Leah Allen '22
After three years of innovation and service as Director of Athletics, Leadership, and Wellness at Sacred Heart Greenwich, Ms. Elizabeth Dennison will depart from King Street October 8. Ms. Dennison made a significant impact on the Sacred Heart Athletic Department and school community after overseeing the growth and success of the school’s sports teams, pioneering new student health programs, and helping to navigate Sacred Heart’s return to in-person learning in September 2020.
A large part of Ms. Dennison’s lasting legacy will be the continuance of her theme for the Athletic Department, “Honor, Heart, Hustle,” a motto that encapsulates her commitment to furthering collaboration, hard work, and success within Sacred Heart’s athletic teams. Under her leadership, the school’s Middle and Upper School sports programs have experienced championship-level success. Senior Lauren Giuriceo, co-captain of the varsity soccer team, explained her personal interpretation of the phrase.
“Ms. Dennison’s motto of “Honor, Heart, Hustle” represents the exact integrity that Sacred Heart athletes bring to their sport every day,” Lauren said. “By wearing the mantra across our chests, we are reminded of the great privilege it is to be part of such a highly regarded athletic program and are encouraged to push ourselves to achieve our team’s fullest potential. Striving for success in any task stems from respect, passion, and ambition, which is exactly what “Honor, Heart, Hustle” encapsulates and inspires us to embody. So, I truly believe that I will carry this theme with me throughout my athletic career at Sacred Heart and in everything I do beyond high school.”
Ms. Dennison arrived at Sacred Heart in 2018. Drawing from her experience as a collegiate athlete at Georgetown University and the Staley Head Coach of Women’s Rowing at Cornell University, she aspired to foster the success of Sacred Heart’s sports programs. She also wanted to serve as a resource for students hoping to continue their athletic careers beyond high school. As she prepares to leave King Street, she reflected on the Athletic Department theme and her hopes for the future of Sacred Heart athletics.
“Honor-Heart-Hustle really embodies everything that Sacred Heart Greenwich athletics is about, and what our student-athletes do each day,” Ms. Dennison said. “Everyone at Sacred Heart has a role in making this motto come to life through a commitment to hard work, doing one’s best every day, and fostering a supportive yet challenging environment where each student has a role that they embrace. I hope all our students continue to take control of their own athletic experience and set the tone for where they want our athletic programs to go in the future. I’ve been so impressed by our students and coaches and am confident that Sacred Heart athletics will continue to thrive.”
As a leader of the Athletic Department, Ms. Dennison also worked to strengthen the school’s commitment to health, leadership, and wellness programming. Her work on the COVID-19 Special Committee last year helped ensure the safe return of students in all divisions last fall. This year, the school integrated monthly “Wellness Wednesdays” into the Upper School schedule in order to place emphasis on mental and physical health. Last year, Sacred Heart introduced the Leadership Academy to Upper School students. Under the guidance of Coach Alyson Costigan, Assistant Director of Athletics and Director of Leadership Programming, students in the program develop leadership skills that they can utilize both on and off the field.
The school community will remember Ms. Dennison’s dedication and passion as well as her commitment to the growth and success of Sacred Heart’s athletic programs. Ms. Dennison described the aspects of Sacred Heart that she will miss.
“Sacred Heart Greenwich is a special place and community,” Ms. Dennison said. “I will miss working with the students, coaches, and faculty and staff each day, and especially watching our student-athletes grow as people and players. Watching our teams in action every afternoon was always a highlight of my day.”
Featured Image by Leah Allen ’22