It might take some time for others to make the visual adjustment, but Tony Servais is already starting to feel comfortable in a new role.
“Well, there’s still a red color in there,” Servais said with a laugh a little more than 24 hours after he officially became the Logan High School activities director.
The Central graduate and longtime teacher, coach and recent administrator is no longer a Red Raider or RiverHawk. Instead, he’s a Ranger and taking on a challenge he’s wanted to embrace for several years.
“Gee, when did all of this get started?” Servais, who was approved by the La Crosse Board of Education on Monday, asked when he was questioned about how that came to be. “That probably goes back to about 2017.”
It was five years ago that Servais started to envision a life that didn’t include the grind of coaching and teaching. He loved both immensely, but balancing the positions — head football coach, assistant boys basketball coach and mathematics teacher
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— was getting harder by the year.
Servais took classes that positioned him to become an administrator because he needed
to take some credits anyway, and figured he’d use the opportunity to make them count for something. He wanted to either help himself in the classroom and or lay the foundation for a different future, so he started to work toward an administrative certificate.
“I was looking at what could be the next piece,” he said. “I was really interested in becoming an activities director.
“I love extracurriculars, and I think that’s a huge part of a high school experience.”
Roughly one year ago, Servais filled the open position of dean of students at Central and started his professional transition. He said that year was enjoyable, but the opportunity that came at Logan when Jordan Gilge took a new job outside of education couldn’t be ignored.
“I liked the experience of being dean,” Servais said. “It was difficult job, but it was also very rewarding in terms of seeing a school from a different perspective and being able to work differently with some colleagues.
“It was a good opportunity for me, but when this one popped open, it was where I really feel I fit best — in charge of activities.”
Servais follows Gilge’s five-year term and said his familiarity with people in the Logan building already with help his transition. He said the math departments from both high schools worked together and that he got to know many of his new co-workers as coaches or in college classes together.
“I know it seems odd going to the crosstown rival,” Servais said. “But I’ve always had a lot of respect for the coaches, staff members and administration (at Logan), as well.”
Todd Sommerfeldt can be reached at email@example.com or via Twitter @SommerfeldtLAX