Greenwich Catholic School

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Faculty Friday: Ryan Smart

Ryan Smart

Athletic Director, PreK through 5th Grade Physical Education Teacher

Education: B.S. in Physical Education/Teaching from Eastern Connecticut State University

When did you join the GCS Family?

I’ve been a part of the GCS community for 16 years, both as a Physical Education teacher and as a GCS Chargers coach. I became the Athletic Director in 2014.

What is your approach to the Physical Education curriculum?

At the younger age levels, physical education is about getting kids moving and introducing skills that we build upon throughout their years in the Lower School. Age-appropriate activities help fine-tune their gross motor skills and coordination while building their confidence. The goal is to prepare the students to succeed in a team environment as they enter the Upper School.

What is your Coaching Philosophy?

We make sure that all GCS team members take pride in being “scholar athletes” who positively represent our school on-and-off the field of play. They are students first, teammates and athletes second. We teach them responsibility, whether it’s about keeping their grades up, getting to practice on time, or simply remembering their gear. These skills will serve them well if they continue to compete at the High School level.

Can students play a sport at GCS, regardless of skill level?

Yes. I encourage all of our students to try-out for our teams and try new sports when they can. We have a wide-spectrum of team sport programs here, and students of every skill level participate. Having teammates with different skill levels gives all of the players a chance to learn from their peers, regardless of their background.

What are your goals for the Athletic Department?

We have had great success with our Upper School teams, including GCS Chargers soccer, cross country, basketball, swimming, lacrosse, and our latest addition, baseball. The baseball program was extremely popular during its inaugural season last Spring, and filled a need for students who were looking for an opportunity to bring their baseball skills to GCS. Further development of our existing programs and gauging the students’ interest in new programs are crucial so we can continue to offer the best opportunity for our athletes to excel at GCS and beyond.

How do you spend your free time?

I really enjoyed playing lacrosse throughout college, so now I referee lacrosse games at the elementary, high school and collegiate level throughout Fairfield County. I also spend a lot of time with my family and enjoy watching my young son compete in soccer and ice hockey.

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