EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – The Tuckahoe School District went with an experienced name to fill its vacant athletic director position, announcing the hiring of 30-year veteran Rod Mergardt to run the physical education department.
Mergardt, who spent 25 years as the director of physical education, athletics and health for the Bedford School District, will assume the same position in Tuckahoe. Most recently, he also worked as a professor at Manhattanville and supervised physical education student teachers at SUNY Cortland.
According to Superintendent Barbara Nuzzi, Mergardt also has a vast experience of coaching at various levels. He will host his first clinic, “Be an 11” from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, for high school and middle school students at the high school.
“(Mergardt) will work closely with the district’s athletics personnel, as well as our physical education teachers, health teachers and school nurses,” she said. "(Be an 11) is his first initiative as he begins to develop connectivity between athletics, community service and academics.”
The motto of “Be an 11” is that “if a ‘10’ is considered our very best performance, then we must strive to ‘be an 11’ in everything we do – in academics, athletics and as a contributing citizen in our community,” according to Mergardt.
During the program, student athletes, parents, coaches and the physical education staff will outline what it means to “be an 11” in all facets of life. There will also be an outline of academic, athletic and community goals. Mergardt will also provide an introduction to athletic performance in regards to balance, agility, flexibility and speed.
“This is the first initiative that I want to implement in order to establish a foundation for the total program,” he said. “I’ve invited every coach, athlete and parent to join the event. I will make other opportunities in the near future to get (those that cannot attend) up to speed.”
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