Harris’ Hard Work


Scott Harris smiles as the Choir brings him on stage. Scott Harris goes to every event at Central to support the activities.

Going to any of the activities Central has to offer are always a fun way to spend your night. At any given event, you’re bound to see Athletic Director, Scott Harris, supporting athletes, talking to parents and alumni, or helping the other team’s participants any way he can. He is an advocate and a fan of every student involved in activities. We see Mr. Harris everywhere: at school, sporting events, and online, tweeting from @FHCAD. What most students don’t see, though, is the time and drawbacks that come with planning a season’s schedule, the dynamic between Mr. Harris and Annette Herdt, the sacrifices his family makes, and his true passion for being our AD. 

With the beginning of the athletic year coinciding with the beginning of the academic school year, Mr. Harris begins his nearly around-the-clock work week from August to May. Mr. Harris estimated he spends up to 60 hours a week involved with the coaches, officials, and student athletes in order to ensure everything goes smoothly for everybody. Outside of those hours, Mr. Harris meets with the other AD’s in the Gateway Athletic Conference, one of the biggest in Missouri.

Scott Harris addresses the crowd at the winter blast. Mr. Harris takes part in all the planning and execution of all events at Central. (Marygrace Cummings)

“Our conference has 18 schools in it now, so we meet monthly to make sure that we’re operating off of everybody. A job like mine is very hectic, so those meetings allow us to stay on the same page to make sure we are scheduling the same and all doing the same stuff,” Mr. Harris said.

At each conference meeting, Mr. Harris and the other AD’s plan the schedule for at least one season ahead, sometimes a whole year in advance. Mr. Harris will work to create a first draft of a schedule that contains 60-70 percent of conference games and fill in the rest with other schools outside of conference, including St. Louis County schools. Closer to the beginning of the upcoming season, this first draft will then be edited multiple times against what the other AD’s have, and a final schedule will be created for every team in that season. 

“We’re finalizing spring schedules and starting on fall schedules for next year,” Mr. Harris said.

Creating schedules for over 20 sports is challenging in itself, but there comes financial drawbacks, too. The athletic department does its best to support every sports needs and wants but with cuts in the budget, pleasing everyone is difficult. 

“The financial situation of our district is forced to make cuts. We have a limited number of freshman games, we have limited transportation, and some facility upgrades were put on hold,” Mr. Harris said. 

But Mr. Harris isn’t alone in his department, Mrs. Annette Herdt, his administrative assistant, takes care of the bulk of their work. Mrs. Herdt described their working relationship as the same person split into two, in that they are consistently on the same page and always know what the other is going to do next. Mrs. Herdt performs a variety of duties to assist athletes and coaches, depending on the time of the season.

“When we’re in the beginning of every season, we’re very busy doing transportation, setting that up, you know, checking the eligibility, doing the rosters, inputting the rosters into MSHSAA,” Mrs. Herdt said. “Now I’m busy because some of our teams are going to state, so you have to set up the hotels, get the transportation, and get items and certificates ready for their banquets.”

That just scratches the surface of what Mrs. Herdt does for activities, and she does it because of her respect and joy of getting to work with athletes, coaches, and Mr. Harris. Mrs. Herdt mentioned that he’s a great boss, and that she wouldn’t work for anybody else at this point, because of how he treats everybody, especially hosted schools. 

“He wants those other schools to come in and be like, ‘Wow, that was great,’” Mrs. Herdt said. “He wants everybody to feel as if they were home.”

A commitment like Mr. Harris’ job takes away from the time he gets to spend with his family, though. Mr. Harris accounts his ability to excel at his job from the support he receives from his wife and kids.

Watching enthusiastically, Scott Harris supports the participating athletes at the Winter Jam. The Winter Jam was the first event of winter sports season to kick off each team’s season. (MaryGrace Cummings)

“A lot of times instead of being at home, I might be going to multiple events and I have a very loving and understanding family that allows me to do that,” Mr. Harris said.

Without this backing from his family, Mr. Harris wouldn’t be able to put everything into student athletes’ success. Mr. Harris cares deeply about what the athletes at Central walk away with, like their own personal achievements, and makes a point to recognize every individual he can.

“It’s the most important thing to them, it’s the most important thing to their family and I love them and I’ll celebrate them and I love seeing them,” Mr. Harris said. “I’ll see our quarterback walk in the next day after scoring three touchdowns. I celebrate him; but then I’ll see somebody who played trumpet in the concert the night before, I want to celebrate them. I love seeing our students compete, grow, perform and have success.” 

Given everything that the athletics department does for our athletes and overall culture, it’s no surprise that Mr. Harris was named the St. Louis Athletic Director of the Year for 2022.  His daughter, sophomore Landry Harris, appreciates his deep dedication to the school. 

He works very hard at his job and it’s not an easy job to do. It takes a special person who really enjoys it and loves what they do, which I think he does,” Harris said.