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12/17/2022 10:20 AM

Robida Revels in Rapport with Students, Colleagues as Valley AD Admin Assistant

Sheila Robida has created very close relationships with student athletes, coaches, and fellow athletic administrators as the Valley Regional Athletic Department’s Administrative Assistant, a role she has excelled at for the past five years. Photo courtesy of Sheila Robida

Whether they are fellow administrators, coaches, various members of the Valley Regional student body, or even her own children, Sheila Robida has embraced her role within the Warriors’ athletic department for a half decade and cherishes the close connections she has fostered along the way.

Sheila, the Valley Regional Administrative Assistant for the Athletic Department, was previously a paraeducator at the elementary school level. Once the opening for what became her eventual position became a reality, it was too good of an opportunity for Sheila to pass up.

While helping the Warriors navigate through transitioning to a more technologically-sound registration program, Sheila savors the rousing rapport she has developed with colleagues of eclectic backgrounds and responsibilities.

“I jumped at the chance here when the job opened up; it seemed like a great chance to work in the high school and athletic department,” says Sheila. “I have the opportunity to work with great coaches and administrators. The prior athletic director, Jeff Swan, was great to work with. We recently also developed an online registration system for athletes, which is very robust. But it’s fun to see the kids and to progress from freshman to senior year and develop as student athletes. I also work in the office at the front of the school, so I chat with them daily, which is fun to do.”

A sizeable chunk of Sheila’s slate within her job is clerical work behind a keyboard, yet she is also a crucial lynch pin towards scheduling the semantics and logistics of each athletic endeavor for the Warriors.

“My job involves a lot of computer work with checking the kids are registered properly and making sure the teams’ schedules are done properly,” Sheila says. “We have to also have a site supervisor at games, which I organize. I also do supply ordering for the department, plus I answer the phones at the school’s main office and help with attendance.”

Sheila’s most memorable moments came out of her three sons in Class of 2017 graduate Matthew, Justin of the Class of 2019, and Nate who graduated in 2020. As she also still takes great pride and passion in the current Warriors’ successes, Sheila looks back fondly on her children’s accomplishments.

“I have great memories here centered around my kids,” says Sheila. “My oldest son’s lacrosse team won the Shoreline Conference title in 2017; it was fun to watch that team and be part of it. In 2020, it was hard to watch the end of sports with COVID, but it was great to watch how the athletes all rebounded and came together the best they could. It was a curveball they handled with grace. This year, we had the football team reach the state semifinals/state final, which is also exciting to be part of.”

New Warriors’ Athletic Director Lewis Pappariella sees firsthand not only how much pride Sheila takes in Valley Regional athletics and her job, but also how essential she is to the department via helping him assimilate into his newfound role.

“Sheila is our Valley Regional superhero, “ says Pappariella. “She is 100 percent committed to giving her all for our athletic program and school community. She has a passion for helping our students that is seen in so many different ways, from her warm approach, to offering encouraging words, to being someone our students can rely on. Sheila handles many of the logistical demands of the athletic department with ease. She is smart, organized and thorough. As I transitioned into the new role of athletic director, she has been a tremendous resource and friend. I feel very lucky to work with Sheila Robida.”

Valley Regional has created a deep coaching community through little turnover in Sheila’s stint thus far. In addition to creating camaraderie with those coaches, she muses that she simply marvels at the student athletes’ fortitude to balance books and games while forging through setbacks to emerge only even better individuals four years later as they head out further into the world.

“The student athletes really have left the biggest impact on me here,” Sheila says. “There is little changeover with the coaches, so I have gotten to know them well and interact with them regularly. Student athletes are ones that really affect me. The ability they have to manage hard classes and to challenge themselves through tough injuries and be resilient is amazing to me. To watch them do all of that at this age is awesome. It is also exciting to see the type of people they have become by graduation.”