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Franklin athletic programs sport a new look

Petric takes over as athletic director

July 6, 2010

Franklin — Sara Petric's athletic, coaching and teaching resume is impressive.

She was a four-time state champion and four-time All-American swimmer at Homestead High School. She holds school records in four events and qualified for the 2000 Olympic Trials. She then swam at Northwestern University before graduating in 2006 with her teaching degree.

She quickly landed a job as an English teacher at Germantown High School, where she also coached girls swimming the past four seasons. And in December, she earned a master's degree in administrative leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Next up for the ambitious 26-year-old Petric is the Franklin athletic director position, a job she began July 1, and despite being the youngest athletic directors in the NOW coverage area as well as one of few female athletic directors, she is up for the challenge.

"I may be the youngest; however, age is not a prevailing factor," Petric said. "I have the background and the energy to handle the job. I am very excited to be a part of Franklin High School."

A busy, sporting life

Athletics have always been a part of Petric's life. From playing all varieties of sports as a youngster to focusing on swimming at Homestead and Northwestern, Petric knew athletics would continue to be a big part of her life in some capacity.

While at Northwestern, an internship in the school's athletic office piqued her interest to the possibilities of working in athletics long term.

A constant motor and dislike for downtime are among Petric's strong traits.

"Being involved in multiple activities growing up has prepared me well for this position," Petric said. "In high school and college, I would swim before and after school, run, condition with medicine balls and weight-lift regularly.

"I also took on numerous roles from being selected captain to being a representative for advisory committees. While at Germantown I have taught multiple English courses ranging from students in need to honors. … I was the head girls' swim and dive coach for a number of years and was a full-time graduate student while full-time teaching. I enjoy being busy and have learned how to manage my time so that I am very efficient. I also have learned how to be extremely organized and task-oriented in order to meet deadlines and stay above the daily rigor."

Support for all programs

Petric inherits an athletic program diverse with veteran as well as fresh-faced coaches, and one with varying degrees of success from sport to sport. So, is her biggest challenge to maintain already successful programs or to elevate the others to a higher standard?

"It will be important not to play favorites," she said. "With anything, success ebbs and flows. It is important to continue to celebrate the successes and build on the programs that need assistance. However, always remember that the key goal of all programs is student involvement and individual growth. Winning cannot and should not be the only goal. Support for all programs is so necessary, and I will manage my time to support all of Franklin's programs equally."

Petric joins Greendale's Gina Wilkins, Whitnall's Jill Stobber and Wauwatosa East's Linda Vitrano in the exclusive group of female athletic directors in the 21-school NOW area.

"I believe administration in general is still predominantly a male-dominated arena," Petric said. "No matter what, the best candidate should always get the job. I am the only female AD in the (Southeast) conference and with that being said, I looking forward to bringing a fresh perspective within the conference."

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