School Bulletin: Decades of dedication pays off
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- David Sheffer's decades with the Burlington High School athletic program shows how dedication on the sidelines can make a huge impact.
"Coaches come and go, athletes come and go, but David's the person who's been here the longest and put in the most time," Eric Plitzuweit, Burlington School District Athletic Director, says.
Growing up, Sheffer was ward of the state. Eventually, he made his way to Burlington High School, but his placement in a foster home was ending. That's when Kent Zahn, a teacher at the school, stepped in and saw the young man's potential. The Zahn family took Sheffer in and he graduated in 1976.
While a student, Sheffer started as the manager of the track and wrestling teams. He then got hooked into football, basketball and baseball and never left. After graduation, Sheffer joined the school's custodial staff but stayed on to look after his teams. Plitzuweit explains Sheffer even used his personal days to make sure everything was ready for game time. Now Sheffer's also become a mentor to students.
"David does a really nice job of taking kids under his wing," Plitzuweit says. "You look at our basketball bench in the coming weeks, and there will be a line of kids all wanting to do what David has done. And David is there patiently directing them."
Sheffer's secret to success is just showing up.
"I just say [the students] have to work hard," Sheffer says. "You have to put the effort in, and in my case, I put all my effort into it and it paid off."
Sheffer's hard work was recognized by the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association this fall when Plitzuweit nominated him for a distinguished service award. The Burlington athletic department will honor Sheffer again at the Boys Varsity Basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 22.
"He's had an impact on so many individuals," Plitzuweit says. "You see our conference schools recognize him and honor him -- athletic directors from other schools, coaches. He's had an impact not just at our school but beyond."
As for Sheffer's proudest moment, it was seeing the Burlington baseball team win state in 2016. He says it's something he'll never forget.
"I enjoy being around the kids," Sheffer says. "When I see the kids playing football, basketball or baseball -- that makes my day."