Valley News – Right time for Wright to join Oxbow as AD

Posted: 7/22/2022 9:27:28 PM

Modified: 07/22/2022 21:27:38

After three years as athletic director at White River Valley, it was time for Heidi Wright to come home.

Wright, a Bradford, Vermont resident who had a child at Oxbow High, was signed as the Olympians’ new AD earlier this summer after Derek Cipriano left for Spaulding High in Barre. She coached a variety of sports at Oxbow, including boys’ and girls’ softball and basketball, between 2015 and 2019 at the college and junior varsity levels, and also spent two years as a varsity assistant with the team. boys football.

“For me, it’s coming home,” Wright said. “When I started coaching, I realized that I didn’t have the biggest impact on athletics as a whole, after-school programs as a whole, student activities as a whole, because I wasn’t not the person who ran the department.

“The more time I spent coaching, the more I realized I wanted to be a sporting director. The goal was always to become the Oxbow AD.

Wright grew up in Lyman, NH, and played sports at nearby Lisbon Regional High School. After graduating from undergrad, she spent 10 years in corporate work, but the more time she spent away from athletics the more she missed it, so she went back to school for her masters in business. athletics at Ohio University.

A year after his long-term goal of the Oxbow AD job was put on hold when the Olympians signed Cipriano in 2018, Wright got the job at White River Valley, which was only a year old under his current form after merger of South Royalton and Whitcomb High Schools.

Several Wildcat programs became immediate contenders, with baseball and softball each winning a Division III VPA state title in 2019. Baseball won two more Division IV championships in 2021 and 2022, and both basketball teams- Ball have played in the final four at Barre Auditorium this past winter. The women’s track and field team finished on the top step of the podium at this spring’s Division IV championship meet, a year behind the men’s team.

“The most important thing is that you have to listen to the voice of the students; you have to listen to the voice of the community,” Wright said. “Communication is an important part of what happens in this position. My time in White River Valley really got me started. I was able to go there and try to build a strong department. I step into a slightly different role at Oxbow because the department is pretty strong, but each of them has positive things you can learn from every day.

Oxbow may have been around much longer than White River Valley, but aside from a softball program that has won back-to-back state titles, many Olympian teams have struggled in recent years. All varsity programs except baseball have replaced their head coaches since Cipriano’s arrival, and women’s soccer and basketball teams will have freshman head coaches in the 2022 season. -23.

Wright was among the first hires of new Oxbow co-directors Ken Cadow and Ashley Youngheim, after taking over from Jean Wheeler on July 1. new position, but by hiring someone who already knows the school, she and Cadow may not need to be very involved in athletics.

“She’s so passionate about being a part of this community and making it the best it can be,” Youngheim said. “She kept emphasizing that she wanted to come home and calls Oxbow her home, which is something we really appreciate as a small rural northern community. We want to value people who truly want to improve our school and our community and do what is best for our children.

Benjamin Rosenberg can be reached at [email protected] or 603-727-3302.

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