Derek Fahleson

Derek Fahleson said his goal is to develop programs that offer a safe, enjoyable experience for kids. He’s the new athletic director for the Tolleson Union High School District. (Photo courtesy Tolleson Union High School District)

Derek Fahleson has been named Tolleson Union High School District’s new director of athletics, safety and security.

The position, which oversees and supervises the district’s extracurricular programs, was posted earlier in the spring for a way to separate duties that were previously held by other administrators.

Serving as an athletic director for the last three years with La Joya Community High School in the Tolleson district, Fahleson expressed interest in the position as soon as it was made available.

“I’ve enjoyed working in that area of athletics, safety and security for several years,” Fahleson said.

Prior to Fahleson taking the position, the duties fell under John Speer. Fahleson’s appointment allowed for a “realignment of those responsibilities,” he said.

Fahleson has been working as either an athletic director or assistant principal in Arizona since 1997. A Nebraska native, Fahleson has been active in athletics, but education was in his blood, too.

“My father was a school board member for 18 years of my growing up, and my mom was an education major and teacher,” he said.

Fahleson’s excited to marry the ideas of athletics and education in his new role.

“Our goal is to develop programs that offer a safe, enjoyable experience for kids,” he said. “We want to give them an opportunity to develop to their full potential and, in the meantime, make sure they are meeting the academic expectations that give them that privilege.

“If that means they continue on academically in their post-secondary endeavors, that’s great. If it means they pursue their athletic endeavors post-secondary, that’s awesome, too. Hopefully our intentions are to use extracurricular activities as the means to get that academic success, so they can benefit from both of those.”