As Phase 8 of Parker Forward nears completion, the Parker Athletics program faces many transitions. Who better to shape the future of the student-athlete experience than the Student Athletic Advisory Council (SAAC)? 

The SAAC is a representative body of interscholastic athletic and club programs. Student-athletes serve on the council and provide insight into the student-athlete experience under the guidance and mentorship of the Director of Athletics, Mahina Hannemann-Gago. 

“[SAAC] is important because without proper and structured input from students, athletics administrators will not understand what students want or need and may make decisions that contradict those wants and needs. The students need a say in how their programs are run so that they can be a better fit for each other,” explained Evan Bohne, Class of 2025. 

 The SAAC mission focuses on four areas:

  1. Serving as the official representation of and advocates for the student-athlete population to the School community.
  2. Encouraging athletic participation and support from the student community.
  3. Partnering with the athletic department to provide student-athletes with the best experience possible. 
  4. Providing student-athletes with a platform to display athletic leadership outside of athletic competition.

“I think that this is a great opportunity to make Parker Athletics the best it can be for student-athletes, coaches, and other athletic staff,” said Olivia Teates, Class of 2025. “Mahina has given us a platform and space where we can advocate for what we believe will make our sports programs better not only for current student-athletes but also for our future student-athletes, and I really believe this is something Parker student-athletes should take part in.”

Some important decisions SAAC members have made include the color scheme and font choice for new athletic uniforms and the wall designs for the Vassiliadis Athletics Center. Mahina also asks student-athletes for their input on media days and senior nights and is transparent with members about athletic budgets, including how funds are allocated to different teams. 

 Sophie Hart, Class of 2026, joined SAAC “to represent under-represented high school supports in the high school community.” Many members of SAAC agreed with this sentiment and felt that the council had given smaller teams a louder voice in Parker Athletics.

Starting in the 2024-2025 school year, SAAC will work with Mahina to produce the Lancer Legion Newsletter. This monthly newsletter will provide Parker student-athletes with an opportunity to ensure all Parker student-athletes are up to date with athletic information, provide members with a publication that aligns with the Parker Pipeline, our current weekly newsletter for coaches, and learn about the importance of athletic publications. 

If you have any questions about SAAC or would like to get involved, please contact Mahina at [email protected]