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VYPE's One on One With Katy Athletic Director Debbie Decker
March 14, 2012VYPE MAGAZINE - West Houston
Katy Athletic Director Debbie Decker
Positive Change Continues in KISD Sports
By Ahmard Vital
In the professional world one may hear the expression of paying your dues. This statement is used to describe someone who has worked their way up and progressively earning promotions steadily throughout a career.
That description works well for Katy ISD’s new Executive Director of Athletics Debbie Decker. On February 22, Katy Superintendent Alton Frailey announced the reassignment of Decker, who was in this post in the interim following the retirement of Rusty Dowling in January of this year.
“I’m so excited about our program. I have been opportunity to continue working with our coaches and kids,” Decker said. “When you look at the progress that has been made and see the dedication and hard work from our coaches, it’s motivation to stand behind them and provide support.”
Progress. There is a word that catches the attention of many. In fact, this is in many ways how performance is measured. Decker, who has been in the assistant role for the Katy programs for nearly seven years, has been a part of several ground-breaking, progressive ideas. After working side by side with Dowling for more than a decade that partnership has brought about significant improvements to all the schools in the Katy district.
Decker highlighted a few of the changes, one of which has helped the leaders of the kids in the athletic program become more efficient in compliance and leadership.
“We implemented a UIL Compliance program to help the coaches and the athletic program stay in compliance with UIL and Katy ISD policy. We want to have the tools in place to help us be successful,” Decker said. “Also, we brought in some training, New Coach Training and New Head Coach Training, and in a few years we have seen success. We want to have everything in place to be good leaders.”
And why is that important? Because Decker wants to make sure that the student-athletes are on the forefront of the positive changes. To bring about change, especially on a large scale administrative level, takes planning. When Decker and Dowling first came over to Katy from the McKinney district, a meeting was set up with all the campus coordinators. One of the actions required from the meeting participants was to map out a 10-year plan, highlighting areas of improvement and presenting ideas that will enhance the individual campuses.
This has already acted upon in many ways as Decker pointed out the renovations at Katy and Taylor High Schools, both of which saw upgrades in the athletic facilities.
Now, it is time to revisit that long-term plan.
“We started years ago with the 10-year plan of projects for improvements. Now as we go into 2012, I think we put together a new plan,” Decker said. “Understand, here at Katy, coach Dowling has done a great job and there is no need to re-invent to wheel. In many areas there will be subtle improvements. There won’t be a total overhaul because that is not needed.”
Sure enough as this district does not have search high and low to see the improvements made across the board. And as Decker said, look for more changes to come as they gear up for high school No. 7 and junior high No. 13.
This should make for an interesting, and even more competitive spirit in West Houston.
“We intend to continue working hard for our coaches and support them in every way we can. As long as we keep our No. 1 priority on our athletes, we will be fine,” Decker said. “We know with High School No. 7 and Junior High No. 13 coming along we will have some scheduling issues that we will have to work through but that is part of being in a growing district.”