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‘Dedicated’ soccer coach, fitness teacher tackles first semester with ‘positive’ approach

Fitness+and+wellness+teacher+Jamie+Fink+prepares+to+throw+a+ball+while+playing+a+variation+of+four+square+with+her+with+her+fitness+class+on+the+Sport+Court.+In+addition+to+fitness+classes%2C+she+said+she+enjoyed+her+first+year+coaching+and+teaching+Human+Development+at+Archer.+%E2%80%9CI%E2%80%99ll+just+say+that+whoever+has+her+is+very+lucky+to+have+her%2C%E2%80%9D+Paige+Kim+%28%E2%80%9928%29+said.+%E2%80%9CShe%E2%80%99s+one+of+my+favorites+of+my+teachers.%E2%80%9D
Photo credit: Gabby Kaplan
Fitness and wellness teacher Jamie Fink prepares to throw a ball while playing a variation of four square with her with her fitness class on the Sport Court. In addition to fitness classes, she said she enjoyed her first year coaching and teaching Human Development at Archer. “I’ll just say that whoever has her is very lucky to have her,” Paige Kim (’28) said. “She’s one of my favorites of my teachers.”

With her first year at Archer under her belt, fitness and wellness teacher Jamie Fink is developing new ways of teaching both fitness and human development classes, leaving an impact on her co-workers and students.

Fink is a middle school fitness coach and the middle school purple team soccer coach. This is her sixth year as a fitness coach and her second year at Archer. While in college, Fink was the captain of the University of Southern California’s Division I soccer team during her junior and senior years.

Fink said her experience with coaching has been amazing, and the students make her job rewarding. Last year, the purple team had an undefeated season, beating Brentwood, Crossroads and Geffen Academy.

“I know confidence is a very hard thing to show and be, so I want to make sure that these students feel confident in themselves in their abilities,” Fink said. “ [I help] them be their best selves and the best version of themselves that they can possibly be on and off the field.”

Paige Kim is one of Fink’s eighth grade students and a soccer player on the purple team. She said Fink is very positive and clear with the instructions she gives during class time.

“Sometimes, the class is just a little low. She’s always bringing the mood up,” Kim said. “Sometimes, she does these little dance moves, and it’s just so positive.”

Fink said she has found a great sense of community at Archer, especially within the fitness and wellness department.

“I think everybody on our team is so encouraging, and I feel like we’re one big family … and if anybody needed help, we’re on it immediately,” Fink said. “We would help each other in a second.”

During the eighth grade human development nutrition unit, Fink shared some of the negative eating habits that influence teenage girls. She stressed the importance of appreciating different eating habits, including through a buffet-style activity where she put pictures of food out and then asked each student what they would put on their plate. She then participated in this activity with the students.

“To see a teacher kind of put themselves out there and say they’re having chocolate chip cookies and sushi and all that kind of stuff without having any guilt — it just really sets the tone for the girls to be comfortable,” Chambers said. “She takes [HD] on a whole different approach to really make you think about yourself a little bit more when it comes to the topics.”

Chambers said that Fink is a thoughtful colleague who has a calming presence.

“She’s easygoing dedicated, hardworking and fun … Usually when you sprout worries, there’s someone that adds to your stress. She’s the opposite. She doesn’t add to stress,” Chambers said. “She’s someone that helps you feel a little more calm and tries to problem-solve right away.”

During her collegiate soccer experience, Fink started in all of USC’s soccer games for three consecutive years, earning two All-Pac honorable mentions and being named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. She said, at the end of her senior year, she decided not to continue soccer at the professional level.

“I decided not to because I wanted to find out who I was beyond the game. I felt like my whole life, I really dedicated a majority of it to soccer, and I felt like it was my time to explore other possibilities for myself,” Fink said. “But, of course, I wanted to keep it in my life, and I knew I did because it’s still a big passion of mine, so that’s why I decided to coach.”

Fink said she believes being a captain of USC’s team has helped her be a better coach.

“It taught me [to] not only to be a leader by example but how to lead by voice,” Fink said. “I think that has helped me in all forms of life.”

She said that being the captain of her soccer team was a constant “grind,” but it was worth it in the end.

“You are playing soccer two to three hours a day … but [soccer] became my family, and I would do anything for my family. I loved every second of it,” Fink said. “Even though it was hard, it was the hard struggles that made me the strong person that I am.”

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About the Contributor
Gabby Kaplan, Staff Reporter
Gabby Kaplan joined the Oracle as a Staff Reporter in 2023. She enjoys horseback riding, spending time with her friends, and cooking.

Comments (8)

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  • V

    Vivianne ArnoldDec 15, 2023 at 8:28 pm

    Amazing article Gabby!!!!! I LOVE your featured image, it’s so good.

    Reply
  • B

    Brody KaplanDec 12, 2023 at 7:19 pm

    Good job gabby

    Reply
  • C

    Catalina Lopez-SanchezDec 12, 2023 at 12:15 pm

    Amazing piece Gabby! Congrats on your first article!

    Reply
  • H

    Heather KaplanDec 12, 2023 at 11:49 am

    Great job Gabby! Insightful and objective (despite the love we all have for Coach Fink!). XOXO

    Reply
  • M

    Molly GoldbergDec 12, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Awesome work Gabby!! SO proud of you!

    Reply
  • L

    Lola ThomasDec 12, 2023 at 11:40 am

    Fantastic work Gabby!

    Reply
  • K

    Katie Ray McKillopDec 12, 2023 at 11:36 am

    Wow! This is such an interesting and well told story. Way to go, Gabby!!!

    Reply
  • M

    Maya HernándezDec 12, 2023 at 11:34 am

    Awesome job on your first article Gabby!! I love it

    Reply