19 July 2013

Jon Summer headed to Chaska

Jon Summer
After eight years as athletic director at Farmington High School Jon Summer is moving on.

Summer's last day on the job in Farmington is Friday, July 19. On July 29th he will assume his new duties as assistant principal in charge of athletics at Chaska High School.

"With the assistant  principal position at Chaska there are some opportunities for personal growth," Summer said of his departure. "In my 12 years of athletics administration, I have worked solely in the athletic department.

"In Chaska I will see more involvement with the academic side of things. I am looking forward to the learning experience."

Summer reflected with pride on his tenure in Farmington as the school and community dealt with their unprecedented growth.

Asked to name the biggest issues and accomplishments over the past eight years, he put expansion of the overall athletic program, the opening of the new building in 2009 and the impending move to the South Suburban Conference at the top of the list.

"I think our enrollment when I came in 2005 was around 1250." he said. "Now it is 1745. Using the High School League numbers, we are now the 23rd largest school in the state. That's a big jump."

During the growth spurt, the Farmington added varsity programs in boys' and girls' lacrosse and expanded competitive levels in several existing sports.

"The district, the community, the coaches and the kids all supported us as we have grown," Summer said. "The bottom line is we got a lot more kids involved and that's what it is all about."

Summer said the new building provided some excellent opportunities for student athletes while at the same time showed more work needs to be done.

"As time goes on there will have to be more school-city collaboration in facility areas," he said. "Most of the schools in the South Suburban Conference have some pretty impressive community facilities to go with the ones on the school campus."

As for the move to the ultra-competitive South Suburban Conference in 2014-15, Summer said it was the logical outgrowth of the school's rapid rise in enrollment.

"We're now bigger than Lakeville North and Lakeville South," he said. "Geographically and competitively, that is where Farmington belongs."

Though Summer will miss the busy year leading up to Farmington's changeover to the South Suburban, he will have some transition issues of his own at Chaska, a school joining the new seven-team Metro West Conference in 2014-15.

"It will hectic year, I'm sure," he said.

Summer leaves his Farmington post with a treasure chest full of fond memories.

"I've had the pleasure of developing relationships with some wonderful coaches and kids here," he said. "I feel we have an outstanding and passionate group of head coaches...Through a lot of hard work, they have raised the competitive bar of our program."

Summer also issued a sincere "thank you" to the many behind-the-scenes people who help make an athletic program run smoothly.

'The building and grounds people, our site supervisors, the Tiger Fan Club, all of our volunteers from the community and many more," he said. "They have all helped make my time here a good experience."

Summer said his successor will have a full plate once he or she arrives.

"The conference change prep will be huge," he said. "There will have to be some discussions as to the direction of the middle school programs as many of the South Suburban schools don't have school programs. There will be a lot of challenges but that is the nature of the position."

The position has been posted and the vetting of potential candidates will begin soon. In the interim, assistant principal Jason Berg and principal Ben Kusch will serve as contact persons for athletics.