Three Hills School staff dedicated to youth sports enter ASAA Hall of Fame

Michael & Shaunna Vaughn
Written by Terri Huxley

After nearly 25 years of dedication to sports at the predominantly teenage level, Michael and Shauna Vaughan of Three Hills, Alta. were recognized Sat. March 6 by being inducted into the Alberta Schools’ Athletics Association (ASAA) Athletic Administrator Hall of Fame.

This dynamic duo has committed their entire careers in support of leadership and administration as a husband-and-wife team at Three Hills School and the province of Alberta.

The atmosphere for sport within the local school has been classed as the ‘gold standard’ for others to look up to largely in thanks to their special partnership.

“It is pretty humbling,” Shauna and Michael shared via email with the ECA Review. “Never would we have thought a short 25 years ago that we would be recognized provincially for work that we truly just love to do. 

“We do what we do because we want to create amazing experiences for kids and not for the accolades. But it is nice to know that people appreciate the hours and hours of work we have put into everything we have been lucky to organize.”

When asked what their reaction was of hearing the news they would be inducted, they said it was “Pure shock. We haven’t really sat back and took stock of really how much we have done not just locally but provincially and internationally. But clearly a few other people have noticed and it is just nice that they thought we deserved this honour.”

Nominated by Leigh Bretzlaff, South Central Zone President, he said in his nomination letter that “Although they have different roles in athletics at the school, zone, provincial and national level, they operate together seamlessly and are very deserving of this recognition […]

“You need to have both together to realize how you cannot have one without the other,” he said.

Shauna as the athletic director at the school has been outstanding in securing coaches, scheduling, budget, promotion, compliance and facility management as well as coaching when needed.

On many occasions, Michael has the strongly stated opinion that Shauna’s work as the school’s Athletic Director meant everything to him and created the window of opportunity for his work with the ASAA and Canadian Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (CIAAA).

Michael served as the ASAA Boys Volleyball Commissioner from 2007 to 2015, ASAA Zone Secretary from 2017 to 2021, ASAA Executive Director of Athletics 2014 to 2017.

In addition to these roles, Michael was largely responsible for the initiation and development of the ASAA impact student athlete leadership conference which has grown to be a model for student leadership across the country.

Michael coached volleyball both at the high school and club level as well as officiating basketball.

The dynamic duo had Three Hills School host the 2A Boys Volleyball (2003/04), 2A Girls Basketball (2004/05), 2A Boys Basketball (2004/05), 2A Girls Volleyball (2010/11) Provincial tournaments under their direction.

Additionally, they played key roles in the 2012/13 Track and Field Provincials organizing committee.

Michael, once again with the support of Shauna, dedicated their time and experience in the development of the CIAAA both in course development and as a course instructor.

They were also instrumental in establishing KidSport Kneehill.

The pair graduated from the University of Alberta in 1996. Michael taught his first two years in B.C. and Shauna at Carbon, Alta.

They married in 1998, agreeing they should live in the same province so they decided to move to Three Hills that same year.

Shauna served as Carbon School’s Athletic Director for 12 years before joining Michael and the rest of the staff at Three Hills School, dedicating another 13 years in this position so far.

Update (March 22, 2021): Mr. Vaughan passed away Sat. March 20, 2021 after just over a year’s long battle with pancreatic cancer.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.