I graduated from Woodstock Academy in 1969. At Woodstock I played Basketball, Volleyball and Softball. Throughout high school and after I worked as a nurses aid at DKH and had every intention of going into nursing. Upon graduation I went to Southern Connecticut State University. I ended up switching my major to Health and Physical Education and minoring in Special Education because my nursing schedule was not going to accommodate athletic participation. I graduated in 1973. While attending SCSU, I was a member of the Varsity Field Hockey, Varsity Basketball, and VarsityTrack teams.
Never having played field hockey in high school, college gave me an opportunity to learn the game and excel. I made club level (Hampshire) and played independently nationally year round which allowed me to play throughout the country. I made the Regional selection pool a number of years as an inside striker. I continued to play and travel for a few years after graduation.
I was a walk-on at SCSU for the basketball team and played with the team in four national tournaments. (Sites- Boston College 1970, University of Illinois 1971, University of North Carolina 1972, and Queens College 1973). At that time the national tournament was called the NAGWS tournament (National Association of Girls Women Sports). The NCAA did not exist for women.
I also ran track. I was a miler and had the school record until my last meet when a freshman beat me by a step on the finish line (still bitter). Best time back then was 5:12. In addition to the mile I ran in the 4x 800 medley and the 800. Occasionally was asked to do field events - long jump and high jump.
After graduation in 1973, I got a job right away at Quabbin Regional High School in Barre, MA. There I taught Health and Physical Education for 7 years. While there I coached field hockey taking a failed program into the state tournament. I also coached basketball becoming district champs multiple years and getting as far as the state semi-finals. And started a girls track team.
I resigned my position at Quabbin in 1980 moving back to Connecticut. My husband’s work required the move. We landed in Thompson due to the close proximity to 395 for my husband’s commute.I immediately began substitute teaching at the Mary R Fisher Elementary School in town. A position open as the elementary PE teacher which was offered to me in 1983. I taught elementary health and PE there for 18 years.
As my girls got older they began participating in sports, I found myself coaching again. At first through the town rec teams - soccer, basketball and softball. As a result, I became a member of the NECONN Board which was a 7 town soccer club. Within a few years I became the President of the league. At that time the area had 1400 kids playing rec soccer in that 7 town area. We were very successful and many of those girls ended up playing on the middle school team of which I had become the coach. The middle school team was successful winning numerous QVJC Championships.
While this was going on I returned to college to get my masters degree in Health Education from Worcester State University.
When my oldest daughter graduated from middle school and was entering Tourtellotte Memorial High school the girls soccer position opened up. I jumped at the chance to move to that level. At that point it was a failing program. The first year I had 10 girls sign up. I remained teaching on the elementary level and coaching on the high school level for soccer but remained at the middle school level for basketball and softball . I eventually moved up and also coached basketball at the high school while teaching at the elementary. This continued until a retirement in the high school PE department allowed me to make lateral transfer in 1999.
In late September of 1999 the athletic director at the high school (Alex Caisse) had a stroke. He was the AD for the middle school and the high school. Without his presence on campus things began to fall apart. The principals of the two schools were trying to piece together and make the athletic programs work. It was a mess. Buses weren’t showing up, officials not scheduled, etc. Our girls soccer team was successful and very strong at the time and all the chaos was impacting my team. So I went to the superintendent and said that I would be the athletic director for the fall season until the district decided what to do. I was still teaching a full load and coaching year round but it was self serving to take control for my team. He jumped at the chance. The fall season finished successfully for all teams.
So the district advertised in house for the athletic director position. No one would take it. There was no athletic office, no dedicated phone and only the prep period to do the work. All scheduling was done independently between schools at this time. With the winter season approaching the superintendent asked me if I would remain on as the athletic director. This was a critical time because the QVC had just dissolved and we were moving into a new league, the ECC. So I began representing Tourtellotte at ECC meetings and Thompson Middle at QVJC meetings. We got through the winter season and I ended up finishing the year as the AD. I was then offered the job for the following year. I was not going to take the job because I was still teaching a full load and I had a family at home. It was too time consuming. In addition, it was to be the inaugural year of our Tri-Op football team (TMHS/Ellis/Marianapolis). So we negotiated and I ended up with a lighter class load to do the job. I still have a decreased class load at the present time.
During this time I went back to school again to get another Masters degree in Educational Administration (092) to secure my district wide athletic director position. In addition, I earned my CAA form NIAAA in 2004. I have now been in this AD position for 23 years. I am still coaching the girls varsity soccer team finishing my 30th year this past season. I am also the President of the Quinebaug Valley Junior Conference which I have held for the past 15 years.
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