Suzy Shimek '79
Suzy Shimek `79
SOCCER / TRACK / BASKETBALL
Enrolling at RLS in just the second year in which girls could attend, Suzy had limited options for all female sports - so she played on the boys’ teams. In her junior year, she played junior varsity boys soccer and varsity track. Her senior year she played on the inaugural girls basketball team at RLS, earning the Team MVP award. Suzy also earned the MVP award for track and RLS Athlete of the Year.
After Stevenson, she played four years of soccer at Stanford--three years as part of the club soccer team, and then in its first year as a NCAA program. Additionally, in the fall of 1984, she started for the Stanford women’s rugby program. After earning BAs in energy engineering and English from Stanford, she went on to get a PhD in English from UCLA. She currently teaches English in independent high schools around the Bay Area.
I was passionate about soccer before I came to RLS, but those afternoons playing intramural soccer during the off-season account for my enduring love of the sport. Everybody who wanted to play, including me—always the only girl on the field— was equally part of the community. All of us were there for the love of the game. I still remember playing in fog so thick that I couldn’t see the other end of the field.
I will also never forget that first-ever RLS basketball team. We had a perfect record—we lost every game. Once, after finally getting ahead by a few points, we lost our lead and later cried together in the locker room, a moment that brought us closer. My coaches, Mr. Daskalovic, Mr. Hankison, and Mr. Tipton, taught me lessons that shaped the way I approach sports and life. Winning was never my top goal; joy and community mattered the most.
By the end of my twenties, I had had three knee surgeries and had to give up soccer. Looking for something that would give me the feeling of a team, I turned to teaching. I tell my students that soccer shapes the way I think of movement in the classroom. What matters is that we have fun exploring together and that everybody plays. And that it’s what you do when you don’t have the ball that makes all the difference. I learned those lessons on the fields and courts of Stevenson.
It’s an honor to be inducted into the RLS Athletics Hall of Fame and to be remembered as a part of such a pivotal part of Stevenson life.