West Mifflin Area School District News Article

Lance Maha takes over as the district's Director of K-12 Activities and Athletics

A man stands in front of a backdrop for a picture

For years on end, Lance Maha has been a pillar in the West Mifflin community. From teaching social studies at the high school for 26 years, formerly coaching boys basketball at the high school for 20 years, and holding roles such as the head of recreation in the West Mifflin Borough for 16 years, Maha has long been dedicated to pushing the school district and community forward.

With that service mentality in mind, Maha jumped at the opportunity to become the district’s Director of K-12 Activities and Athletics, a role he took over on July 1. It’s a job that he didn’t have in his future plans. Initially, he planned on settling down a bit after retiring from teaching following the 2023-24 school year. But for a man dedicated to athletics, after school activities, and seeing every district student thrive, the role just made sense.

“When I learned that the school district opened up the position, it was right up my alley. It gets me around what I like. It’s a place where you can surely increase opportunities for kids,” said Maha. 

“Studies will tell you that the more things that kids participate in, the more successful they’ll be. It’s really going to be a focus of our district to get kids involved and make them feel like they belong. That will be my number one focus.”

Finding ways to best serve the youth of West Mifflin has always been Maha’s priority. It’s why he got into teaching in the first place. While retiring from teaching after the 2023-24 school year has been planned, he’ll miss that role. As he moves to his next step, he’s excited to support students in a different way.

“My family and I have always made it a priority to be community oriented and to try to make things around you better. I definitely have attempted to do that as much as I can,” said Maha.

“I was born and bred here in West Mifflin. I love the school district, and love the kids. I felt like I was fortunate to be involved with a group of kids that wanted to learn and wanted to grow. Most of my days here were pretty easy. I really enjoyed my time here at West Mifflin here as a teacher, and felt fortunate to be able to serve the community in that way.”

A college basketball player himself back in the day at Robert Morris University, Maha has always enjoyed being involved in athletics in some capacity. Largely, that involvement has meant coaching, a role he’s always looked at as similar to teaching, when considering a coach’s role as a mentor and a teacher.

As the Director of K-12 Activities and Athletics, Maha is excited to support the district’s coaches, while also thinking of new ways to build upon a strong collection of athletic programs and facilities.

“I want to come in and observe and I think one of your biggest roles in this position is to be a supporter of the coaches and give them what they need within reason and give them the opportunity to give our kids a chance to succeed,” said Maha. “I think that West Mifflin has always been a place where you can win, but more important than winning, you can have an impact on our kids as a coach and as an athletic program.”

While Maha will hold all of the responsibilities of a typical athletic director, his new role is much more than that. His aim is to get students involved with extracurricular activities, whether it's athletics-based or not. He said he’s already looking into creating or strengthening the district's esports, coding, and dancing opportunities.

As a coach, Maha often preached to his players the value of being involved in multiple sports, pointing to the benefits of well-roundedness. In a different way, Maha will now be preaching that to all of the district’s students, as he seeks to provide extracurricular opportunities that are both of high quality and high quantity. 

“As educators and as a school district, we need to provide opportunities for kids to be holistic and to experience as many things as they can. And they can determine what they like and what they’re good at and what they really enjoy,” said Maha.

“You don’t have to be on a high school athletic team or be a member of the band to participate in something. And that will be our focus, furthering that idea of belonging and being around other kids and gaining skills and maybe finding something that you like that you didn’t know you liked.”

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81 Commonwealth Avenue West Mifflin, PA 15122
Phone: 412-466-9131 / Fax: 412-466-9260
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