Tri-County RVTHS’ Athletic Director Receives “Ted” Damko Award
Five years ago, Sara Martin accepted the position of Athletic Director (AD) at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School. Martin has been a history teacher for more than 20 years at Tri-County and coached girls soccer, girls basketball, and track and field before her AD appointment.
Martin’s passion and dedication is being recognized as she has been selected for the Theodore “Ted” Damko Award from the Massachusetts’ Secondary Schools Athletic Directors Associations (MSSADA). This award is presented annually to an athletic administrator with 3-5 years of experience who has exemplified the highest standards of their profession and has made significant contributions to their school and community.
“Sara is a dedicated and passionate athletic director. She is constantly supporting and cheering on our athletes,” said Julie Caffrey, coach and Special Education teacher. “She is engaged with our athletes during and outside of games, always committed to their well-being. As a coach, I appreciate her support during the seasons. She makes sure that we always have what we need. She is always brainstorming new ideas to bring in culture to our athletic program. The athletes appreciate her support of them.”
Martin was a three-sport athlete at North Smithfield High School in Rhode Island and a graduate of Providence College. Her dedication to the students’ well-being both on and off the field speaks volumes about her character. She feels that education and sports go hand-and-hand.
“Sports are an extension of the classroom. The things that students are learning in the classroom, they can take with them out on the field,” remarked Martin.
One of the biggest challenges Martin has faced is the uncertainty of the pandemic. With games being canceled and attendance restricted, Martin and Tri-County coaches had to adapt and meet the challenge with passion.
“Kids aren’t going to remember the scores, wins and losses. They are going to remember the memories that they make with their teammates,” Martin said.
This mindset helped the Athletic Department persevere, so the students could continue participating in the activities they love.
“Sara is unafraid to try new things in order to create opportunities for our teams. She communicates in an organized and professional manner. All of the coaches and Sara share a common vision, centered around the success and development of our student athletes. Put simply, Sara is certainly deserving of all of the accolades she receives,” remarked Steven LaPlante, coach and English teacher.
“I’d like to recognize the herculean efforts of my coaching staff before, during, and after the pandemic,” said Martin. “They have worked tirelessly to keep kids engaged over the last two years. The amount of time and energy they invest in their athletes and helping them be the best versions of themselves goes unrecognized. They embody the values of the Tri-County Community and the mission of the Athletic Department.”