He has worked at Dannemora High School, Clinton Community College, Malone Central School District and Chateaugay Central School District. In his time as NYSPHSAA President, he has led the COVID-19 Task Force and accomplished a bevy of other projects during his time including the restructuring of the championship site bid process. Harrica was inducted into the NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame in 2013.
“From watching my own children, to all the student athletes that I have observed for over 45 years in athletics, it is the joy on their faces while competing that I enjoy the most,” said Harrica. “Whether it is a modified game or the finals of the state championships, their smiles say it all. I don’t think you can truly appreciate what goes on behind the scenes at the state championships until you are at them from start to finish. From the set-up hours or days before to the dismantling after the spectators have left, the NYSPHSAA staff, sport coordinators and volunteers work tirelessly.”
Mullins has been the Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics at Bayport-Blue Point School District (Section XI) since 2003. Prior to that he worked at West Islip School District (Section XI) and has been a member of the Section XI and NYSPHSAA boys’ lacrosse committees since 2006. He begins an eight-year term as a NYSPHSAA officer (2020-2028) in the role of second Vice President.
“My goal as an officer is to keep the rich tradition of excellence going that has been created by NYSPHSAA,” said Mullins. “Dr. Zayas and his staff have created tremendous opportunities for student-athletes around the state. I want to ensure the association continues to make positive impacts on student–athletes and coaches across this great state. During these unprecedented times I think the importance of athletics has never been so vital. There is no time like the present where our students need an outlet, their teammates and coaches to get back to some sort of normalcy.”
Osborne has been a NYSPHSAA officer since 2012 having served his presidency from 2016-2018. He graduated from Burke Catholic High School (Section IX) and was hired as a teacher/coach/athletic director at Burke from 1977-1994. Osborne was inducted into the New York State Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame in 2006 after a 17-year coaching career that included 233 wins and a pair of appearances in the NYSPHSAA Final Four. He recalls some of the highlights of his tenure as an officer were attending NYSPHSAA championships where he had the opportunity to congratulate student-athletes and coaches firsthand in addition to working with Dr. Zayas and the Association staff, and being able to attend all eleven section athletic council meetings.
“Athletics are so important to the social, emotional and educational development of our student–athletes. So many life experiences can be found in athletics which is why we need strong programs,” said Osborne “It’s easy to see a problem from your own perspective but to find the solution for that problem, you have to look at it from other people’s perspective.”
All NYSPHSAA officers serve an eight-year term on a voluntary basis. The current NYSPHSAA officers are:
President – Julie Bergman (Section IV)
1st Vice President – Russell Bartlett (Section VII)
2nd Vice President – Tim Mullins (Section XI)
Past President – Paul Harrica (Section X)