Archer Appoints New Athletic Director

On Thursday, May 23, Head of School Ms. English shared an announcement with the Archer community about the selection of a new Athletic Director.
Dear Archer Community,

I am thrilled to announce that Coach Kim Smith has been appointed as Archer’s new Athletic Director. The Search Committee, comprised of Coach Stephanie Ferri, Coach Danielle LeNoir, Chief Financial Officer Jane Davis, and Upper School Director Gretchen Warner, made a unanimous recommendation after conducting a national search with Carney Sandoe & Associates. In addition to thanking the Search Committee, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the Athletic Director Survey, especially all of the student-athletes and faculty whose feedback made it clear that Coach Smithwas far and away the best person to provide strong and inspiring leadership to this next phase of Archer’s athletic program.

Through her writing, interviewing, and excellent stewardship of our athletics program this spring, Coach Smith has demonstrated a vision for competitive sports that aligns beautifully with Archer’s mission. Her extensive experience as a former professional athlete, club and varsity league championship soccer coach, college placement advisor to student-athletes, and Archer Division Coordinator enabled Coach Smith to speak compellingly about the powerful link for women between their experiences as school athletes and their health and success later on in life – both personally and professionally.

In her cover letter Coach Smith wrote:

In The Confidence Code, Claire Shipman shares the magic of girls and sport: “Something happens when girls play sports - they embody the experience of not just winning, but the experience of losing. It’s the process of carrying on and clearing the hurdles that really builds confidence.” As a program, Archer Athletics embodies this same process of confidence building. Our combined wins and losses over the last decade have been opportunities to reflect, iterate, and strategize. As Acting Athletic Director, I aim to continue this process of becoming: assessing needs, securing resources and facilities, removing obstacles, highlighting success and dissecting our struggles. With my varied skill and experience, I aim to provide Archer coaches with the guidance and support to do their best work for and with our student-athletes. I am immensely proud of Archer’s Athletic program, and I am eager to focus more intention on the Middle School program to create a true 6th - 12th grade athletics experience. As Archer’s next AD, my goal would be to create a culture of coaching excellence that reflects the outstanding professional culture and skill of the teachers in our classrooms.

As Acting Athletic Director this spring, Coach Smith has shown her strengths as a coach, educator, writer, collaborator, mentor, and leader. In addition to handling key administrative tasks with utmost professionalism and aplomb, Coach Smith has proven to be a powerful writer, motivator, and advocate for our athletes. In just a short time, she has built important relationships with fellow Athletic Directors and local facility coordinators and very effectively represented Archer’s interests at league and association meetings. Further, over the years her work with College Guidance on the recruiting process for Archer athletes has given her an important lens into how we can best prepare our scholar-athletes for college-level play and recruitment.

Coach Smith holds a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia where she also played soccer and was named Offensive MVP and All ACC. Prior to beginning her career as Varsity Soccer Coach and Upper School Division Coordinator at Archer, Coach Smithwas the Director of the Palisades Charter High School Soccer Program. More recently, she has served as Head Coach and Ambassador for Equal Playing Field, a non-profit dedicated to overcoming gender inequality in sport and to bringing athletic opportunities to girls and women worldwide. How lucky are we to have her leadership and passion for girls’ athletics right here at The Archer School for Girls.

Please join me in congratulating Coach Smith.
Elizabeth English
Head of School