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VOL. 133 | NO. 88 | Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bartholomew Named St. Mary’s Athletic Director

By Kate Simone

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 John Bartholomew

St. Mary’s Episcopal School has promoted John Bartholomew to athletic director. Bartholomew has been coaching lacrosse at St. Mary’s since 2014, and the following year, he joined the school full-time as assistant athletic director and lacrosse coordinator. He has been serving as St. Mary’s interim athletic director since last fall.

As athletic director, Bartholomew’s primary duties include the retention of quality coaches for the school’s 40-plus teams, maintenance and scheduling of our athletic facilities, and management of the departmental budget.

Hometown: Memphis

Experience: After graduate school at the University of Memphis, I taught high school history and geography classes from 2012 to 2015 at Middle College High School. At Middle College, I was the boys’ basketball coach and athletic director. In the spring during that time, I was coaching lacrosse at St. Mary’s, and then in 2015 I joined St. Mary’s full-time as the assistant athletic director.

What talent do you wish you had? I would love to develop some skill with graphic design. I am definitely not an artist; however, I think with graphic design that I could actually produce a decent piece of art.

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? It has to be my mother. She was a middle school educator for 25 years and also coached me in track. She is an amazing athlete and, before she retired, was a fantastic teacher. Whenever I run into someone that she taught, they always remember her as “their favorite teacher and coach.”

What is your vision for St. Mary’s athletics program? I am committed to building an athletics program at St. Mary’s that is bursting with pride and culture. Athletics has the ability to connect our students, faculty, staff, alumnae and regional community. It is my belief that with a strong sense of athletic pride, teams will consistently perform successfully.

You’re planning to introduce lacrosse and cross country to lower-school students this fall. What grades will be eligible to participate, and why do you feel it’s important to give younger students exposure to these sports? Cross country is a foundational sport that will help our students learn how to push themselves. I have been doing instructional lacrosse camps for our lower school students for years. Long enough for some of the participants of those camps to now be playing for me in high school. We use Beanie Babies instead of lacrosse balls to teach them the fundamentals of cradling and soft hands. It is incredibly fun and very satisfying to watch a young athlete develop passion. In addition to the specifics of these particular sports, I want to develop our school pride at a younger age.

Why do you plan to continue coaching even in your new role? It is up to me as a coach or teacher to create excitement, and with that comes an amazing amount of freedom to be creative. I got into teaching because I loved coaching so much. Once in the classroom, I realized exactly why I enjoyed coaching so much. At this point, if I gave up coaching I would lose the ability to interact with so many students and I would also be giving up my creative spirit.

How does the athletics program play into St. Mary’s overall goals for education, recruiting and retaining students, etc.? All of our programs at St. Mary’s are aligned to support our core institutional values. Our admission team does an excellent job at making sure our students are a good fit for those values. I do want our school to be the preferred choice for student-athletes that are looking for a great education and a competitive athletic experience.

What are some of the biggest issues today’s student-athletes face, and how can schools better address them? Student-athletes today are playing year-round. Some play year-round in one sport, while some are year-round in up to four. Injuries and overuse could be minimized with some better coaching decisions. Also, professional athletes are being imitated more and more by younger athletes and often, fundamental skills are overlooked. School coaches need to be held accountable for teaching kids the right way to play.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? I take great pride in the growth of Tennessee lacrosse. I started a team at White Station High School when I was in the ninth grade, was the inaugural coach for the girl’s program at Collierville High School, and will be starting the youth lacrosse league next spring. Under my leadership, St. Mary’s is offering lacrosse for the first time ever to third- and fourth-graders. I am hopeful that as more of our graduating lacrosse players return to Memphis, they will help grow the sport by coaching and officiating the game.

What do you most enjoy about your work? I really enjoy getting to be involved in such a large and welcoming community.

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Travel often and put down social media. It’s hard for me to watch young people experience life through their smartphones.

In addition to John Bartholomew’s new position, Casey Crenny has been named assistant athletic director at St. Mary’s Episcopal School. Crenny has been the school’s athletic department assistant, a varsity basketball assistant coach, and a middle school lacrosse team head coach. She previously served as associate head coach at Wesley College and assistant coach at Holy Family University.

Candace Dean

Elizabeth Ennis

Monica Yeckley

The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event has expanded its staff from one to two full-time community development managers, Candace Dean and Elizabeth Ennis. Dean joined the American Cancer Society in 2013 as a community development manager with Relay For Life and was promoted to senior community development manager in 2016. She has transferred to Memphis from the Jackson, Tennessee, office. Ennis joined the American Cancer Society in 2017 as an event coordinator in the Memphis office. In their new roles, the pair will focus on volunteer engagement, corporate partnerships and community involvement for the Making Strides for Breast Cancer event.

Monica Finocchiaro Yeckley has joined Vaco Memphis as a recruiter in its health care division. In her role, Yeckley will recruit and place talent and develop client relationships with health care providers and industry leaders in the Mid-South. She previously served as a health care staffing manager at Trace Staffing Solutions in Memphis.

Angela Brown, a floral designer for Pugh’s Flowers of Memphis, has been awarded a 2018 Symposium Scholarship from the American Institute of Floral Designers Foundation. The $2,000 scholarships support rising stars within the floral industry with funding that allows them to attend the AIFD National Symposium in Washington, D.C. Brown has been a Pugh’s floral designer for 12 years.

Buckle Inc. has named Jesse Mahan manager of the Wolfchase Galleria Buckle store. Mahan began his career with Buckle in 2016 and was a management trainee at the Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Buckle location before becoming manager of the Wolfchase store. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in business management.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. recently presented Founder’s Awards to leaders of more than 90 top-performing stores, including Theresa Wurscher, general manager of JCPenney at Centennial Commons, and Kevin Daigler, general manager of JCPenney at Southaven Towne Center. District manager Mike Benson of Memphis also was honored with a Founder’s Award.

The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law has been ranked No. 1 on PreLaw magazine’s list of Best Law School Buildings in the nation, published in its Spring 2018 issue. PreLaw reviewed all law schools nationwide, totaling more than 200, and chose 62 for the rankings based on a variety of data. This is the second time that Memphis Law has taken the top spot, with a 2014 listing as having the“Best Law School Facilities” in the country in the same publication.

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