Hays Native, FHSU Alum Named New KSHSAA Assistant Executive Director

Annie Diederich
Annie Diederich

The Kansas State High School Activities Association announces Annie Diederich of Topeka will join its staff on July 1, 2021 as an Assistant Executive Director.

Diederich was selected in a national search from a strong field of candidates. She will succeed Cheryl Gleason, who is retiring from the KSHSAA staff after 32 years of service.   

Joining the KSHSAA after serving the Kansas State Department of Education as a Program Consultant for KESA, Diederich previous­ly was the athletic director and elementary principal for the Jackson Heights School District outside of Holton, KS. Prior to her time with USD 335, she served 20 years with Topeka-Seaman USD 345 schools. While her tenure with Seaman began as an athletic/ activities director for Logan Junior High and progressed to a 10-year position as principal of Elmont Elementary, Diederich also served at the district level as director of both elementary and secondary education and as the principal for Seaman Middle School.

A native of Hays and a graduate of Hays High School, Ms. Diederich earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Fort Hays State University in 1991 before completing a Masters in Elementary Administration with emphasis on PreK-12 Build­ing Leadership also from Fort Hays State University in 1996. In 2013, she completed coursework at Washburn University fulfilling requirements to earn a District Leadership License. 

Using her strong leadership skills, Diederich has served across the state on many advisory councils and professional boards to promote and educate Kansas schools. As a member of the Kansas Principals Association and United School Administrators, she has been able to represent middle school administrators and elementary school principals on state committees and executive boards. She has served as a member of the Kansas State Department of Education Professional Standards Board (2019-21) as well as on the Curriculum Leaders Advisory Council (2016-18) and Licensure Review Board (2012-15). Diederich also assisted on the Seaman USD 345 Tech Advisory Council (2015-20) and Emergency Operations Plan Team (2013-20).  She also served five years as an officer with KAESP, culminating as President for the 2014-15 schoolyear. 

Widely known throughout Kansas as a gifted school administrator with experience as teacher, school administrator, and ardent student advocate, Ms. Diederich has been recognized as a YWCA Woman of Excellence in 2017. She also received a Technology Rich Class­room Grant at Elmont Elementary in the spring of 2010. During her time at Logan Jr. High, Diederich received the M. Claradine John­son KNCA Excellence in Education Award (2005), the John W. Vaughn NCA Excellence in Education Award (2006) and was named a Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators Assistant Principal of the Year (2004-05).   

Ms. Diederich’s primary responsibilities will be the administration of bowling, gymnastics, tennis, volleyball, the KSHSAA Hall of Fame, the Kansas Association for Youth (KAY) program and assisting with general administration of the KSHSAA. 

“Ms. Diederich is respected as an outstanding educator and will continue to empower students to serve, grow, and lead as they engage in the interscholastic activities. Her faithful service as a teacher, coach, building administrator, district leader, and her parent perspec­tive all support Annie as an excellent choice to fulfill the duties so capably administered by Ms. Gleason,” said KSHSAA Executive Director, Bill Faflick.

(Release courtesy KSHSAA.)