Retired Sparkman High coach Lisa Ivey has been named the Class 7A Making A Different Award recipient from the 90 nominations presented for the 2024 award. Photo Contributed

Sparkman’s Lisa Ivey- Making A Difference Award

HARVEST- Retired Sparkman High bowling coach Lisa Ivey has left a legacy for the Senators program, but continues to have her efforts roll in the post-career awards. Immediately following the recent 2024 season where she was named the Class 6A/7A Girls Coach of the Year after her team finished runner-up in the AHSAA State Tournament, and announcing her retirement, Ivey has again brought home glory for the Class 7A program.

Ivey was named one of seven selected as the 2014 Making A Difference Award by the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA). One recipient from each of the AHSAA’s seven classifications was selected from approximately 90 nominations. Ivey was chosen to represent Class 7A; The Sparkman boy’s and girl’s bowling coach, girl’s golf coach and drivers’ education teacher has been an educator for more than 35 years.

“Coach Ivey has spent 35 years teaching and coaching while also persevering through some traumatic and tragic losses in her own life, said her nominator, Christopher Shumaker, athletic director at Sparkman. “Coach Ivey was nominated for her selfless and tireless acts of service, leadership and mentoring to all she meets.”

Sparkman’s bowling program won back-to-back AHSAA state girls’ championships in 2021 and 2022, the first girls’ bowling title in the sport’s current format in 2016, and her boys’ team won the state crown in 2021 and 2023. Five Sparkman bowlers have also won individual state bowling titles.
“Her successes on the lanes or on the golf course or in the classroom truly make a difference in the lives of our faculty and students,” said Shumaker.

Ivey, 54, graduated from J.O. Johnson High School in 1987. She began her career in education coaching middle school softball and varsity boys’ soccer. She also has served as sponsor for the National Honor Society, Students Against Drunk Driving, and Red Ribbon Week. She established the “Diamond Doll” baseball manager organization at Sparkman High School.
Madison County Schools athletic director Matt Rogers describes Ivey as a person “who has consistently demonstrated her commitment to student development and community service.” She was named the NFHS Alabama Bowling Coach of the Year in 2021. As the girls’ golf coach, Sparkman has won four Madison County championships in her six-year tenure.

“It is evident that Lisa Ivey goes above and beyond her duties as a coach and teacher,” said Rogers. “She has done all this through many personal setbacks and tragedies, including the prolonged illness of her husband and the loss of her two sons. Ivey is among the most giving, dependable and hardworking teachers and coaches I’ve ever had the pleasure of working alongside.”

Each honoree will be recognized at the 2024 AHSAA Summer Conference Championship Coaches’ Awards Banquet, which will be held Thursday night, July 18, at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center at 6 p.m.
The Making a Difference Award was established in 2011 by the AHSAA and AHSADCA to recognize individuals who go beyond their normal duties as a coach, teacher, or administrator to make a positive impact in their schools and communities. This year’s recipients include one school system superintendent, one principal, two football coaches/athletic directors, two girls’ head basketball coaches, and one bowling and golf coach.
“The recipients in this 2024 Making a Difference class are excellent examples of men and women who have dedicated themselves to serving students with positive reinforcement, kindness and compassion,” said AHSAA Executive Director Alvin Briggs. “They take their positions as role models for their students, faculty, and community very seriously and have shown exceptional leadership and determination in the challenges each has faced. These individuals have had spent their entire teaching, coaching and administrative careers making a major positive impact in their communities and schools across the state and are excellent examples of what this award stands for.”

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