Student Services


Stephen Bargatze with Halls Middle School students after a Right Team performance

Stephen Bargatze with Halls Middle School students after a Right Team performance

The Right Team

The Student Services Program of the TSSAA
Presented by the Governors Highway Safety Office

Who is The Right Team?What is The Right Team?
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) is a non profit organization established to stimulate and regulate interscholastic athletic competition among the member high schools across the state of Tennessee. The mission of the TSSAA is to serve its members by providing leadership and coordination for the administration of interscholastic athletics, which will enhance the educational experience of students. According to the TSSAA Constitution and Bylaws, “the TSSAA will promote participation and sportsmanship to develop good citizens through interscholastic athletics, which provide equitable opportunities, positive recognition and learning experiences to students while maximizing the achievement of education goals.” The Right Team is a branch of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association which exists to serve schools in a more personal and accessible manner.
The TSSAA Right Team was established over 10 years ago to be a resource for schools in the following areas:

  • Student leadership development
  • Race relations
  • Alcohol, tobacco and drug prevention
  • Eating disorders/body image information
  • Conflict resolution/violence prevention
  • Sportsmanship and citizenship education

In the last five years, the Right Team has directly reached over 242,000 students across the state of Tennessee. One of the most exciting programs offered to the schools through the TSSAA Right Team is the Magic of Stephen. Stephen Bargatze, the Director of the Right Team, uses his magical talent to entertain students in assemblies, clubs or classrooms. Stephen has performed magic for over 25 years and has won numerous awards in magic including: three time world of wizards champion, Southeastern Association Magician of the year, Midwest Association Magician of the year, and the International Brotherhood of Magicians Close-up Champion. Once he has earned the respect of the students through magic, Stephen has the opportunity to discuss the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco, the importance of seat belts and the importance of following the rules of the road. This year, Stephen will provide three programs to Tennessee schools. In the first program, Stephen emphasizes three points to the students which are to 1) respect their parents, 2) respect their teachers, and 3) respect themselves not to get involved with chemicals or activities that could harm them. In the second program, Stephen illustrates the importance of teamwork and citizenship. This program focuses on students as individuals and the dangers of violence and reckless behavior at home, at school and on the road. The “Magic of Stephen” also makes presentations for adult audiences delivered at conferences for school personnel and parents. The purpose of the third presentation is to 1) to educate teachers as to their important role in preventing the targeted youth problem behaviors, 2) to promote the Right Team prevention efforts, and 3) to promote TSSAA’s mission of encouraging and enhancing sportsmanship and citizenship in the area of athletics and academics.

The TSSAA Board of Control feels that the Right Team is one of the greatest programs ever provided by the TSSAA. Unfortunately like many other organizations, we have been affected by the statewide budget cuts. As of July 1, 2003 we no longer have the major grant that allowed us to continue to offer this program at no charge to our schools. Nevertheless, we feel that this program is too crucial to eliminate. We are currently searching for alternative funding, but in order to continue for the 2003-2004 school year we must charge all member schools utilizing the Magic of Stephen/Student Services program a $200 speakers fee for one session and a $250 speakers fee for more than one session.


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