Judy Sylvester came to work full time for the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference upon graduating from Hamden High School in 1970. At that time, the association was located across from Hamden High School on Connolly Parkway. The office staff totaled only three. Forty-six years and four buildings later, she continues to be a vital and integral part of the CIAC family. Judy has been the person behind the scenes at the CIAC. Her dedication to high school athletics, especially the boys' and girls' basketball committees, earned her the recognition of having the CIAC girls' basketball tournament dedicated to her five years ago. Judy currently serves as the administrative assistant to executive director Dr. Karissa Niehoff, CIAC associate director Dr. Steve Wysowski, several CIAC assistant directors and the CAAD executive director.
Judy’s excellence in service has not gone unnoticed. In 1989, the Connecticut High School Coaches' Association presented her with the Thomas R. Monahan President’s Honor Award. In that same year, Judy also became the only non-member to receive a CAS Citation of Honor. In her citation, then CAS President H. Jean Kenney named her “the lady who knows the CIAC as no one else does.” In 1993, the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors awarded her a Certificate of Appreciation for Service, Dedication and Contributions to the Professional Growth of Connecticut’s Athletic Administrators. In 1998, CAAD recognized her services yet again when she received the Distinguished Service Award Outside the Field of Athletic Administration.
“Judy Sylvester is the quintessential CIAC administrative assistant,” state girls' basketball tournament chairman Dave Maloney said. “She is a reservoir of information that no file, no handbook, no program could possibly compete with. Whether fielding a phone call from an athletic director, coach, lawyer, or member of the media, Judy capably handles each and every inquiry with dignity and poise. On a daily basis, she produces documents that exceed everyone's expectations, which, in turn, makes the office such a pleasure to work in.”
Judy’s competitive side, focus, and dedication show in every facet of her life. Outside the walls of the CAS-CIAC office, Judy has a well-documented history in the world of duckpin bowling. She was inducted into the Connecticut Duckpin Hall of Fame in 1989 and into the National Women’s Professional Duckpin Association Hall of Fame in 1994. For 15 years, she was ranked one of the top three women in Connecticut, ranking first in the state three times. During her career, she has been ranked in the top 20 nationally 10 times, achieving the No. 3 ranking in the nation from 1977-78. Judy has won 20 tournaments all over the state and nationally she won three Ladies' Pro Tours and one All-Star Classic, setting eight state and two national records for singles and mixed high-game and high-set scores.
Judy lives in Hamden with her husband Bruce, who is retired after 37 years of teaching and coaching at Stamford High School. She has two daughters, Jennifer, who also works at the CAS office, and Christine, who is a pastry chef at Millwright’s in Simsbury.