The Ellenberger Effect: New Activities Director Makes a Big Impact

We have many teachers and administrators who don’t get the recognition they deserve, and Activities Director Mr. Ellenberger is one of them. Mr. Ellenberger is the person in charge of making sports schedules, creating the athletic newsletter that comes out every Monday, planning the club fairs, and he is actively working with the SCA and leadership students to organize pep rallies.

OHS students may not know who Mr. Ellenberger is yet, even though he makes a huge contribution to the school. Coaches and administration, however, do know all he has done for Osbourn’s activities and athletic programs so far this year. Mr. Ellenberger has a tremendous amount of support from our school’s administration and even from the Manassas City Public Schools’ central office.

Mr. Ellenberger joined the Osbourn family this year, after working as the Athletic Director at Annandale High School and retiring from Fairfax County Schools.

“I love it here, it’s similar to Annandale in a lot of ways. For me, it’s the kids here at Osbourn. The students are amazing! I also have a lot of support from the principal, the Superintendent Dr. Newman, and even the central office,” said activities director Mr. Ellenberger.

“I mean I just like helping kids, so that’s what brought me into education, and as soon as I started teaching I started coaching. It felt very rewarding whether it was on the football field or classroom. I became an athletic director to make sure we hire great coaches and help kids,” Ellenberger added. “I like helping kids and making sure they have a good high school experience whether it’s clubs or sports.” 

As the activities director, he is in charge of organizing many activities and games which means he often has to keep constant communication with coaches, teachers, and administrators. He is in charge of getting ticket prices for students and alumni, making sure the coaches have everything they need for their teams. 

“It has honestly been a wild and great experience so far, all of it in a very good way. He has honestly done so much for all of the sports programs since his first day back in July, that it’s mind-boggling.  He genuinely seems very proud to be a part of the Osbourn family.  He wants all of our student-athletes to have a great experience. It’s clear he loves being around Osbourn.  He is here all of the time,” said varsity basketball’s Coach Carter.

Mr. Ellenberger has brought a lot to Osbourn which has contributed to its success this year. He brought both spirit and success to Osbourn’s athletics and activities programs.

“Mr. Ellenberger has done a lot for our school, he has brought so much school spirit back to Osbourn. He has brought students and staff back into the stands, and he’s brought students back into the games. He’s done numerous things for the students,” explained Officer Grigsby.

Mr. Ellenberger is one of the staff members at Osbourn that made many new things happen this year. He has been able to make the new football field that Osbourn’s students have been using this year possible, and he has made ticket prices more affordable for students and adults.

 “One of the most recent things he has done for our school is the new football field, because of that, we have one of the most modern high school fields in the country. He has organized a lot of events like the tailgate for the homecoming week,” said Mr. Lopez, dean of students. 

Being the activities director for Osbourn has many qualities. Mr. Ellenberger is often seen being engaged in students’ and staff’s well-being, making sure they have what they need and accommodating to possible needs that they may need. He is engaged in student life, from organizing the club fair to getting more students involved in school activities.

“Mr. Ellenberger supports all school activities and academics. John is a huge advocate for our performing arts, he also participates in all of our instructional council meetings, and administrative meetings, and is an instructional leader in our building. John is a hard worker and team player. Mr. Ellenberger works all day and all evening most days and keeps a positive attitude throughout,” said Principal Pflugrath.

With all that Mr. Ellenberger does for the school, he has been continuing that streak by promoting the clubs this year. He supports the starting of new clubs by helping with funding, and promoting clubs with the club fair we had earlier this year!

“John has successfully advocated for insurance, paid for by MCPS, for all students during their activities on school grounds. He has added E-Sports, conducted a club fair, implemented a weekly athletic newsletter, had an active social media presence for Osbourn Athletics, reduced student ticket prices to $3, had our first fall tailgate for the community, and established “The City” as our student hype squad. John has also worked with our SCA and Leadership students on spirit days and pep rallies,” said Pflugrath.

Overall Mr. Ellenberger is an extremely hard-working and impactful person at OHS and in the local community. He has impacted the school in so many different ways, and the year is only halfway over!