In fact, she changed her name. Yes, she used to be Shawn Corkum the outstanding athlete at Triton – CAL Player-of-the-Year in field hockey and basketball during the 1983-84 school year.
“When I got married in 2000 to Patrick McAndrews I decided that since everyone was going to have to learn my new last name I might as well change to my real first name too,” she explained. “Shawn is my middle name and the name that my family has always called me. I wanted to switch to something more feminine when I got married.”
The change that Elizabeth is coping with now happens daily at Amesbury High School and involves fluctuating working conditions on one hand and operating a high school athletic program on the other in the midst of four-year construction project.
Inclement weather forces ten high school teams into one space. “The only indoor facility available is the middle school gym,” said Elizabeth, “but thankfully Middle School principal Mike Curry has been very helpful.”
The good news is that the athletic facilities should be up and running when the students return in September of this year.
Elizabeth has gone through two years of the construction. “I knew what I was getting into when I decided to come here from Triton. We had been through a building project there.”
The Dartmouth graduate was at Triton for nine years including the last four as athletic director. The athletic director job came with a price. “The administration said that I couldn’t be athletic director and continue coaching,” said Elizabeth. “I thought that I could do both but they knew more than I did and they were right.”
She explained that it has been seven years since she coached field hockey or basketball but that there’s plenty of coaching talk at home. “My husband Patrick is the girl’s basketball coach at Tewksbury so I still get a taste of it.”
Elizabeth wanted it known that having Les Murray in place as principal (his 7th year) at Amesbury High School had a lot to do with her choice to come there. “Les and I go back a long way. He was my high school basketball coach for several seasons and was an important positive influence in my life.”
“Two years ago Les alerted me to the athletic director opening at Amesbury and encouraged me to apply. Obviously, he didn’t promise me anything other than an interview. Because I had played basketball for him, I was well aware of his leadership style. I knew that he would be hands off but available if I needed his advice. I also knew that he would challenge me to be as good a leader and person as I could be.”
The next major change for Elizabeth McAndrews will be when all of the athletic facilities at Amesbury High School are operational. That will be certainly be a change for the better.
( Submitted to The Town Common on April 23rd )