Mary Flande selected to Hall of Fame
Last updated 5/16/2023 at 3:51pm
Mary Flande, who spent 20 years working for the Sisters School District as a teacher, coach, and athletic director, was inducted into the Oregon Athletic Directors Hall of Fame at the group's 54th Annual Conference and Banquet held at Sunriver Resort Saturday, April 17.
Flande has spent a lifetime associated with athletics. She was a three-sport athlete at Scio High School, where she graduated in 1975, in a year in which she won the state shot put title and played on the state championship basketball team.
She began her teaching career in the fall of 1978 in Alaska, and after returning to Oregon had stints in Newport and Madras before coming to Sisters when the new high school opened in 1992. She taught P.E. and health and coached a number of sports, including track, volleyball, and golf. Her girls golf teams won state titles in 2007 and 2008 resulting in Flande being named state Coach of the Year for both years.
Flande became the athletic director in 1994 after serving as a co-athletic director with Chuck DeKay the previous year, and quickly established herself as a leader in the field. Ever an advocate for kids, Flande expanded opportunities for the youth in Sisters by helping create volleyball and basketball tournaments, and an invitational track meet, among other things.
Flande gives credit to two other Hall of Famers, Margaret Sturza of Madras and Larry Johnson of Sweet Home, for being tremendous mentors for her as athletic directors.
A good athletic director has to have a passion for students and athletics, according to Flande.
"One must also be a good leader and listener and work hard toward guiding coaches, parents, and athletes in a way that creates a culture of honesty, integrity, and trust," she said. "I truly believe that if you commit to these goals one can be successful and be rewarded in so many ways."
Getting to watch young athletes develop into hard-working competitors and building relationships with fellow coaches and athletic directors are among Flande's most cherished memories.
"But most of all I loved being part of the community of Sisters and everyone being part of the Outlaw culture," she said.
As evidence of her commitment to Sisters High School and the respect she gained over the years from coaches and other athletic directors, Flande was nominated twice as Oregon Athletic Director of the Year. She is also a member of the Outlaw Hall of Fame for her contributions as a teacher, coach, and athletic director.
Flande retired in 2012 from Sisters School District and spent seven years as a substitute teacher and volunteer. She still owns a home in Tollgate, but has become a snowbird, spending about five months a year in the warmer climes of Arizona.