An introduction to Coach Pennisi
Over the past year, a lot has changed here at Apex, including the addition of new coaches like Coach Pennisi. Originally from Rhode Island, Coach Pennisi enjoys spending time with her family and coaching track and cross country at Apex. She specifically enjoyed coaching her four kids Starrett (soccer), Anya (running), Sebastian (running), and Stefan (running) all through their athletic careers.
Coach Pennisi is a retired computer engineer and automotive racing official. Coach Pennisi enjoys what is entering her thirty-sixth year of coaching track and cross country. Apex isn’t the first school where she coached either; before even coaching in North Carolina, she started her coaching career as a university student assistant coach at Stonington High School in Connecticut, specializing in high jump. After living in several different states, Pennisi moved to North Carolina (and has lived here now for twenty-nine years) where she coached at Lufkin Road for several years. While there, she worked with our new athletic director Coach Widenburner on getting Lufkin Road renovations and improvements to their athletic facilities. Last year, during the winter and spring track seasons, she came on as an assistant coach for our distance team, and this year she is coaching full time here at Apex.
Whilst having over thirty years of experience coaching athletes at both the middle school and high school level, Coach Pennisi has taken several classes and gotten several certifications from national organizations to be the best coach she can be for the athletes she coaches. She’s a level 1 USTAF (United States Track and Field) certified coach. This requires that you take a 21.5-hour class on the science and anatomy of track, field, and cross country. Additionally, she has achieved a level 3 track and cross country certification from the National Federation of High School Athletics. This requires coaches to take courses on both health science and emergency preparedness for events like sudden cardiac arrest, a concussion, and an overall first aid course. But they must take leadership and team-building courses, too, including ones about bullying, hazing, teaching and modeling behavior, and fundamentals of coaching.
Apex has many great coaches, and I think that they have added another one with Coach Pennisi. She’s enthusiastic about coaching, she has deep ties to Apex, she is incredibly experienced, and she enjoys watching the athletes she coaches grow.