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  • Writer's pictureJULIA NIX '24

Ms. Powers - SUA's New A.D.

Saint Ursula has undergone many changes in terms of new staff members within the last few months. One of the newer additions to the SUA community is the new athletic director Kelly Powers. I decided to interview Ms. Powers to gain some insight as to what her vision is for SUA athletics and to learn more about the person who will be guiding these Bulldogs in both sports and life.

Why did you choose to work at Saint Ursula?

I trusted and bought into the mission of Saint Ursula Academy and felt empowered to lead the athletic department. Mrs. Kramer won me over in my interview process and I wanted to learn from her as a dynamic woman leader.

What are your top 3 favorite things about working at SUA?

I really liked the positive and motivated community, the pride of SUA athletics, and the opportunity for me to create a platform to empower young women.

Do you have any mentors or people who inspire you?

I have outside mentors from my collegiate days but over the past year, Mrs. Kramer, Kim Gunning and Alicia Tidwell have been tremendous mentors for me. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience.

What are the changes you’ve made so far that you’re proud of?

I oversee the coaches’ professional development to ensure that our leaders understand the vision, mission and core values of Saint Ursula Academy. It also has allowed them to meet and learn from each other. I have implemented our new Sports Performance Center/Cardio Deck, and hired Coach Gianna to be SUA’s Sports Performance Coach. I got our Athletic Boosters up and running again. I obtained a Golf Outing set for Spring, and have partnered with UC Allied Health Sciences to bring more nutritional guidance.

What goals do you have for the athletic program?

I want to make sure that each sport is in alignment with one another and that no program is favored. I also aim to instill life lessons of work ethic, accountability, and discipline, and to love one another and respect each other. I want SUA to be the school that models professionalism, success and sportsmanship in the GGCL.

Is there anything surprising about your experience so far at Saint Ursula?

I knew that the academics were elite at Saint Ursula but it became more renowned to me how crucial time management is for our young ladies. I watch them on their computers studying and doing homework in a very deliberate manner before games/practices.

How do you ensure the program as a whole upholds Saint Ursula’s values?

Through constant conversations with Mrs. Kramer, Dr. Thomas and the leadership team. We discuss education of coaches, athletes and the community to make sure that our core values are at the forefront. Conversations with parents are imperative to make sure they see how athletics complement the Academy.

How do you define "success" in athletics?

Success in athletics is having a great community of sisterhood where growth and encouragement are fostered. We must have core values of love, respect, accountability, and leadership. Once these are established, success prevails.

What brings you joy about being an athletic director?

The platform to lead young women in a Christian environment where I am able to interact with the student-athletes daily.

Time for personal facts! What sports did you play growing up?

Soccer, Basketball, Softball

What was your major in college?

Exercise Science (Bachelors)/Business (Minored)/Educational Administration (Masters)

Do you have any advice for student athletes?

Be good listeners to your teammates and be coachable. Athletics is a tremendous platform to build crucial life skills that will prepare you for hard conversations, interactions, opportunities to lead and grow. It is a privilege to be an athlete at SUA.

Finally, what is a fun personal fact?

I played basketball in Europe(Sweden and Denmark) the summer before my senior year. It was such a neat experience!

It was great getting to interview athletic director Kelly Powers on her plans for the program, and to also learn about her on a more personal level. I, along with all of the student athletes at Saint Ursula, are anticipating the ambitious improvements she plans on implementing that will hopefully raise SUA athletics to an even higher level of excellence.

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