Giampaolo will be missed as Torrington AD.
TORRINGTON: We just lost another good one to a job that has grown to be so all encompassing, it’s a wonder anyone wants to do it.
Janet Giampaolo, the Athletic Director at Torrington High School, has resigned her post, effective the end of this school year.
“The job nowadays leaves very little time for anything else.” Giampaolo said. “It’s a full time job which also includes teaching three classes and more. I am not the type to do things any other way except full guns and it was becoming harder and harder each day.”
While she held the AD job for just two years, Giampaolo threw herself into the job with a unique knowledge of every aspect of the job, according to THS principal Joanne Creeden.
“Janet knew every part of the job so well.” Creeden said. “She understood what it was like for the student, as a parent and as a teacher. Each of those strengths gave her a unique ability to develop a strong vision of what our athletic programs should be. She had very special talents and will be missed.”
Giampaolo, who always made the gym or field of play a welcome place for any of us working the event, has been coaching a total of 27 years and felt it was time to step back, although she will stay on in her role as a Physical Education teacher for the Raiders.
With her son James in his final year at Methodist University and participating in a prestigious golf internship on Nantucket this summer and her daughter Julia entering her junior year this fall at the University of Miami, time has kind of flown by for Giampaolo.
“Seeing the kids more will be great.” Giampaolo said. “It’s a great time for both of them and I’ll have some more time to visit them.”
A tireless worker, Giampaolo would start her day early and end it late, like Creeden, who was still at her desk at 8:45 Tuesday night.
“We both came in at the same time.” Giampaolo said of she and Creeden. “We each taught each other a great deal.”When Giampaolo took over from Newell Porch two years ago, her first experience with an event came during one of the most rivaled of events; Torrington against Naugatuck in football.
“It was an eye-opener for me.” Giampaolo said. “There was so much to do everywhere but my main concern had to be crowd control and fan behavior. We worked hard to improve our sportsmanship in the stands as well as on the field.”
Dealing with the ever present budget issues that spring up each fiscal year is a challenge for any AD, when Pay-for-Play rears it’s head like it did just two weeks ago during some brutal budget crunching, it was the AD’s job to have a plan A, B and C.
“We talked about what sports had to stay and which one’s just might go.” Giampaolo said. “What we also tried to relay was that in a lot of kids cases, playing sports or being involved in music or art helped get them out bed in the morning.”
She is proudest of her staff and what each of them has been able to accomplish during their time together.“People don’t realize what a great coaching staff we have here at THS. They are all doing this for the right reason. These coaches are sending all the right messages to our kids and that will help them more down the line in life than any win’s or losses.” Giampaolo said.
A new fitness center was created in one of the auxiliary gyms last year, allowing for greater access for the student/athletes to work out and stay in condition all year round.
“We have gotten so many kids who are willing to buy into the system we are trying to create here. Each of these steps were taken in an attempt to cut down on injuries.” according to the former volleyball coach.
Teaching her student/athletes to understand the importance of being good role models and leaders led to the Leadership Team, a group that helps teach the students what a good leader does, both on and off the field of play.
With graduation just four days away, Creeden has a long list of things to go through before tackling the AD position but will be looking not only for a quick replacement but, more importantly, the correct person to lead THS athletic into the future.
“It’s a sad day for THS athletics.” Creeden said. “Janet did an outstanding job for us and we are glad she will still be with us as a physical education teacher.”
What’s next for Giampaolo?
“Maybe going home at 2:06 on occasion would be nice!”
There has been a strong foundation under the THS athletic department for a good long time, Giampaolo just left after pouring another rock solid layer on top.
See you in the gym.