Crystal Lingerfelt Bartlett - Class of 1996
Educator
Physical Education Teacher, Womens Basketball Coach,
Womens Tennis Coach, East Burke High School

Sports play a major role in the public school experience, and more and more young women are taking part every year. Crystal LIngerfelt Bartlett serves her East Burke alma mater well as chairperson of the Physical Education department as well as coach of the womens basketball and womens tennis teams.

I enjoy watching students succeed, says Crystal, especially those who have low self-esteem, and I enjoy watching their reactions to success. The teen years are so important, and I hope that my encouragement of my students helps them to grow as individuals, athletes, and citizens. I love sports and grew up watching and playing sports with my dad all the time. I enjoyed making him proud of me, and since I was a kid I wanted to coach. So, teaching and coaching high school students was a natural career path for me.

Every job has its challenges. A huge challenge in coaching for me is parents and players understanding that their playing time has zero influence on how I feel about them. I love each and every one of my players and want them to be successful; however, it is my responsibility to choose based on how they will help the team overall. A personal challenge is the time I must be away from my family, but I am lucky to have a great husband and children who support and encourage me.

Crystal received a Sports Management degree from Montreat College and a Physical Education degree from Tennessee Wesleyan and has earned national board certification in physical education. I previously coached at Montreat and at Tennessee Wesleyan, and my experiences there shaped my expectations of student athletes. I know what it takes to make it to the next level, and I push my players with those expectations.

I had many coaches who inspired me, including my softball coach, Joel Abee, and my basketball coaches, Judy Keever and Jamie McNeely. But the one who inspired me the most was my dad. He was a juvenile diabetic and was in pain often, but no matter what he was always willing to work with me and coach. He knew how to treat each kid special and make him or her happy. He taught me no matter what that I must show up and do my best. He never missed a game, and always believed in me.

My East Burke PE teachers always had time to talk and see how I was doing. I also really enjoyed Mr. George Hennes psychology class. But I was inspired the most by two moments in sports. First, during my senior year, our basketball team surprised a lot of people and went to the sectional finals. The second one also occurred my senior year, when our softball team beat Alexander Central, breaking a big winning streak for them, and then went on to win our first conference championship.

I love my students, and I love coaching. I hope that I can continue to help students reach their potential and achieve their goals. Wins and losses come and go, but the lessons learned from team sports remain. I hope to inspire my students and my own two daughters that they really can do anything if they just dont give up on their dreams.

Published October 2019


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