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Huddeston's road from dropout to director

Joshua Huddleston is the director of athletics and activities at Wasco High School. His story is one of turning his life around and using it to inspire the young people he works with.

"I dropped out of high school at the beginning of my sophomore year. I went back in my junior year because my grandfather, on his deathbed, made me promise I would. One of the reasons I do this job is to try to build connections between students and the school, so they will be more likely to graduate."

After high school, Huddleston went to Taft College and Cal State Bakersfield for a degree in public relations and economics. While in college, he married his wife, who is also a teacher.

"I was a history teacher for 15 years. I started at Maricopa High, where I coached football and baseball, and for a short time, I was the ASB [Associated Student Body] director. For the last four years there, I was the athletic director. I also coached Academic Decathlon for 10 years."

He moved to WHS in the fall of 2016 and taught history for five years before taking on his current role.

In his position now, he said, "I am responsible for all the athletic and activities programs at Wasco High. I manage our coaches, athletic schedules, and all issues of compliance with CIF [California Interscholastic Federation] rules and regulations. I am also involved in fundraising and student/community involvement, and I lead a team responsible for many of the schools' public events."

In the fall, he oversees football, volleyball, girls tennis, girls golf and cross country. In the winter, it includes boys and girls wrestling, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, and competitive cheer. In the spring, he also oversees softball, baseball, track and field, boys and girls swim, boys golf and boys tennis.

Huddleston enjoys many things about his position. "But my favorite part is watching our students engaged in doing something they love. Whether it is a sport, a club, or ASB – the more they are connected to the school, the more likely they are to graduate."

He said what comes easy is being a cheerleader for the athletes. "Cheering on our kids and coaches and doing my best to make sure they have what they need for success. I prefer not to be in the spotlight, but to support our coaches and kids."

 

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