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Sara Lopez

British International School of Chicago, South Loop | Private School Chicago

Athletic Director | Physical Education Specialist

My varied personal experiences in sport have naturally enthused me to deliver broad competitive sporting programs to children. Opportunities for all is key! I’m a firm believer that all students deserve the opportunity to be healthy and successful in sport, regardless of their ability.

Growing up in a small fishing village in Scotland, I exhausted every opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity. My father, an avid soccer fanatic who played for Leicester, was my inspiration. He graduated with a first class degree in Education from Loughborough University, and moved on to become an influential Head of Physical Education. I was always keen to follow in his footsteps and took the necessary route, graduating from University of Edinburgh with an honors degree in Physical Education.

My own sporting prowess stems from a very young age. As a youngster, I was an athlete, gymnast and badminton player. Having three older brothers who were all very keen soccer players, I naturally was drafted to be goalkeeper for their shooting accuracy training from the age of five. This is when I developed my love for team sport!

Playing sport with older siblings gave me the mental toughness and resilience to become a county player in several sports, most notably in soccer where I played in the Scottish Schools Cup. I also played for my country in our traditional sport, shinty, which is closely linked to field hockey. During university I worked for a summer camp in Wildwood, New Jersey, as a deep water lifeguard and over the last seven years, I have played premier league field hockey and division one soccer in London, competing in the UK 7s and the women’s FA cup.

Having a passion for challenge, I successfully completed the Paris Marathon and IRONMAN 70.3 Zell am See-Kaprun, and skied the Arctic Circle in Lapland. I have also led successful sports tour to St. Lucia, Barbados, South Africa, Prague, Holland, Spain and Malta. As a World Challenge Educational Leader, I have coordinated adventures to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Croatia, Norway, Romania, Morocco, Nepal. I have also led European and Canadian ski trips and entered the British Schools’ Ski Championships in Flaine, France, where my students secured national champion status.

At university, I had several teaching placements in Midlothian and Glasgow schools and was nominated as Scottish Newly Qualified Teacher of the year for my work on certificated Physical Education. From there, I secured a job at one of the top independent day schools in the UK. In my time here, I was Head of House, Head of Department, Head of Year 8, and Director of Physical Education and Sport.

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youths in a language they understand.” ~Nelson Mandela