"It is not the adversity we face, it how we respond to it.” AD Freddie Newman Inspires EMPOWER Students
Indian Creek School Athletic Director (AD) Freddie Newman inspired members of the student EMPOWER club (an organization dedicated to give students who identify as female a place to connect, share experiences, uplift and gain power from one another) by helping them to realize “your attitude is your choice.” During the October 4 EMPOWER meeting, Executive Committee member and Student Government Association Vice President for Athletics Elia Alewine ’24 asked Ms. Newman several questions to help students get to know their new AD better.
Ms. Newman is passionate about empowering women. She was a child of the 1990s who grew up in Prince Georges County, MD. She attended a primarily white private school in Northern Virginia where she felt most comfortable playing basketball and lacrosse. “Athletics were an equalizer for me.” As a high school athlete who continued her sports at Goucher College, Ms. Newman knew that being an athlete was a huge part of her identity, but she did not realize she could have a career in athletics administration. The Athletic Director at Goucher College made her feel special from the start of her time in college, so she knew she wanted to find ways to keep athletics in her life.
After going to law school, Ms. Newman did not enjoy working in a law firm, but she always enjoyed coaching. Her first coaching job was at St. Vincent Pallotti High School where she added athletic administrative responsibilities. Her love of coaching combined with her effective problem-solving skills inspired her to pursue roles in athletic administration. She shared that there are now more opportunities for females from coach to athletic director to general manager of teams.
When asked about setbacks in her career, Ms. Newman encouraged EMPOWER members to find organizations that respect them and provide opportunities to advance. She reminded students to be confident in themselves and to call things like they really are. At different times in her working life, Ms. Newman did not feel like the place she was working appreciated her as a whole person, so she moved on. Ms. Newman is glad the IAAM league was created to provide equal opportunities for female athletes.
Ms. Newman is honored to be the first African American female athletic director in a private school in Anne Arundel County. Since she was selected from an applicant pool of 140 candidates for her role at Indian Creek, she has been excited to focus on taking our successful athletic program to the next level. According to Ms. Newman, “ We want to compete athletically like we do academically and artistically.” Part of her vision for ICS athletics is to grow the girls athletic programs. She knows that being part of a team is good for students. Ms. Newman is very excited that 80-90% of Upper School girls participate in athletics at ICS.
Some important life lessons that come from being an athlete include increased self-confidence, connecting with teammates, and self-discipline. Ms. Newman wants to empower ICS female athletes to love themselves. She wants to create safe spaces for girls. Her departing advice is “a positive attitude matters” and "it is not the adversity we face, it how we respond to it.”
Indian Creek school is a co-educational, college preparatory independent school, located in Crownsville, Maryland. Students in Pre-K3 through grade 12 receive a vibrant educational experience based on excellent academics steeped in strong student-teacher connections.