Jackie French got the job she has dreamed about having when the school board voted unanimously to appoint her as the school system's new supervisor of physical education.
French, 34, a physical educationteacher at Bollman Bridge Elementary and the coach of Howard High's field hockey and girls lacrosse teams, is scheduled to as sume the job May 13.
She replaces Stephen Duckworth, who died suddenly Feb. 23 after holding the job for more than two years.
French beat out 10 candidates and three finalists for the $48,960-a-year position.
"This is something I've always wanted to do. It's always been my
dream," said French, who will work closely with Don Disney, the executive supervisor for health and physical education.
The responsibilities of athletic supervisors include observing physical-education teachers; writing curriculum development procedures; organizing the county's athletic program in such areas as scheduling and assigning officials; andworking in conjunction with principals regarding the evaluation of teachers.
French said she will concentrate initially on increasing the number of female coaches and female participants in sports. She said Disney will focus more on boys sports.
"It's a natural split, although we (boys and girls teams) are one and the same," French said.
"Working with teachers is the best job there could be, and I feel coaches are teachers. There's no difference between the two," she continued. "I don't plan to go in and make a lot of changes. We've gotgood things happening in this program. There's a good foundation here."
French, a native of Hartford, Conn., is a 1975 graduate of BelAir High School in Harford County. She received a bachelor's degree in physical education from Towson State University in 1979.
Frenchspent more than three years as a teacher at Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, N.C., where she coached track and field, softball and basketball and started a field hockey program. She joined the University of Maryland in 1983, where she spent two years as an assistant field hockey coach. In 1989, she earned her master's degree in physical education at Maryland.
She is winding up her third year at Bollman Bridge.
"Jackie offered the best range of what the curriculum department needed and what Don (Disney) needed," said Michael E. Hickey, superintendent of schools. "I really think she'll do a fine job of replacing someone who is very hard to replace."
Said French, "Steve made a great impression on everybody. I still feel him around. He wasalways looking to catch you doing something right. I want to try to do the same thing."