After nine years at Seneca Valley High School, seven as the school's athletic director, Ray Sacramo will be leaving the Germantown school once classes end June 17.
Sacramo said he will return to the engineering career he left behind in 2002, which he had given up in the best interest of his family. He said he never really envisioned being a high school athletic director. He never really envisioned being a school teacher, for that matter. But when he found himself at Seneca Valley, he turned what was once a "hobby into a second career."
"When I was an engineer, I coached youth sports, which served as an escape from the stresses of everyday life," said Sacramo. "I've always had a passion to work with kids."
When the athletic director position opened up in 2004 upon Eric Haines' departure, Sacramo, a science teacher, said he wanted to parlay his passion for youth sports into a new opportunity: a chance to become part of the school's proud history of high school athletics.
"Ray has been an incredibly dedicated member of the Seneca Valley community for years," Seneca Valley Principal Marc Cohen said. "He attends everything, whether he has to or not. He goes out of his way to support all of our student athletes and has been a strong advocate for all of our athletic teams across the board. Our athletic program is better off because of Ray's commitment and service."
Under Sacramo's watch, the school won four state championships—one team championship and three individual championships—all of which occurred in the last two school years.
In 2009-10, the girls’ varsity basketball team, led by coach Todd Bumgardner and stand-out Kelsey Wolfe, went 27-0 and captured the first state title in school history with a 62-60 win over Western High School. Sacramo said it was one of his proudest moments as the school's athletic director.
Sacramo also mentioned a unique brother-sister duo that captured state title glory as one of his favorite memories of his career. Bernard Wolley, a recent graduate who also excelled in football, won back-to-back state titles in wrestling in the 215-pound weight class. Wolley's sister, Virginia Owusu-Mainoo, was a state champion discus thrower.
However, it wasn't the championships that stood out most for Sacramo, nor was it the numerous playoff appearances for the school's football, baseball or basketball teams. For Sacramo, getting the opportunity to work with all of the school's coaches and players was reward in itself.
"I think the thing I'll miss the most was the way in which all the coaches pitched in," Sacramo said. "Our coaches all work a normal day as teachers, then, they're almost working a second full-time job as coaches. And they all put in whatever it takes to get the job done. It’s a very nice working environment."
Sarcarmo has many achievements to be proud of.
"But the most rewarding thing for me,” Sacramo said, “is seeing the kids grow and excel. It’s always good to see kids out there accomplishing their goals, working hard, and winning together. I've had a blast."