Attacking Athletics from All Angles: A National Girls and Women in Sports Panel Discussion

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Every year New Hampton School celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day by recognizing female athletes here on campus and sharing stories of faculty and staff who have pushed their personal boundaries through the exciting world of athletics. This year, in addition to hosting chalk talks with our hockey and basketball teams, virtual sports clinics, and featuring games here on campus, we asked a group of alumnae to participate in a speaker panel for all community members to highlight their accomplishments and allow them to share how sports impacted their lives and shaped them into who they are today. All of the female panelists have had successful careers in athletics as athletes, coaches, or staff and offered valuable insight for those looking to navigate the world of women’s athletics or seeking inspiration from their fellow alumnae.

 

Gara Fields ’87 (front left)

Moderator: Gara Field ’87

Gara spent time as a producer for ESPN and returned to New Hampton as a successful basketball coach in the late 90’s. Since then, she has continued to work at various educational institutions where she continues to be inspired by young people every day. Gara was the moderator for this panel of successful New Hampton alumnae and was able to share a unique perspective as a student-athlete while on campus as well as a coach.

 

Mallory Rushton ’15 (left) is a forward for the Metropolitan Riveters. Photo credit: Ashley Intile

Mallory Rushton ’15

Mallory captained her women’s ice hockey team at Rochester Institute of Technology prior to her graduation in 2019. After graduation, she was invited to play professionally in the National Women’s Hockey League for the Metropolitan Riveters in Monmouth, New Jersey. Though she shared obvious disappointment that her season was canceled due to the pandemic, she is excited about what comes next and thankful to New Hampton for showing her a world much larger than her small Nova Scotia community. Expanding her athletic repertoire across three seasons of sports provided valuable skills.

 

Megan Collins ‘ 98

Megan was the global events manager for the 2013 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, and she has the ring to prove it. Since then, she has continued to work in the events and entertainment management space at places like Under Armor, and currently, CareFirst. Her flair for theatrics was nurtured at New Hampton having performed in three theater productions during her time on campus. She credits New Hampton’s accessible schedule for allowing her to experience both athletics and the arts, which ultimately proved useful as we moved into her professional life.

 

Kayla Wagner ’10 (Right)

Kayla Wagner ’10

Kayla is a personal trainer and certified in functional movement, strength & conditioning, and wilderness first aid.  She has worked with many athletes and is currently working towards a degree in Physical Therapy. The juxtaposition between athletics and academics is something she is very comfortable with having been a student-athlete at New Hampton School. She advocates that as a high school or college student playing sports, you have to be more than just an athlete—a student-athlete.

 

Jean Troiano Stahlecker ’07 (second from right)

Jean Troiano Stahlecker ’07 

Jean has been an athletic trainer for Western Michigan University, IMG Academy, and Dartmouth College. She also provided medical care for athletes at the Prospect Wire Baseball Showcases and the United States Tennis Association Tournament. Currently working as medical staff for a military special ops unit, she commented on how she has overcome gender biases in a male-dominated field.

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We were so excited to share experiences and inspire another group of successful New Hampton female student-athletes. New Hampton School is proud to bring the unique experiences of the Alumni Association to the current student community so that they might learn from each other, grow a vast social and professional network, and feel a great sense of Husky pride.

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