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MCPS Athletics Department's Refocus on Core Values of Scholastic Sports

As students head back to class today throughout the county, Montgomery County Public Schools is welcoming 161,000 students, and a roughly 23,000 of those students are student-athletes participating in one of the 44 different teams playing one of 20 different sports offered in high school, as well as four sports, offer in middle school.

For the first time in many years, there is a new head of MCPS Athletics, as long-time Director of Athletics William “Duke” Beattie retired after nearly 40 years with MCPS on June 30. His replacement as systemwide director of athletics is Jeff Sullivan, who was promoted from the post of Athletics Specialist. Sullivan is the former Athletics Director at Clarksburg High School.

Up taking over the director’s post, Sullivan convened a task force of folks from the MCPS athletics department to explore the reasons why interscholastic sports exist. With the plethora of independent sports programs in many sports, from club soccer to AAU basketball, or travel baseball leagues, Sullivan wanted to get the core values of why interscholastic sports were so important.

“We wanted to take this opportunity focus on what athletics bring to student athletes and our communities,” said Sullivan. “Over the summer we had a work group come up with a vision, a mission, a purpose, and the core values for MCPS Athletics.”

The result is a new rededication to MCPS Athletics. “This year at MCPS Athletics we wanted to really focus in on our core values and our why; Why do we participate in athletics? Why do coaches coach?” said Sullivan. “I think by focusing on our why and on our core purpose of why we exist we can then build outward and look at where we are going and how we do it.”