ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–Rockford Public School District 205 has a new leader of its athletics department. Dawn Williamson recently was hired as the district’s director of athletics overseeing sports in all the Rockford schools.

Williamson comes from Beloit College where she spent the past several years working in numerous roles. Most recently, she was the Director of Recreation and Activity. She also worked as the Coordinator of Athletic Recruiting, the Associate Director of Admissions, the Assistant Athletic Director, and the head women’s volleyball coach and assistant track and field coach.

“I’ve always wanted to be in athletic administration, so this is exciting,” said Williamson.

Williamson grew up in Lansing, Michigan playing volleyball and competing in cross country and track and field. Her family moved to northern Wisconsin when she was a teenager. She has lived in Rockford for several years now while commuting to Beloit College to work. She is familiar with District 205 sports.

“I remember packing myself into Auburn’s gym when Fred VanVleet was there. That was a hot ticket back in the day. My daughter is in the district, so I’ve been here for a long time. I’ve got a step away probably vantage point with all the athletics.”

The four athletic directors at each of the District 205 high schools will work with Williamson. Williamson also has a strong heart for younger students below high school level. That’s where much of her focus will be at.

“My biggest goal honestly is just making sure that our lower level of our students, our elementary and middle school really value sports. So, you talk about the intangibles of athletics, like what they can learn from it. They’re going to get friends from it. They’re going to learn how to manage their time. Their academics are going to be stronger, all that kind of stuff.

“I know one of the things that Dr. Jarrett is really excited about is bringing in some summer camps, so we’re partnering with the Rockford Park District, but you’re going to hear me talk about a lot about the younger kids, because I think that’s where you develop the passion.”

Williamson says she expects to continue holding special events such as the District 205 Athletics Hall of Fame Inductions, the District 205 Tip-Off Classic Basketball Tournament, and the District 205 run with the help of events coordinator Abby Compton.