Athletic Director Organizes Advisory Committee

Jamie Landy '19

Keith Levinthal’s first season as Sidwell Friends Director of Athletics has featured many successes and moments of pride for our athletic community, including the Girls’ Varsity soccer run to the state title. Levinthal’s favorite thing to see is the dedication of students at the most crucial points of their season. In addition to the many successes, Levinthal is quick to address potential areas of improvement--such as his communication with the student-athletes--which sparked the proposal of a new committee. 

Levinthal explains that he has had countless discussions with both coaches and parents about different ideas and opinions; however, he has had fairly limited communication with the athletes themselves about what is working and what needs improvement. He wants to create the best possible experience for student-athletes.

In order to accomplish his goal of establishing faculty-athlete line of communication, he has recently assembled the Athletic Director’s Advisory Committee. This committee is comprised of over 30 student-athletes ranging from freshmen to seniors who have been nominated by their coaches to represent their team in the committee. Levinthal will be the only faculty member on the committee, although specialists may be brought in for the discussion of certain topics. The committee will meet three times this year to discuss current ideas and projects, as well as critique past initiatives and their effectiveness.

Levinthal hopes the group’s discussion will extend outside of just the Pearson Athletic Center and into other areas of student life. He believes that in order for the students to have great high school experiences, athletics has to strike a balance with all other aspects of their daily lives. The student input from the committee will aid the Athletic Department as they work to effectively mesh the academic, social, and athletic lives of the students.

Levinthal wants to make sure that both he and the student-athletes are getting the most out of the committee by emphasizing that the two parties are working together with an equal balance of authority. 

“I see this group as partners,” he said. “I don't want there to be a divide between the athletes and me.” 

There will not only be three annual meetings, but also smaller group meetings and frequent communication by email. By balancing the authority in the group, Levinthal hopes to receive honest and open feedback from committee members.

There is a lot of support and enthusiasm surrounding the committee from student-athletes. Senior committee member Andrew Rabinowitz remarked “students will be able to make a positive impact on any decisions affecting the student body made from here on out.”

The creation of the Athletic Director’s Advisory Committee brings many possibilities and lots of excitement for the future of Sidwell Athletics, as well as expanding the role that the students will play in shaping it.

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