STILLMAN VALLEY, Ill. (WIFR) There has been a lot of movement for women in sports as of late. However, one area that seems to be a bit lagging behind is at the helm of high school athletic programs.
Stillman Valley second-year athletic director Heather Alderks is one of only two female athletic directors in the Stateline. The other is Ashton-Franklin Center's Traci Gittleson.
Alderks never really thought about the lack of women in charge of athletics.
"At first, it was a little bit intimidating," said Alderks. "You got some great guys sitting around the table from different schools. But they've been really good to me and accepted me as one of their own. It no longer feels different."
Alderks coached boys and girls basketball at Stillman Valley, leading the Lady Cardinals to their only state appearance in 2012. Alderks said she wants to be a role model for young women and young men.
"I really believe there's something out there for every kid to get involved in," exclaimed Alderks. "If I can be a part of that and help grow them in that regard, outside the classroom, then I think I'm doing what I should be doing."
Stillman Valley baseball head coach Scott Wilhite said it's not about being male or female, as long as Alderks is doing the best job for Cardinals athletics.
"I don't really think of her as being a woman athletic director," said Wilhite. "I think of her as being someone that can help, not only me, but the other coaches in the district reach our goals."
"As long as I come in and do my job, and support coaches the way they should be supported, then it shouldn't matter what gender you are."