As a graduate of D.C. public schools, I’m especially excited to hear from Natalie Randolph at this year’s Women to Watch Awards. Even though Calvin Coolidge High School’s football team consistently beats that of my alma mater, Woodrow Wilson, it’s satisfying to know that it is being done by the wonderful coaching of a woman! Randolph became the first female varsity football coach in Washington, D.C. when she took the head coaching position at Coolidge, a public school in northwest. She is also the third female high school head football coach in the nation.
Randolph’s leadership skills have not only helped Coolidge football players to twice make DCIAA, but have also led the team to improve its overall grade point average. Randolph has made huge strides in the athletic world for females. As the Principal of Coolidge said to the Washington Post “I don’t think there is another coach in DCIAA history that has done what Natalie has done. We’re talking about boys in the ninth grade that were walking the halls constantly…All of these schools have these challenges. But we have Natalie and people said she couldn’t do it and couldn’t go in the locker room and couldn’t relate to men. But she has exceeded those expectations.”
Jackie Emerson has already accomplished more than most in her seventeen years of life. In March, she made her film debut in the box office smash The Hunger Games as the quick and calculating character, Fox Face. Emerson has also pursued interests in music. She recorded a CD to raise money for the Saint Bernard Project and recently recorded three self-written demos. Her single “Catch Me if You Can” was released on March 6, 2012.
– Lisa Femia, YWPL Alumna and former Running Start Intern