New Faces Around the School: Megan Sobel
With the start of the 2018-2019 school year, many new faces have appeared throughout the school. One newcomer who has already made a significant impact on the student body is athletic director Megan Sobel. With the relocation of the athletics office from the athletic hallway to the main office, students have had a much easier time finding her and having conversations with her than in years past. Many know of her through her two stepkids who went through Hanover High – Ben and Hannah – but not many know about her illustrious career in athletics prior to Hanover or the reasons behind her decisions to come here.
Megan grew up in southern California where she played tennis, field hockey, basketball, and softball. She never believed in specialization in sports; since basketball and field hockey are both winter sports in California, she spent her first two years of high school playing basketball before switching to field hockey in the start of junior year. This idea of playing a variety of sports is very common at Hanover; many coaches encourage playing more than one sport to gain a more holistic view on athletics. In college, she attended a talk from her college athletic director (who was female, which Megan notes was very uncommon at the time). This talk was instrumental in her career in athletics. “She talked about careers in athletics and I didn’t even know there were careers in athletics besides coaches,” says Megan, who then immediately thought to herself, I can work in that!
In her professional career, Megan has always been in collegiate athletics up until now, most recently working as an athletic director at Dartmouth College. She has been in the community for the past fifteen years, working closely with both the college through her former job and the Dresden School District through her kids who went through and are currently attending the Hanover schools. Already familiar with the athletic programs at Hanover High, Megan made the decision to come to Hanover because she was ready for a change and enthusiastic about working with younger kids. “I think that working with students before they get to college has more of an impact.”
Her presence has made a very noticeable impact in Hanover Athletics already. She is the successor to former athletic director Mike Jackson, who held the title for thirty years. Athletics has always been and still remains, a predominantly male field through all levels. According to BBC News, only one out of the top 100 highest paid professional athletes is female. Roughly 70% of Hanover High varsity head coaches are male, and in 2015, a mere 37 of the 313 NCAA Division 1 athletic directors were female. Megan does not look at her situation like she’s different, because she has experienced firsthand how important female role models are. Developing a thick skin and learning not to take negative comments personally has helped her through times where she is the only woman in the room. With Megan, Hanover now has a female secretary of athletics, athletic director, and athletic trainer.
She is oftentimes seen walking down the guidance hallway and around the pit, as she has already asserted herself as a leader in the school. Noticing that our student body is full of motivation and ideas, Megan is excited to hear people’s ideas as that was something she did not experience as much at the collegiate level. She has attended the vast majority of Varsity home games, and has played a big part in the success of many of our teams.