Deb Moore: Athletic director
Even though Deb Moore works long days at Bellefonte Area School District, the longtime athletic director said that at the end of the day, when she does get the chance to rest, she’s thankful for being in a position that has the opportunity to help shape students into respectable citizens after they graduate from high school.
“Looking through my career, the best thing is that there are moments along the way that you think you’re making a difference by trying to provide an opportunity for kids in education-based athletics,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong, I like to win, but over the years, the focus of this job has changed. Are we teaching them skills they hear about in the classroom and then put to practice outside of school? Do we have the right combination of learning the skill of the sport they love, while trying to nurture (traits) like sportsmanship, teamwork, integrity, ethics, hard work and dedication that can translate to when they leave here?”
Moore was hired at the district 24 years ago after a variety of jobs leading to a position as health and physical education teacher and assistant athletic director. She graduated from Lock Haven University with an undergraduate degree in recreation and fitness management. That led her to a job in Philadelphia as the director of training and operations for a health club. Realizing it wasn’t the right setting for her, Moore came back to Central Pennsylvania, got a job at the YMCA in Bellefonte and obtained a teaching degree from Lock Haven. She then accepted the position at BASD, while earning a master’s degree from Ohio University in athletic administration. After acting as the assistant athletic director and interim athletic director for several years, the Bellefonte Area school board approved Moore as the athletic director about two years ago, pre-pandemic.
Born and raised in Washington D.C., Moore said moving to Central Pennsylvania was a “culture shock,” so she attempted to get back into an urban setting, such as that at the health club in Philly. Turns out, it wasn’t quite what she signed up for.
“It was a combination of not being the job I had imagined it would be, and then being called at 3 a.m. for an alarm that went off in the building,” Moore said, adding that she still sometimes works long days only to get up a couple hours later to start it all over again – and with pandemic restrictions that add to the hurdles.
“You have to be able to jump from one thing to the next, while prioritizing the absolute most important thing at that time and what fires you need to put out, and then know where you left off,” Moore said. “Sometimes it’s about dropping back to punt and doing the best you can. There are a lot of shuffles, but I couldn’t do my job without the support of administration, transportation, facilities, secretaries, custodians and coaches – it’s a combination of a lot of different aspects.”
On any given day, Moore works to organize athletic events and other related activities that come with paper work; event-management; coordination with facilities and transportation; scheduling; handling cancelations and officiating shortages; and trying to do what’s in the best interest of everyone involved while complying with policy regarding COVID-19 mitigation efforts. That’s all what she calls the “behind the scenes work” the community doesn’t see.
“Sometimes it feels like you’re on your own little island, but I can honestly say being in this position as long as I have, I’ve grown and seen a lot of good,” Moore said.
When she’s not running the athletic department, Moore said she enjoys golfing, playing badminton and participating in outdoor activities such as kayaking. She also enjoys following the athletic successes of her nephews who play football and have gone through Jersey Shore Area School District athletics.
*By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD