Laura Freeman is entering her seventh year of coaching and teaching, including six coaching soccer and volleyball at Heritage High School in Conyers. She was hired recently as the head girls soccer coach at Norcross.
In this edition of “Getting to Know...”, University of Arkansas graduate talks with the Daily Post’s Sarah Sims about her goals, her excitement, her love of sports and teaching, and more.
SS: Congratulations on receiving the head coaching job and the teaching job at Norcross. What would you say drives you to be the best coach and teacher you can be?
LF: I would say what drives me a lot is wanting to be the best teacher and coach that I always wanted and trying to motivate kids. I want to be the best for them so I can help them be the best that they can be.
SS: You said you wanted to be the best coach and teacher that you always had, who would you say that person in particular for you was?
LF: I had a coach in high school, her name was Coach Fields. She helped me grow as a person on and off the field. I learned many characteristics and personality traits from her. She pushed me in sports and just in general. When I was at Heritage, I had a lot of awesome mentors and coaches that I worked alongside and they made me want to work harder.
SS: That’s awesome to hear. Since you are a completely new addition to the athletic department and school system at Norcross, what are some ways you would like to change and add to these programs?
LF: I definitely feel me being young can be helpful and can help me connect and relate to the students. I feel as if I can bring a lot of change and energy to the school because I am upbeat and super positive. I just love sports in general and I feel as if I have the ability to help the students. I am looking forward to integrating myself into Norcross in many different ways.
SS: How did you come across this job at Norcross? Did you have any prior connections?
LF: Oh no, I didn’t really. I’m in this Georgia high school soccer coach email thread and they send out openings. I saw this one and was like, ‘Now that is the place to coach.’ I sent in my resumé and application and during my interview, I just got a really good vibe with the administration and the school. I just knew Norcross was one of the best schools in the area and that they really support sports and I had to at least apply. Honestly, I still can’t believe I got the job sometimes. It’s like my dream job to be coaching here.
SS: What exactly will you be teaching?
LF: I will be teaching social studies. World history to be exact.
SS: Would you say that is your favorite subject to teach?
LF: I would have to say world history is my favorite. At Heritage, I taught AP World and loved it. I just love talking about the history of wars and important events and teaching them to students. I was able to teach a sports and history class at Heritage, but I won’t be able to at Norcross just yet. But I love connecting history to other parts of life, especially sports and current events.
SS: What are some new tactics and techniques you bring to the table for the girls soccer team at Norcross?
LF: I know I can be a big sister and keep the team upbeat. I feel as if I’m good at communication and I want it to be our team and not just my team. I want it to be a big family environment
SS: What bits of information would you want to share with not only the students, and teachers, but parents of Norcross about yourself?
LF: I went to high school in North Carolina, and I played multiple sports throughout all the seasons. I have my bachelor’s of political science and history from the University of Arkansas and I also have my master’s of teaching from the University of Arkansas. I’m honestly just pretty nervous but also excited. I was at Heritage for six years teaching and coaching. I was an assistant soccer coach for three years as well as an assistant volleyball coach, and then for the last three years, I was the head girls soccer team coach.
SS: Is there anything besides coaching that you are excited about?
LF: I am really excited about community support. Everyone has already been so welcoming to me. I have heard nothing but positive things. I am just excited to have the support and resources at Norcross.
SS: Even though soccer is a spring sport, do you have anything planned for the summer?
LF: Well, right now I am moving in the middle of the summer. Everyone always thinks summer is so long but for teachers, it is not as long as you think. I have been talking to Coach (Frank) Pitt, the boys head soccer coach, about plans for the year, and I plan on getting the girls into strength and conditioning offseason. I know most of the girls probably are in clubs and whatnot, but I am big into strength and conditioning. I want to build us up not only physically but mentally as well to get us all connected.