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The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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Patrice Arrington returns to JR as Athletic Director

Patrice Arrington returns to JR as Athletic Director
Nathan Watson

Once a Tiger, always a Tiger. This year, the Jackson-Reed community welcomed back Patrice Arrington as she stepped into the position of Athletic Director.

A highly decorated recruit out of local Oxon Hill High School in Maryland, Arrington played at the University of Oklahoma as a starting outside hitter for their women’s volleyball team. In her four years at OU, Arrington was the first ever to earn All-American honors in her sport at her alma mater and still holds the all-time kills record at 1,957. On top of her accomplishments on the court, she graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor in Sociology and a minor in Psychology.

Arrington ultimately made and pushed Team USA to qualify for the 2000 and 2008 Olympics in Sydney and Beijing respectively, although was unable to play at both due to untimely injuries. In the early 2000s, Arrington played professional volleyball for 12 years in a handful of leagues around Europe.

After retiring from professional volleyball, Arrington joined the Tiger team for the first time in 2013. “I’ve been traveling all my life, I haven’t really had any roots and grounded myself.” In her stint in the school, she served as the Director of the College and Career Center, educating and providing her services to students looking for post-secondary opportunities. She also took on the role of assistant coach for the volleyball team alongside her sister Perette Arrington, who works as the school’s clinical psychologist. During that time, Arrington attended and graduated from Georgetown University, receiving a Masters degree in Sports Industry Management.

In 2021, Arrington graciously stepped away from her position at JR and turned her sights on the future: an Assistant Athletic Director position at Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia. As an added benefit, Flint Hill was looking for a head volleyball coach. “That program had its tradition of being a winning program. Lots of state titles, lots of ISL championships. So I felt like I could take what was already there and elevate it.”

And she did, winning two state titles, two ISL championships, and earning All-Met Coach of the Year in her time at Flint Hill. During the summer of 2023, Arrington looked to the future. “There was a reason why this position opened up when it did… I can’t see myself at any other public school in Washington DC.”

“Being here for eight years under a different title and being an athletic director are two different things,” Arrington said. “We’ve grown tremendously with our athletic programs, so I had to take what was here, but I knew there was something missing. I feel like I can fill that void.”
“Jackson-Reed has never had as many people working in athletics as they do now. I have a team of three additional people, so we are able to handle a lot more things.” Through the implementation of behind-the-scenes calendars and more defined structure for the scopes of the athletic department, Arrington is working to improve the overall experience of athletics at JR. “The focus is on the student-athletes.”

Athletic Administrative Aide Thelma Ortega believes that these additions will push JR athletics forward. “I think we are going to see much more team culture, Tiger pride, and involvement from the student community.”

Accountability is the name of the game for Arrington. “I want Jackson-Reed to be the premier school for academics and athletics in all of the east coast. That’s going to take some time, but we have a great coaching staff, great kids. People are going to know who we are.”

“Now that [Arrington] is in the helm of Athletic Director, the department is headed in a positive direction, now and for the future,” Assistant Athletic Director Danny Lairos-Joya asserts.

For Arrington, the homecoming experience let her know that she is meant to be here. “I came through those doors and everyone was extremely ecstatic that I was coming back.”

Clinical Psychologist, head varsity volleyball coach, and Arrington’s sister, Perette, says “it’s great having her back in the building. I love it!” 

On the weekends, Arrington still finds herself at Jackson-Reed running optional practices for JR volleyball players. She enjoys reading, cooking, retail therapy, working out, watching “mindless movies”, and spending time with friends. She also has a dog named Gizmo. 

From all her experiences, ranging from Team USA to roaming the halls of Jackson-Reed, Arrington’s biggest takeaway was to “always give 100% in everything that you do. Don’t expect anyone to give you anything. Enjoy every moment. If you want something, you have to go after it. Winning and success comes with hard work.”

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About the Contributor
Dani Wallace, Managing Editor
Dani is one of the Beacon’s superb Section Copy Editors. She prides herself in her ability to always get the contact to quote check and finding the next best topic to write about. If she’s not doing her Beacon duties, she’s probably playing volleyball somewhere, using something that may or may not be an actual ball.
  • 2022-23: Section Copy Editor
  • 2023-24: Features Editor
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