Friday, Jul 12th

Introducing Cindy Parrott: The First Female Athletic Director for SHS

ParrottLast week we learned that Cindy Parrott, a teacher and coach in the Scarsdale Schools, had been named the first female athletic director for Scarsdale High School. She takes over from Ray Pappalaridi who will focus on Physical Education and Health.

We contacted Parrott to learn more about her and here is what she shared:

-Tell us about yourself, your educational experience and your work history at the Scarsdale Schools.

I have been teaching math at Scarsdale Middle School for the past 21 years, serving as the Teacher-in-Charge of Choice for 17 years and the Math Department Chair concurrently for 11 years. I have also coached Modified Volleyball at SMS for 20 years and that program has been extremely popular with 80 - 120 girls participating each season. Prior to teaching in Scarsdale, I coached Girls Volleyball and Softball at Staples High School in Westport, CT.

-What sports have you coached and what sports do you play?

As mentioned, I coached modified volleyball in Scarsdale and high school volleyball and softball in my previous position in Westport, CT for eight years. I played softball since childhood and continued to play recreationally into my forties. As an adult, I took up running, finishing countless 5 and 10ks (placing in my age group in some!), several half marathons, and the New York City Marathon. Recently, I have been playing and enjoying pickleball.

-How big is the high school’s current program? How many teams and how many athletes are involved? What are your thoughts on managing a program of this size?

Scarsdale has 39 teams with approximately 1500 student-athletes participating! It’s definitely a bigh job to address all of the needs of the robust offerings available to SHS students, but I look forward to that challenge. I really look forward to seeing students shine outside of the classroom!

-What attracted you to this new opportunity — what do you believe you can offer the athletes and parents in the high school community?

I have been teaching middle school math for a total of 29 years, supporting students in their academic pursuits. Sports has meant a great deal to me and my family so it is a natural transition for me to now support students in their athletic pursuits.

In my current roles I have had to be extremely organized, detail-oriented, and communicative. I understand the privilege of having worked here for decades and I hope parents and athletes will see how much I care. I will work with coaches and staff to foster the development of student-athletes, promote positive sportsmanship, and help ensure that the lessons learned from Athletics extend far beyond one’s years on the field.

-Recruiting and managing coaches is one of the responsibilities of the job. What will you look for when hiring coaches?

Hiring staff has been one of the duties of my previous position that I enjoyed the most. Scarsdale is fortunate to attract the best and most talented teachers and I am proud of the group that has been hired during my tenure as math department chair. I look forward to continuing that with the athletics coaching staff. Obviously, you want to see their experience, knowledge of the sport, and communication and leadership skills. However, I also want to see a commitment and passion for the Scarsdale community. Our teachers can be our best resources for coaching positions as they are already invested in our student-athletes. If they are not available and we look to hire from outside our staff, then I would like to know why Scarsdale. Do they have a sense of the community and an understanding of what it means to wear maroon and white?

-What are you looking forward to?

With so many teams and limited space, I am looking forward to the results of the field study and seeing how we can provide Scarsdale athletes with facilities we can be proud of. I would like to see if there are opportunities for efficiencies with communication of schedules, events, and any necessary changes that can occur. I really look forward to supporting coaches and student-athletes to be sure they have everything they need to be successful.

-You will be Scarsdale’s first female athletic director. What might this mean for the students and the program?

Being the first female athletic director in Scarsdale is not lost on me. While there has been progress, women are still underrepresented in sports leadership. Hopefully, I bring a different perspective on things and equity will always be a priority. I believe Scarsdale is well positioned in this area, but there are some areas for improvement. Regardless of gender, I hope I am viewed as someone who does the job well.

Commenting on the change in leadership, Moira Crouch and Amy Frank who lead booster organization Maroon and White said this: "Maroon and White has supported Scarsdale High School athletics since 1968. In the 9 years of working together, Maroon and White and Mr. Pappalardi have successfully collaborated to accomplish a great deal for Scarsdale High School’s athletics, including the lights, speakers, windscreens and portable scorers box at Butler field, the fitness center and equipment, the softball scoreboard and windscreens at Supply field, all new banners in the gym, a new sign and flags celebrating our state champions by the Athletic Circle, and other equipment, projects and events. Maroon and White has had a strong partnership with Raymondo Pappalardi and admire his dedication to Scarsdale athletics. We look forward to working with the new athletic director, Cindy Parrott, to continue our mission in support of Scarsdale’s student athletes."