Emily Kaiser is from Prairie High School and lives in Stoneham. She is a three-sport athlete who was All-Conference and All-State in Volleyball and a CCGS All-State Volleyball participant. She was All-Conference in basketball and 2nd in State Track in the long jump and triple jump. Emily is number one in her class academically and plans to major in exercise science or kinesiology in college with the additional plan of becoming a physical therapist. Emily has been coaching a club volleyball team this past season and loves spreading her passion for the game and encouraging others, especially younger kids. Emily’s English teacher is complimentary of both her ability to work independently and collaboratively. She is able to work toward her goals and still balance other obligations well. She is motivated to excel in whatever she does.
Courtney Leafgren is from Eaton High School. She is a three-sport athlete, excelling in volleyball, basketball, and tennis. Captain of all three teams this year, she was All-Conference and All-state in volleyball, a CCGS Games participant for volleyball, and All-Conference in tennis for the past three seasons. With Courtney as state 3A leader in digs, her volleyball team won the state championship for the fourth consecutive year. Courtney is senior class president at Eaton, an NHS member and a LINK Crew leader for incoming freshmen. She plans to attend the Univ. of Colorado and major in integrative physiology and Spanish. This will pave the way for her in many health-related fields; specifically, she hopes to become a PA. When becoming a coach, Courtney wants to impact other players’ lives as she has been impacted by her coaches—“translating the ideals of integrity and effort into everyday life.”
Emily Pieper is from Paonia High School. She is a volleyball, basketball, and track athlete. She was All-State in volleyball, MVP on her team, and played in the CCGS All-State games. Her basketball team was second in state last year and she was team captain. Her track team finished first in state 2A last year and she was state champion in the 4x200 and medley relays. She is also active in dance, choir, and musical theater. She has taken many advanced placement classes and has been on the honor roll throughout high school. Emily plans to play volleyball and major in nursing at St. Francis Univ. in Loretto, PA. She has worked with children as a coach and enjoyed seeing their joy as they made progress and learned skills. I quote her: “I have had multiple coaches that have influenced my life…and I plan to do the same for young athletes aspiring to be a part of something special.”
Ashley Van Sickle is from Ralston Valley High School in Arvada. Also a three-sport athlete, Ashley runs cross country and track and plays basketball. She has been All-Conference in basketball every year, Jeff-Co Player of the Year as a junior, and All-Conference in track. She has been a 3-sport letter winner each year of high school. She will attend Montana State Univ. and play basketball and major in elementary education. She wants to coach “… to give back to the community and make a positive difference in the lives of young women like my coaches have done for me.” Ashley has helped coach younger girls during basketball camps and her coach states: “…she has a tremendous understanding of the game and has developed into a coach on the floor…” Her English teacher states that Ashley “…is passionate, hardworking, and focused…a leader in both large and small group discussions and projects. Ashley only knows how to give 100%--it is how she is made.”
CCGS Ruby Miller Scholarship
The CCGS Ruby Miller Scholarship was established in order to recognize one or more outstanding athletes who are graduating seniors and who plan to go into coaching. The award also honors Dr. Ruby Miller, one of the most respected coaches in the history of Colorado girls’ interscholastic sports.
Ruby Stephenson Miller (1916-2002) was an Iowa native who graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1938. After teaching in Iowa, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon, she settled in Colorado, at Adams City High School, in 1956. During her 20-year tenure, she taught physical education and, literally, jump-started girls’ sports--first in the Skyline League and then around the state. She was instrumental in gaining CHSAA approval for team scoring in individual sports and, finally, allowing competition in team sports.
Ruby was a founding member of CCGS, in 1970, and its first Hall of Fame inductee, at the inaugural All-State Games, in 1979. Primarily because of Ruby’s insistence on equal pay for equal work, Adams County School District #14 was the first to pay coaches of girls’ sports. This pre-dated Title IX by two years. Ruby saw girls’ sports progress from GAA playdays and sportsdays to full-fledged, interscholastic programs.
Ruby’s list of awards is lengthy. In 1973, NOW recognized her for the role she played in gaining pay for coaches of girls’ sports. She was inducted into the University of Northern Iowa Hall of Fame in 1986. CHSAA inducted her into its Hall of Fame in 1990. The University of Northern Colorado has bestowed several awards—among them “Contribution to the Profession,” 1967; Alumni Association Award, 1986; and Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, 1991.
Ruby Miller was a teacher/coach for 34 years. She is quoted as saying: “I really only had one goal—to help young women become better individuals; and I thought I could do that best through coaching.”
Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports