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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bernie Saggau Award of Merit

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Three outstanding examples of Iowa spirit have been at halftime of the Class 4A Iowa Boys State Basketball Championship game at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Saturday.

Robert F. Kanaby - NFHS Executive Director

Mr. Kanaby has been Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) since 1993. He assumed the directorship of the NFHS, which is the national service and administrative organization for high school athletics and fine arts programs in speech, debate and music, after serving 13 years as executive director of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Activities Athletic Association, (NJSIAA) and 19 years in the public schools of New Jersey. Under Kanaby's leadership, the NFHS has developed regular three-year strategic plans focusing on national presence, financial stability and organizational growth and review. Because of his strong beliefs about the importance that citizenship issues should play in high school activity programs, Kanaby was the leader in the organization of the Citizenship Through Sports Alliance. To help high school coaches impart values such as respect and sportsmanship into their daily lesson plans, Kanaby was also the driving force behind the production of the NFHS "Citizenship Through Sports and Fine Arts" Curriculum. These materials provide numerous teachable moments for high school coaches to use with their student-athletes. This program served as the forerunner of the development of the NFHS Coach Education and Certification program presently endorsed by 43 state associations across the country. Mr. Kanaby earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Jersey City State College after graduating from St. Anthony High School in Jersey City. Prior to his high school administrative career, Kanaby served as teacher/coach, vice-principal and principal at various schools in New Jersey before becoming executive director of the New Jersey High School Athletic Association. He has been honored by his selection as one of the top 100 sport educators in America, as well receiving the National Association of Secondary School Principal's Distinguished Service Award, its highest honor. Kanaby was recently presented with the United States Sports Academy Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Kanaby is retiring in 2010 from the NFHS, with a distinguished career of service to this country's schools and students.

Craig Lang - President, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation

A fifth-generation Poweshiek County dairy farmer, Mr. Lang is the President of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. His passion for farming and Farm Bureau are integral to his success in sharing agriculture's story with consumers who are two, three or more generations removed from farming today. As a dairy farmer, Craig learned the value of hard work and commitment to purpose. His service on the IFBF board of directors began in 1992 when he was elected as a District 6 representative. He's served as president to the largest farm organization in the state since December of 2001. His dedication to service also extends to his community, his church and Iowa education. The Iowa State University graduate was appointed to serve on the Iowa Board of Regents in 2007. He is also a lead director on the Iowa Telecom board and chairman of the board of FBL Financial Group. Previously, Craig also served as director on the GROWMARK Board, chairman of the Iowa Values Fund and vice chair of the Iowa Economic Development Board, among others. Craig farms in partnership with his father and brother and now has two sons who have become the sixth-generation to run their Brooklyn dairy farm. An active participant at the Madison Church of Christ, Craig also is a proud member of the church's gospel quartet. He and his wife, Mary, a registered nurse, have been married 34 years and are proud parents to four children.

Ed Thomas - Aplington-Parkersburg Community

Ed was a graduate of Tri-County High School in Thornburg, where he was a four-sport athlete. After graduation, he went on to earn his B.A. and play football at William Penn College in Oskaloosa. An injury ended his playing career early but opened a path towards teaching and coaching. He went on to earn his Masters from the University of Northern Iowa. He began his educational career at Northeast Hamilton and then moved to Parkersburg in 1975, where he taught social studies and coached football and track for 34 years. He also served as the school's athletic director during his tenure. He was active in the Iowa Football Coaches Association and served in various leadership positions with that organization. During his coaching career, Ed received numerous awards, including the NFL's National High School Coach of the Year, Iowa High School Coach of the Year, and he was inducted into the Iowa High School Football Coaches Association's Hall of Fame. He received the Walt Fiegel Coaching with Character Award in 2007. His teams garnered 19 state playoff appearances, including trips to six championship games with two state titles. Four of his former players are now active NFL players as well. Apart from athletics, Ed was instrumental in leading the recovery and rebuilding effort in his community following a devastating tornado that struck Parkersburg in 2008.

His game and life lessons included integrity, hard work, and putting faith, family and friends first. Ed's life tragically ended in June of 2009, but his legacy endures through the lives of those he touched.

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