New Elks A.D. Cunningham settling in, looking ahead

Mike Cunningham, who was activities director briefly at three schools previously, started July 13 at ERHS. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Mike Cunningham, the new Activities Director for Elk River High School starting July 13, says he’s busy “getting things organized and learning how we do things here, because every school is different.”

Cunningham, 41, succeeds John Barth, who retired after the 2010-11 school year. They spent a day together in between vacation trips each had previously planned.

“I’ve been friends with John for years, so I can always call him,” said Cunningham.

This is Cunningham’s fourth A.D. job but the first three were one  year each. His position was cut at Zimmerman. He was at North Branch one year, then Spring Lake Park, and left the latter when he got the ERHS job. “This is the only job I would left  for,” he said.

His first hire will be theatre director to replace Phil Bologna, who resigned. Cunningham said he hopes to make that   call by next week.

His first two weeks include such routine details as checking on the concession stand that was vandalized and on   coaches who need to fill out a continuing education piece for the MSHSL, while prepping for sports registrations, a NWSC meeting and a leadership seminar in eary August.

Cunningham’s main high school sport was track (shot put, discus) in Kodiak, Alaska. His dad was in the military. He played junior high football in Texas but the Alaska school didn’t have football.

The St. Cloud State graduate was a Tech Ed teacher and assistant coach in football, wrestling and track at Fridley prior to taking AD positions. He lives in Ramsey and has two sons in youth hockey.

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