The Cranberry Eagle
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Article published August 29, 2012

Raiders AD has big goals
Lewis wants to nurture success at SV

Derek Pyda
Butler Eagle

JACKSON TWP — Heather Lewis’ involvement in athletics has taken her many places, with the latest stop being Seneca Valley High School.

Lewis was approved as the district’s new athletic director at a school board meeting earlier this month.
Greg Caprara served as Seneca Valley’s AD from 2004-2012. He was informed in the spring that his contract would not be renewed. Longtime Raiders track and field coach Wayne Roccia stepped in as interim athletic director until Lewis was hired.
“I started four days before the fall sports practices began,” said Lewis, who lives in Wexford. “We have a lot of students involved and had to make sure they were all certified and that all of our facilities were ready to go.”
The district made a very good first impression with Lewis, who most recently worked as a consultant, advising student athletes and their parents on the ins and outs of college recruiting.
“Everybody here at Seneca, from the coaches to the teachers, they’re all so nice and supportive,” she said. “It made the transition very easy. I was very lucky to walk into this situation.”
Lewis began playing sports at an early age and starred on the girls’ field hockey, basketball and softball teams at Woodland Hills before graduating in 1982.
“My experiences were wonderful,” she said. “Playing sports teaches you a lot. There are ups and downs, but you have to persevere.”
Lewis attended the University of Maryland, where she played field hockey and lacrosse.
She earned a degree in zoology, but was not accepted into veterinary school.
“I asked myself, ‘What’s the next step?’” she said. “I was able to become a graduate assistant in the sports information department at Maryland and from there, opportunities (in athletics) kept presenting themselves.”
After earning a master’s degree in kinesiology at Maryland, Lewis landed at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, where she coached both women’s lacrosse and field hockey. Her time at the school also included stints as associate athletic director and assistant athletic director.
In 2008, she served on the board of directors of a United States Olympic Committee national governing body, supporting women’s national team qualifications for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Now part of the Seneca Valley family, Lewis is anxious to get the games underway.
“I’m competitive,” she said.
“I want to see how successful our teams can be, from the girls lacrosse team to the football team to the wrestling team, to all of the other teams.
“We have a tremendous group of coaches and gifted teachers,” she added. “There is unlimited potential for greatness. Pride in the community is not in question here.”