4 minute read

Valuing Community: Meg Lloyd '98


by Kristin Freedman, Park ASP teacher

If you attend a sports game at Park, you’ll undoubtedly see students receiving guidance and encouragement as they huddle around their coach. Moments like these had a lasting impact on Meg Lloyd ’98, who now coaches students of her own. Meg is the Dean of Students and an English teacher at Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, New Hampshire. She is currently a soccer coach and has coached ice hockey in the past. “I teach and I coach,” Meg says, “because I love sharing what I loved doing.”

A Park “lifer” who attended the school from PreK through Grade 9, Meg identifies Physical Education as an integral part of her growth. “I feel like the groundwork was laid in having P.E. all the way through,” she recalls. “That was really helpful in the grand scheme of my development.” Through P.E. classes, physical fitness and activity were woven into the fabric of her life from an early age. “Looking back, I realize I thought about athletics and my physical health in a different way than my peers who didn’t have access to regular P.E. classes… like I did when I was at Park.”

While fitness and movement were crucial elements of Meg’s P.E. experience, the benefits extended far beyond her physical wellness. “There was so much social-emotional growth that went on in P.E.,” she notes, adding that P.E. “built the foundation for how to be a part of a team.” Students learned how to create a climate of mutual respect, cooperation, and healthy competition— all of which were Park’s “core values… how we operated.”

Starting in Grade 6, Meg played a sport at Park every season: soccer in the fall, ice hockey in the winter, and lacrosse in the spring. Playing on Park’s sports teams allowed her to develop and hone her athletic skills within Park’s supportive, close-knit environment. She “loved the element of being in the classroom but also on the sports field” with her coaches, who were also her teachers and advisors. “They were a part of the web of adults that helped to educate and raise us.” Meg recalls having P.E. teachers Pat Zifcak and Dana Welshman- Studley ’85—who also happened to be mother and daughter—as lacrosse coaches: “This was not only community… this was our family.”

When Meg entered The Governor’s Academy as a high school sophomore, she didn’t make the varsity soccer team, but realized that playing on the junior varsity team could be equally rewarding. “I had learned at Park that it’s better to play and get better than to sit around and do nothing… at Park, everybody played.” As the junior varsity team—of which Meg was now a captain— approached the end of their season, she was given the opportunity to leave her team and finish the season as a varsity player. She refused. “I was competitive,” she says, “but I was also playing for the community and being a part of a team, and that outweighed being able to compete at the varsity level that year.”


While playing sports at both the high school and collegiate levels, Meg held fast to the values she learned as a Park athlete. “We’re respectful of our opponents, but we also try our hardest… we’re going to be competitive but we’re also going to be respectful of the other team.” Integrity and a sense of fair play were also deeply embedded in the ethos of Park Athletics. “I would rather ompete against a team and lose by a goal than blow out another team,” she explains, “and I think that came specifically from Park.”

As a coach, Meg hopes to provide her students with the same levels of support, motivation and care that she received as a Park student. Though Cardigan is an all-boys school, she has coached girls teams in the past, which enabled her to “be a role model for women in sports… and be present for female athletes.” Above all, she emphasizes the importance of respect and camaraderie on the playing field. “I know that came from my understanding of sports… which came from Park and the Park sports experience”—an experience that enriches the lives of students and alumni alike.

Meg Lloyd '98

Meg Lloyd '98

Meg Lloyd '98

Meg Lloyd '98

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