Molly Tomlinson Assistant Athletic Director Deerfield High School, Deerfield Illinois
In a recent interview with Molly Tomlinson, Assistant Athletic Director at Deerfield High School in Illinois, we delved into her remarkable journey and the passion that drives her commitment to excellence in education-based athletics.
The conversation began with Molly recounting her experience at the National Convention, where she had the opportunity to meet inspiring individuals, including Scott Garvis. Molly shared insights into her path to becoming an Athletic Director, emphasizing the influence of role models and her background as a multi-sport athlete in high school.
Growing up in the northern suburbs of Chicago during the iconic Bulls era, Molly developed a deep love for sports, having been surrounded by it through her athletic family. She played volleyball, basketball, and softball in high school and pursued softball at the collegiate level. Opting for a Division III school in Ohio, Muskingum University, Molly enjoyed a successful softball career, led by her coach Dawn Newberry, the winningest coach in D3 history.
After graduating with a degree in secondary education, specifically English, Molly found herself drawn to coaching. She started as a substitute teacher and became involved in coaching softball and other sports. Her coaching journey led her to Deerfield High School, where she eventually became the head softball coach for eight years, also teaching English and serving as the Student Activities Director for nine years.
Transitioning to the role of Assistant Athletic Director at Deerfield High School, Molly reflected on her experiences and the pivotal moments that shaped her career. She highlighted the importance of having an open-door policy, fostering connections with students and coaches, and creating a positive and inclusive culture within the athletic department.
Discussing the use of technology, Molly emphasized the significance of platforms like YouTube for streaming varsity contests and the role of social media in engaging with students, parents, and the community. She introduced the Deerfield Sports Information (DSI) club, a student-driven initiative that enhances the game day experience through live broadcasts, graphics creation, and other innovative endeavors.
Molly also shared the school's initiatives to support mental health, particularly through its affiliation with Morgan's Message, a non-profit organization addressing mental health challenges among students. Deerfield High School actively participates in dedication games and monthly meetings to raise awareness and promote discussions around mental health.
Addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion, Molly emphasized the ongoing efforts within the school and the Central Suburban League conference. She discussed workshops focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, involving students, coaches, and administrators from various schools to collectively work towards improvement.
Molly Tomlinson's journey exemplifies dedication, passion, and a relentless pursuit of excellence in education-based athletics. Her commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive environment, leveraging technology, and addressing critical issues like mental health and diversity showcases the transformative impact sports can have on individuals and communities.
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