First year in new gig at Elk Grove a memorable one for Randall
Suffice it to say, Jackie Randall won't forget her first year as Elk Grove's assistant principal/athletics, activities and music.
"It's quite the time to transition," said Randall, referring to the uncertainty of high school sports resuming due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "It's really just all-encompassing of my attention. So it's really hard to be intentional about some of the other things I have to do."
Randall has served as the school's girls athletic director the past five years.
The Libertyville High School and University of Iowa graduate never envisioned that one day she would be in charge of a school's extracurricular program.
"I definitely never had my sights on being in charge of athletics or activities," she said. "But by working as the girls athletic director these last years, doing this job became more of a motivation."
Randall is now motivated to enhance the Elk Grove programs.
"I want to continue to grow participation," Randall said. "I think Bob (Murphy, who held the Elk Grove position before accepting the principal job at Friendship Junior High in Des Plaines) did a great job in his tenure.
"I want to make sure our programs are a reflection of the demographics at Elk Grove and just really learn how to increase the bottom line and make sure every kid is having a good experience and is not only getting challenged but being supported."
Randall said she would love to see every student at Elk Grove involved in co-curriculars in some capacity, whether it be athletics, music, theater or any club.
"This (job) really provides me an opportunity to be creative and that's something I enjoy," she said.
Randall enjoyed being involved in extracurricular activities at a young age. In high school, she was a cheerleader and dabbled in different sports while also being a member of the school's marching band.
She then went on to study English and Spanish at Iowa.
You could say education is in her blood.
Her father (Illinois Basketball Coaches Association hall of famer Bill Werly) coached for more than 30 years at Warren High School where he served as the school psychologist while her mother was a speech pathologist at a grade school in Gurnee.
"I always saw the influence my father made on people in co-curricular activities so I knew if I became a teacher, I would like to do that," Jackie said.
She came to Elk Grove after serving as an English teacher at Grant High School in Fox Lake .
She is excited to start in her new position at Elk Grove.
"Regardless if we have athletics and activities in the fall, there still is going to be a need to connect with the kids and I really think that's what my challenge is going to be," Randall said. "No. 1, it's to organize sports and activities and No. 2 , to figure out some way to still connect with kids either virtually or in some other capacity."