2016 NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame Countdown: Nina Van Erk

Nina Van Erk from St. Mary's High School is one of six members of the NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame Class of 2016.

Author: David Almaviva, NYSPHSAA Communications Intern/Joe Agostinelli, NYSPHSAA Director of Communications

Nina Van Erk, a St. Mary’s high school and Ithaca college graduate, is one of the most well established administrators for high school sports in both New York and nationally.


She began her career as a physical education teacher at Rhinebeck Central Schools in 1977. Soon after her position as a physical education teacher, she became the school’s Athletic Director in 1982. Her career continued to advance when she moved to the Katonah Lewisboro Schools to become the Director of Health, Physical Education and athletics in 1995, where she remained until 2000. In 2000, Van Erk was selected as the Executive Director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.


Her Involvement with NYSPHSAA began in 1987 as she served on the Executive Committee for nine years while contributing as a member of many committees before becoming an officer. In her 12 years as Executive Director, Van Erk evolved New York State athletics tremendously. Among her accomplishments, Van Erk instituted state-wide eligibility workshops, and created NYSPHSAA Championships in Boys Volleyball and Girls Golf. She also initiated the movement to make Competitive Cheer a sport.


Van Erk served on the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Board of Directors from 2007 until 2011. She served as presidents of the NFHS in 2010 and 2011.


She has also been a member of New York State Athletic Administrators Association (NYSAAA) for 30 years, serving as an Ex Officio member of the Representative Board and a keynote speaker for 12 years.


At the 2016 NFHS Summer Conference in Reno, Nevada, Van Erk was presented an NFHS Citation Award. Some of her other honors include the Apple Appreciation Award, NYSPHSAA State Award of Merit, the Council of Administrators Special Service Aawrd and the Distinguished Sport Industry Leadership Award from Ithaca College.


After retiring as Executive Director of NYSPHSAA in 2012, Van Erk took the position of Section 8 Executive Director, where she continues to serve student-athletes today.