Beth Marriott of Meadowdale High is inducted into the State Activities Coordinators Hall of Fame
When Meadowdale High School ASB counselor and athletic director Beth Marriott stepped foot in the school gymnasium in late February, she thought she would be giving routine evaluations to coaches. Little did she know, however, that the entire student body would be there to cheer her on when she was inducted into the Washington Activities Coordinators Association (WACA) Hall of Fame.
Marriott was greeted with a standing ovation as she made her way to the podium, still not completely sure what was going on.
“I had no idea I was inducted into the WACA Hall of Fame,” Marriott said. “I also never dreamed that I would be considered for such an honor. When I first walked in, I was hoping that Publisher’s Clearing House would finally come and hand me a check, but what I got was so much better because it was recognition in a profession that I love.
Marriott’s daughter flew in from West Virginia for the ceremony, which for Marriott made the event even more special. Sporting a Meadowdale High hockey jersey, Marriott took to the podium surrounded by pictures of unicorns and stuffed animals – a tease to the quote: “Life is rainbows and unicorns…even in the darkest of times. difficult.” Meadowdale Principal David Shockley said the quote perfectly describes Marriott’s attitude toward his position at the school.
The WACA Hall of Fame was established in 2002 to honor individuals who have had a lasting impact on student activities in Washington State.
Marriott said her first reaction was that she didn’t think she was qualified to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“I didn’t think I deserved this honor at the time, knowing some of the people who were honored before me,” she said. “But after reflection, I will accept with great humility.”
Students and staff also took to the podium to share their fondest memories of Marriott, who has served as the school’s ASB advisor since 2007 and athletic director since 2013.
Marriott comes from a family of teachers and says she has always felt called to the profession. She began her career in colleges, feeling too young to effectively lead high school students, even though that was where she felt most drawn to.
She also had a deep appreciation for her athletic director when she was in high school and said she thinks she could be a great asset to the department when she grows up.
“[I always] dreamed of taking his job when he retired,” Marriott said. “I ended up doing just that, only at another school.”
Marriott said the most rewarding part of her career at Meadowdale High School was working alongside student leadership to create activities that brought the school together. She also really appreciated the bonds she forged with the students by simply talking to them.
“The second leadership lesson in my program is, ‘Do the big things because they’re fun, but do the little things because you care,'” Marriott said. “Opening doors at the start of the school day is a small thing that can really help a student start their day off right. Sitting with students over lunch and hearing about their weekend can help you better understand what motivates them. »
Marriott said the hardest part of her job was the financial stress placed on the school. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Meadowdale has been unable to hold fundraisers. This greatly inhibited the activities the school was able to provide for the students, as the funds were simply not there.
“The sources of money and the restrictions have placed a burden on our schools,” Marriott said. “And we have so many things we would like to do for our students. We are afraid we are having trouble arranging a prom for our senior students [this year] because they haven’t been able to fundraise for the past two years.
The award comes as Marriott plans to retire at the end of August. Although her retirement is bittersweet, Marriott said she looks to the future with that same “life is rainbows and unicorns” quote in her mind.
“I look forward to spending time with the two most important men in my life,” she said. “My grandson Philip [who is eight months old] and my husband and ‘assistant [athletic director]’ Dave Marriott, who has been with me for 39 years.
Marriott said she and her husband were planning a road trip along Route 66 to see parts of the United States they had dreamed of visiting for years. The couple bought an RV just before the pandemic hit, and they’re excited to start using it to connect with other travelers on the road.
“There’s nothing quite like stopping at a campsite, lighting a fire, and hearing about the adventures of those around you,” Marriott said. “The ability to connect with strangers while sharing adventures is something we both cherish. People are fascinating and hearing about other people’s life experiences is a way to shine a positive light on the world.
As exciting as her future plans are, Marriott said she will always cherish the relationships she made at Meadowdale High School.
“I’m going to miss the relationships,” she said. “The people I work with are amazing. These are not people who wanted their “summers to be free”. The teachers… really care about the education our children are getting.
Marriott said her initiation made her feel like she had truly succeeded in the job she had been passionate about since she was a teenager.
“I always thought the awards you get in high school were great, but that was 40 years ago for me,” she said. “I challenge myself to ask, ‘What have you been up to lately?’ Now I feel like I can leave after accomplishing something.
— By Lauren Reichenbach