Greatly valued educator passes away far too soon
Both the ASAA and the CIAAA are very sad to announce the passing of Dave Rozdeba, an outstanding educator, CIAAA Leadership Training Coordinator, author, instructor, friend and dad. He passed away on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, after a courageous battle with cancer.
I approached Dave to ask him to join the Alberta Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (AIAAA) Board around 2010. We were looking for an AD to represent the South Zone, and as Dave had recently been awarded with the ASAA’s Most Sportsmanlike Coach award, he seemed a good pick; I did not know Dave personally at the time. Dave said he was honoured to be asked and took on the role as a Founding Board member of AIAAA. I would find out later that Dave was the consummate volunteer in many other ways. With his dad being in the military, flying became a passion for Dave and amongst other things, he ended up founding and organizing a significant airshow in Medicine Hat called Family, Fun and Flight – all as a volunteer.
His volunteerism did not stop there though. Dave, like so many other teachers in Alberta, coached several different school sports, and as we all know, teachers do not get paid for coaching. I was so pleased that Dave had the chance to sit on the bench as his youngest daughter Katelyn’s McCoy High School team won 3A gold at ASAA Provincial Basketball earlier this year in Medicine Hat after they experienced the silver at the 2016 Championships in Olds. In fact, Dave was present as either coach, manager or doting parent when all three of his daughters progressed to ASAA provincials during their high school years in either volleyball and/or basketball – and all medalled. It was great to see the pride he had about his kids and how he and his wife Tammy were so engaged in the lives of their girls.
Dave took the role of AIAAA Board member and instructor very seriously, and represented the AIAAA and subsequently the Canadian Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (CIAAA) in delivering professional development courses to both new and experienced AD’s. His course deliveries took him throughout Alberta, across the country and to Vienna, Austria where he delivered two four-hour courses to 50 International School Athletic Directors. Dave was actively involved in our discussions with Grace College (Indiana) to create a Master’s Degree program for Canadian High School Athletic Directors.
When you think of someone who possesses dedication, character, and passion for athletics you think of Dave. He truly epitomizes someone who walked the walk when it came to developing the whole athlete. Working with him was a blessing and he will be greatly missed.
Dave will be remembered as an educator, a leader, a mentor and most importantly as a friend. His infectious personality inspired us to live well and to make the lives of those around us better. Dave will be missed but not forgotten, his contributions and impact on the lives of the people around him are timeless.
Dave had the ability to lift your your spirits within seconds after engaging in a conversation with him. He was one of the most genuine and friendly people I've ever come across and I will sincerely miss his infectious energy. No life event would go by without Dave calling to congratulate me and hear all about it.
Former CIAAA Executive Director
Dave also authored courses for CIAAA and authored and taught workshops for High School Athletic Directors as well. I had the pleasure of teaching a course with Dave and was amazed at his visionary approach to running a school Athletic department and ability to inform and educate, while at the same time as throwing in some well appreciated humour. He would always spend considerable time preparing for the deliveries. Eventually Dave took on a key role for CIAAA as its Leadership Training Coordinator, and we discussed this position as recently as last week.
Dave was forever the optimist and when asked how he was doing would almost inevitably say “great”, regardless of how he really felt. He is one of those people for whom knowing him both enriched my life and helped make me a better person; I know his impact on many others was similar. What a great world it would be if we all lived our lives like Dave lived his – in servant leadership to others punctuated by the highest level of personal integrity, and as the best friend and dad one could hope for. Our sincere condolences go out to Dave’s wife Tammy and his three daughters, Courtney, Keanna and Katelyn. Dave, you will be missed by so many. God’s speed.
ASAA Executive Director