Former English teacher, Jayme McGovern, recently took on the job as athletic director at Bethel High School. It’s been an adjustment, not only for Ms. McGovern, but for the student body and faculty. Ms. McGovern is faced with the challenge of replacing the remarkable Mark Goodwin who has stayed on as the girls’ cross country coach.
“I love sports and played my whole life” says Ms. McGovern. Her evident athletic background in both soccer and basketball, proved to be the driving force behind Ms. McGovern’s desire for the job. She loves sports and believes that “athletics provide students with discipline and teach self-worth and respect.” This idea kept Ms. McGovern going through the tough adjustments of the AD job.
The toughest adjustment for Ms. McGovern was the inability to coach the girls’ soccer team. After coaching for four years, Ms. McGovern misses “soccer: the girls and the relationships and inside jokes. I miss being a part of the pregame huddles and half time talks and the feeling of winning a big game and sharing the sorrow of a tough loss.”
Leaving behind the bond she had formed with the team was “the one drawback” to the position, and when the problem of punishing the girls for an inappropriate act of hazing presented itself, she was put in a tough position. Should she do her job and follow the rules strictly or back her girls up?
While the choice was “extremely” hard for Ms. McGovern, in the end she followed the policy and handbook. Ms. McGovern suspended all seven seniors for two weeks, causing them to miss two pre-season scrimmages and two games.
“We were mad at first and felt betrayed” says girls soccer senior Marcella Lavras. “But, eventually we understood that she was just doing her job.”
Nearly three months into the 2011-2012 school year, Ms. McGovern is well adjusted as the new Athletic Director at Bethel High School. With Marc Goodwin as a “mentor and resource” to her and her passion for the field of athletics, McGovern is sure to succeed in her new job, and pass the challenge of filling Goodwin’s shoes with flying colors.