At the end of the 2013-14 school year, long-time Kingsway athletic director Joe Galliera announced his retirement. Replacing the beloved Galliera would be no easy task, and many candidates throughout southern New Jersey applied for this coveted position. In June, Kingsway was proud to announce that it had secured the services of Woodstown athletic director June Cioffi.
With her varied experience as an athletic director as well as a long-time connection to local athletics as a player and coach, she was the perfect fit.
Cioffi was a graduate of Glassboro High School where she participated in field hockey as well as track and field. She then moved on to Glassboro State College from 1990-1993 where she made an immediate impact on the field hockey program as the team’s leading scorer, earning All-Conference honors and winning New Jersey Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year honors in 1990. She still ranks as one of the top assists per game leaders in NCAA Div. III history.
Embarking on a career in education, she taught at Highland, where she was a physical education teacher as well as the field hockey coach. After shifting over to her newly opened sister school Timber Creek, she taught for one more year before the athletic director position opened up in 2002, just as she was completing her master’s degree in education administration.
“I literally was finishing my thesis and getting hired as the AD one right after the other,” said Cioffi. “It was a unique situation, but Timber Creek put their confidence in me to be able to take this position on. Being a young woman in a field consisting of many older males, I had to prove myself, so I hit the ground running.”
Cioffi helped build Timber Creek into its current status as a major sports powerhouse in New Jersey. By the time she left, she was able to make claim that she had hired every coach and physical education teacher in the school. She even was named the 2009 Olympic Conference Athletic Director of the Year.
“It was a really exciting time,” said Cioffi. “It was a brand new school, in which every tradition was a new tradition. Everything we did was ‘a first.’ As an administrator and coaching staff, we were growing together, and we grew into something really special.”
Unfortunately, as a member of the Black Horse Pike Regional School District along with Highland and Triton, all three schools met unprecedented financial hardships which led to some constraints. The decision ultimately was made to consolidate the three athletic director positions from each school into one position. The decision was made to keep the most experienced of the three athletic directors, which meant Cioffi was slated to return to the classroom until a new opportunity arose.
Almost immediately, she received a call from former Kingsway High School principal Tom Coleman, who left Kingsway to become the superintendent of the Woodstown-Pilesgrove Regional School District. He asked her to apply for the recently vacated athletic director position at Woodstown. She applied and was hired, where she stayed for four years. She also acted as vice-president of the South Jersey Coaches Association. She still holds the position of secretary for the Tri-County Conference
“My time at Woodstown was a great, but different, type of learning experience,” said Cioffi. “As opposed to Timber Creek where everything was new including the students and families, Woodstown is a school steeped in tradition. I focused on celebrating history and connecting the past and present. Simply following someone like long-time Woodstown AD Glenn Merkle was a challenge, but we met it successfully.”
Cioffi had no plans to leave Woodstown- that is until the unique opportunity to work at Kingsway, a place she always has respected as a top-notch program, opened up.
“Kingsway represents a blending of my past schools,” said Cioffi. “It has phenomenal traditions, mixed with the changes brought by its growth. This is the only place that I could imagine leaving Woodstown for. I really look forward to being a part of the Dragons for a long, long time.”
“This (athletics) is what I love,” Cioffi continued. “I am here to serve the kids, coaches, teachers, and community. We’ll grow together, challenge each other to be great, and promote positivity. That’s what we do. That’s what brings me joy.”
Spoken like someone who has the true mentality of a Dragon.