New Whitefish Bay Athletic and Activities Director Jason Kasmarick has been on the job for about a month.
In that time, he's been a busy person as he prepares to ramp up for the busy fall season.
'It's been a lot of getting to know people at the various buildings, going to baseball games, going to meetings,' he said. 'It's been very positive.'
In his short time on the job so far, he is happy to announce one substantial accomplishment, as former assistant and current girls head coach Rob Dubinski has been named to head up the defending WIAA D2 state champion boys soccer team after Jeff Worzella decided to step down for both professional and personal reasons.
It's a good start as he prepares to put his stamp on an athletic and activities program that was left in good shape by 13-year veteran John Gustavson, who retired earlier this summer. Gustavson will still be around as North Shore Conference co-commissioner.
But the Bay resident and former Brookfield East teacher, coach and administrator feels he's ready for the moment, and he said he's learned from some good sources about what lies ahead of him.
'When I got my administrator's license, I did my practicum with Corey Golla (former Brookfield East athletic director and Menomonee Falls principal),' Kasmarick said. 'I feel working with someone like him was fundamentally important for me to see how someone provides good leadership. I really admired his approach.'
Kasmarick knows he's stepping into a good situation with many facilities improvements already in place and a high activities participation rate in the school.
'Gus (Gustavson) and the coaches did a great job of setting the stage for me,' he said. 'There was a lot of work done before me, and that's going to make my job a bit easier to begin with.'
Kasmarick's first major goal is to make sure the students know who he is.
'I'm going to be big on student engagement,' said the former assistant coach on Brookfield East's multi-time WIAA state championship boys track team. 'I want to get students out for sports. I'm a big believer in kids going out for multiple sports.
'I also believe in sportsmanship, that student/athletes are visible ambassadors for the school. They're the ones who show the pride and character of the school. We the (high school) are part of the community, and we want to rally around the community.'
Kasmarick said it will be interesting working in a community with just one school with a singular focus as opposed to what he dealt with in the highly competitive Embrook School District with Brookfield East and Central.
He wants people to know he will be a rock-solid Bay man even after 14 years in Elmbrook. His wife, Alix Kasmarick, actually arrived in the Bay district before him as she is the principal at Richards Elementary School and their children (ages 6, 4 and 2) are just beginning their time in the Bay system.
'We were both involved in Elmbrook in the same way,' Jason Kasmarick said. 'We both thought that this was a no-brainer to come to a well-respected district with high standards. Lay down roots.'
And as far as his athletic credentials are concerned, they are rock-solid, too. He came out of Waukesha North where he was a sprinter/400-meter man for the great track coach Chuck Bova, and he also coached sprints and sprint relays for East track for the past 16 years. He has also worked with the East football and cross-country programs.
'I feel some of the greatest learning can come from athletics if you're working with the right people,' he said.
He said a lot of his attitudes and perspectives are drawn from what he learned from people like Bova. Kasmarick's undergrad degree was earned at UW-Whitewater with graduate work at Marquette.
He wants to bring a sense of community to the Bay athletic department.
'I want them (the coaches) to know that we can accomplish special things together,' he said. 'That we will do it as a team. Bring a sense to the athletic department that we can accomplish anything. I want them to know that I'm part of the team, that we can do great things together.'
'I also want the kids to enjoy the experience. I'm a competitive person, and I'm about giving kids great experiences, experiences that they can carry over into their latter life.'