Rory is featured in an inspiring article for the 2020 Winter Games.  Click here to read the full article.

Susan Haugh of the Genesee FSC is the 19th recipient of the annual LeeAnn Miele Spirit of Skating Award. This award embodies LeeAnn’s dedication and contributions to the sport that she so loved. It was LeeAnn’s encouragement that resulted in Sue pursuing a Referee appointment in Synchronized Team Skating. 


Sue’s love for skating started early. Every Saturday she could be found at the weekly, public session on a Long Island, outdoor, ice rink. She still remembers those mornings skating down one side of the rink and being blown down the other side by the wind. It became quite a game  to see who could be blown down faster. “We did develop many unique techniques but don’t believe that they ever advanced our skating skill very much”. Public sessions led to membership in the Great Neck FSC. When Sue was working on her skating badge in Girl Scouts, she discovered that one of the leaders had a daughter who was a member. Thus, began many happy years of club experiences, annual shows, test sessions, and off ice activities. It was at Great Neck that she passed her third figure test.


For Sue, the skates went into the closet during college, grad school, marriage and the birth of four sons. It wasn’t until she moved to the Rochester, NY area that skating came back into her life. “There was a big splash in the local paper about,  “A Skating Spectacular” being presented by the Genesee Figure Skating Club. F. Ritter Shumway, a former US Figure Skating President and founder of the Memorial Fund was behind the production. He made it a point to invite many of our leading skaters to headline the event, often housing them in his own home. He arranged as well for the show to be aired on public television during the holiday season”. 

That ad in the paper made the skates come out of the closet and a membership in the Genesee Figure Skating Club begin. Of course, new skates had to be ordered, so on a return visit to Long Island she headed to Klingbeil’s. Sue had the opportunity to skate in many Spectaculars, including playing the role of “Dolly” in the Hello Dolly production number. She passed her pre-Silver Dances and continues to serve on the Board of Governors as the GFSC Sanction Chairman. 


It was at the prodding of the Club Pro, Gerry Lane, former PSA President, that Sue began the process of becoming a judge. At first, she was very hesitant as she had just returned to the teaching profession when her fourth son entered kindergarten. Her husband was a High School Principal, Athletic Director and Football Coach and all four boys were in the hockey program. “It was hard enough to get to the rink to skate each week no less try to figure out  a way to pursue judging”. Time, patience and a huge amount of juggling skills eventually led to a Silver Singles, Moves in the Field, Intermediate Figure and Bronze Dance Appointments. 


Sue was a member of the Adult Precision Team at the club. “Precision” was just catching on. Competitions were Saturdays. Judges Schools were often connected to the event. It was the perfect match. That way, Sue was able to work on her initial judging appointment in Synchro and could also trial for a competition appointment. Being a teacher, you were limited by the district’s contract to time out of the classroom. Days off were without pay, if approved by the Board of Education. That usually was granted only with medical  issues. Taking time off to trial judge was not an option and vacation time was set in stone. So that new combo of trialing right at the weekend’s competition was ideal.  Not only, was Precision a great choice for Sue as far as coordinating time and availability but it fostered her love of the team concept since professionally, she was already part of a “three teacher team” in the Livonia, NY Primary School.

Today, Sue holds both a National Judge and Referee Appointment in Synchronized Team Skating and Theater on Ice. 


Sue feels strongly that the “team concept”, that  is basic to Synchro, enables our skaters to develop life - long skills that will carry over far into their lives where  time management, self-discipline, cooperation, and respect, will make them a success wherever their paths may take them. Working together for the betterment of the whole leads to success. 


Sue can be found at practically every Non qual and qualifying competition throughout the very short Synchro season. She chuckles often that she just gets home, washes her clothes and repacks the suitcase, in order to fly out the following weekend. Her favorite assignment at competitions is that of Ice Referee. She enjoys interacting with the teams as they get set to take the ice. A welcoming cheer and perhaps a high five helps reduce gate panic. When not on the Synchro tract Sue loves to be part of the Learn to Skate Events. Helping the new skaters learn the ropes and continuing to encourage them to have fun and skate their best brings real joy to her. It parallels her professional life as a First Grade teacher for over 34 years.


Sue has served the sport of Figure Skating for over forty years. She has been SVC Competitions Committee, SVC Judges Committee, SVC Synchronized Skating, Precision Skating Committee SVC, Sanctions and Eligibility Committee Member and State Games Committee Member. 


Sue was asked about some of her favorite memories or funny incidents that happened to her in the skating world. She had several responses. 

“The most memorable were those related to Lake Placid. As I look back, I had the great opportunity to skate, compete, trial judge, judge, and referee in the Olympic Arenas. What a thrill”!


“During one of our early Adult Precisions Competitions in Placid, a snowstorm closed down the roads. My family and some friends were staying in a condo at the time. The team had checked out of the different hotels they were booked into so when the roads were closed everyone ended up in the condo to wait for the storm to stop. That truly was a team building activity”! 


“At another Precision event, during the practice the skater next to me had her nails dug into my shoulder as she hung on for dear life , so much so ,that the shoulder seam opened wide up.  Between the warm- up and the skate I was put back together with an assortment of pierced earrings!!!!!

Today that would have been a serious costume deduction”!!!! 


After the award was presented, many judge friends reflected on their friendship with Sue They described Sue as a positive role model, a passionate official, kind, a listener, fun loving, supportive, calm in a crisis, a true friend, a leader, a practical joker, always smiling, warm greetings to all, so willing to help, and a great sense of humor.


Sue responded with some good comebacks, as well as some serious thoughts about the award. “ As I listened to Dennis  Morrill at his introduction, I could not help but think of all the fond memories I had judging Synchro with LeeAnn. LeeAnn knew that I loved the role of a referee but did not especially like being the king pin. She knew I much preferred to be the behind the scenes worker bee. She was ok with that. I treasure the Award as I treasured LeeAnn’s friendship. The beautiful crystal bowl will serve as a constant reminder of a great gal and of the commitment I have to live up to her enthusiasm and dedication to the sport of figure skating”.

 Maddie, Isabella,

Eva & Aubrey 

skated in the Cicero competition and did great!

Congrats to the GFSC for winning the club trophy.

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