FHSU alum honored for school music contributions
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
People honored at state high school events for various awards in Kansas get to choose which venue, as well as which site, they would like to receive their plaque.
Vic Sisk was voted this year to enter the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of fame.
He is retired and has lived in Lawrence for more than 25 years. So Topeka, the site of the Class 5A State Basketball Championships, would have been an obvious choice for his presentation.
After all, he worked in Topeka for 17 years, as an assistant executive director for KSHSAA, in charge of the areas of music, speech, debate, spirit and sportsmanship from 1988 to 2005. And Topeka is only approximately 30 miles from Lawrence.
Instead, Sisk chose Hays.
"I definitely wanted Hays," Sisk said.
He was honored at halftime of a boys' semifinal game at Friday's Class 1A Division II state basketball tourney in Hays.
That's because Sisk has strong ties to Hays that span several decades.
He went to college at Fort Hays State in the 1960s and later came to work for his alma mater under longtime director of Tiger bands Lyle Dilley.
Sisk said he and his wife, Dianne, developed a friendship with Dilley and his wife, Bonnie, a bond that has grown stronger through the years.
"Not only was he my (college) teacher, but he was my mentor on staff," said Sisk, who was woodwinds instructor and director of the marching band under Dilley at Fort Hays from 1978 to '81. Sisk also taught band one year at Hays High School.
Sisk went into private business for a few years but said he missed music, so he took a teaching job at Lawrence High School before going to KSHSAA in 1988, commuting from his Lawrence home each day.
Sisk, who retired from KSHSAA in 2005, said he and his wife do a lot of traveling nowadays, so the extra three hours to Hays while driving past Topeka was no big deal.
"A lot of good memories here," Sisk said as the horn sounded for the start of the second half.
"And this is such an honor," he added in reference to the Hall of Fame honor.
Gary Musselman, KSHSAA executive director, who was in his early years with the association when Sisk was approaching retirement, was on hand Friday in Hays to present Sisk with his plaque at midcourt of Gross Memorial Coliseum.
"He was a good one," Musselman said of Sisk, who helped establish "the required music lists" for band, choral and orchestra to ensure the performance of quality literature. Sisk also is credited with being a key link between the boards of KSHSAA and the Kansas Music Educators Association.