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Bethel Park athletic director set for new leadership role

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
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Bethel Park athletic director Amy Scheuneman has been named vice president of the WPIAL Athletic Directors Association.

In a field dominated by men, Bethel Park athletic director Amy Scheuneman has broken many barriers.

She cracked another recently by being voted the first female president-elect of the WPIAL Athletic Directors Association.

Scheuneman, 32, will serve as vice president for two years before becoming president for two starting in 2015-16, said Scott Heinauer, the current head of the 140-member association.

As president-elect, she will serve on the WPIAL Board of Control, a governing body that includes officials, parents and school administrators.

The athletic directors association has had a seat on the board since 1978, said WPIAL spokesman Jim Collins.

“I'm not nervous at all,” Scheuneman said. “I plan to be open-minded and am really looking forward to representing (my colleagues).”

Heinauer, the athletic director at Mars, said the association likes rotating the presidency according to geographic location.

From the southern suburbs, Scheuneman was an ideal candidate.

“She's been a very successful athletic director at a Quad-A school,” Heinauer said. “As a member of the Board of Control, she'll spend a couple years learning how everything works, which shouldn't be a problem for her.”

A 1999 graduate of Plum High School, Scheuneman studied sports management at Robert Morris University, where she competed in soccer and track.

A former athletic director at Avonworth, she is in her seventh year at Bethel Park.

Supporters at Bethel Park applauded her election, including Bill Kennedy, a longtime girls swimming coach who had some reservations after she was hired.

“I wondered who this kid was,” Kennedy said. “But in minutes of talking with her, she had my respect. You could tell she knew what she was doing.

“Whether you agree or disagree with her, she's extremely fair.”

“She puts kids first,” said Bob McCall, president of the Bethel Park baseball boosters. “As parents, you like that.”

Taylor Zimmer, head of the girls basketball boosters, finds Scheuneman a superb role model for his daughters.

“I tell interns they can learn a lot from her,” agreed Lynn Sivetz, an athletic department secretary. “She's quiet, but confident.”

Scheuneman also has earned the respect of head football coach Jeff Metheny, who admires her loyalty and work ethic.

“I've worked with several athletic directors and she's as good as any,” said Metheny, in his 19th year at Bethel Park.

Married for five years, Scheuneman lives in Robinson with her husband, Paul, an outside sales representative.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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