First female letter winner inducted in Hall of Fame
It can be difficult for some to imagine a world where female athletes are not afforded the same choices as males in high school athletics.
However, this world was a reality in much of the United States until Title IX was passed in 1972.
Title IX paved the way for female athletes.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Title IX, “ protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.”
Title IX does not only pertain to sports, however. titleix.info states it also strives to help women in other areas such as, “access to higher education, career education, education for pregnant and parenting students, employment, learning environment, math and science, sexual harassment, standardized testing and technology.”
WHS did not award a female Varsity letter winner until 1975. Deb Silver Gambon, of the class of 1975 earned a Varsity letter in diving. In the early 1970s, WHS did not have a girls’ diving team, so Gambon decided to join the boys’. This caused much tension and created backlash.
During her time on WHS’s diving team, Gambon set records that remained unbroken for almost 40 years. She held six school records at WHS by the time she graduated. After graduation, she continued diving on the men’s team at Kent State University.