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New Teacher of the Week: Sara Gustafson

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Ms. Gustafson, known to her students as Coach Gus, is a 9th grade health and P.E. teacher and this is her first year at Dominion.

Background

  • She has been a teacher in physical education for 14 years in Loudoun County.
  • She also taught physical education in Baltimore County, Maryland.
  • She is currently a certified health, physical education and driver education instructor for LCPS
  • She attended The University of Maryland, where she was also a member of the Women’s Soccer Team.
  • She started teaching in Loudoun County at Belmont Ridge Middle School for 2 years, Freedom High School for 6 years, where she started their soccer program and she was their varsity coach, and Broad Run High School for 5 years.
  • She grew up outside of Baltimore, Maryland in a town called Reisterstown, Maryland and went to Franklin High School.

 

When did you begin playing soccer?

“I started playing soccer when I was four and a half years old because I was super hyper, and my mom first put me in softball, which I hated. And then talked the church into letting me play soccer and then I handed her my softball gloves and said that I didn’t want to play this [softball] anymore, and I played soccer ever since.”

 

Did you play any other sports in high school?

“I played lacrosse and I ran track for a little while but, it was too much because I played club soccer all the time and I played ODP and I didn’t have enough time. So, I had to quit both of them after my freshman year because I literally played soccer every minute of the day”

 

Are you planning on coach any sports in the area?

“I coached at Freedom [High School], I started their program, I coached for US soccer, I coached for Maryland ODP, and I was a coach for Region 1 US Soccer. So, it took up a lot of my time in my late twenties and early thirties, so now I’m kinda laying low.”

 

What do you do in your free time?

“I play with my dogs. I have seven nephews and one niece and I am very close with my family, although they all live in Baltimore, and one of my brothers lives in new Jersey with his two boys. [I also] hang out with some good friends [and] my boyfriend, watch football, [and] college basketball. I am a huge Maryland fan, that’s where I went to school, and anything that has to do with Maryland athletics or the Orioles or the Ravens, I’ll watch any of those.”

 

When did you decide you wanted to become a teacher?

“When I was playing soccer at Maryland, I was doing soccer camps and my coach asked me if I wanted to coach the little kids and I was like, I don’t know. She said, “Well you are going to coach the little kids at camp this year,” and I had her daughters on my team, they were like 4 and 5. And I was like, “Oh here we go,” and I hadn’t declared a major yet. So I had them and I was like, “Wait i’m pretty good at this.” So, I thought maybe I’ll be a really good P.E. teacher. So, that’s what I started to do it and I really liked it and I thought I wanted to be an elementary P.E. teacher, but when I student taught for elementary school I realized I didn’t want to teach elementary school. And that when i realized i wanted to teach high school.”

 

What attracted you to Dominion?

“Well to be honest I got destaffed from Broad Run which means the numbers went down and I was the last one hired there and when you are the last one hired you are the first one to leave.  [And] because all the teachers in the department were a lot older than me, and Dominion had an opening. So I was like, “Okay let’s go to Dominion.”

 

Are you enjoying your time at Dominion?

“Of course! Kids are great, I haven’t taught 9th grade except for two sections at Broad Run. I haven’t taught 9th grade in like 13th years and having freshman is a whole new ballgame for me, but other than that, yeah, it’s fun.”

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New Teacher of the Week: Sara Gustafson