Profile on Whitney Sweet

Alexandra Wiggins, Staff Writer

Whitney Sweet, or Coach Sweet, as members on the Roswell Cross Country team call her, is a new teacher and coach to Roswell High School as of the 2020-2021 school year. She formerly taught reading at Hopewell Middle School, but now teaches literature at Roswell High School. Sweet actually attended Roswell High School as a student and ran for the cross country team herself, graduating in 2011. She then continued her athletic and academic career at Georgia College and State University. Sweet is not only a hard worker and a dedicated coach, but also cares for others and never fails to put a smile on anyone’s face! 

 

Sweet had grown close with many girls from the cross country team before she had moved to teach at Roswell. When the cross country runners found out that Sweet would not only be teaching at RHS but also coaching for the team, they were thrilled! Sweet has always had a passion for running, so she decided she would coach others to have a passion for the sport as well. Coming into this cross country season, there were dozens of uncertainties due to COVID-19. Summer training as a team was pushed back and even early season meets had to be modified due to safety concerns. Sweet adjusted amazingly and continued to have a positive attitude for the team and trained the team to do their best. Sweet is one of the girls’ cross country coaches for the team and has helped the girls’ team train from the beginning of the summer up until the state meet on Nov 7. Many of the girls said that they couldn’t have made it to this point without Sweet’s motivational attitude and her impactful pep-talks. I talked with Sweet about her opinion on her first year at RHS and her first year coaching the girls’ cross country team and she said, “coaching Cross country has been so much fun and the highlight of my first year at RHS. The season was definitely not what I imagined, thanks to COVID-19, but I still loved it. My favorite part has been building a relationship with each of the girls.”

Whitney Sweet (far left) and her fellow coaches at the High School Cross Country Region meet 2020.
Photo by Christy Jiminez

There are some big adjustments to make from teaching in a middle school to now teaching in a high school. RHS has more students than middle schools and the students are older. Sweet also began coaching a sports team which is a huge adjustment. Coaching cross country takes up free time everyday after school, on early Saturday mornings, and extra team bonding days. Sweet says that she enjoys it very much though, and enjoys growing closer with the team. Schoolwise, Sweet says that the biggest adjustment she had to make from teaching middle school to now high school is the curriculum. She had never taught literature before, therefore it was hard to get used to the new topic. Sweet says, “I never pictured myself teaching high school, but I’m so glad it is where I ended up. High school has been less stressful and more laid back than middle school.” 

Sweet, when a runner and student, did very well at Roswell High School. She did exceedingly well in running with a personal record of 19:43 in the 5k (3.1 miles). Sweet is truly a part of the team and always will be. She now coaches with her former high school coach Bob White. She enjoys being back and loves watching the girls run the sport that she was once so dedicated to, and still is dedicated to, but just in a different way. It’s very interesting to see how school was when she was here and what school here is like now. According to her, the school has not changed much, “aside from the atrium add-on and the fancy digital sign out front.” From a runners viewpoint, she says that “training is similar to when I ran. So are Coach White’s jokes. The biggest change is probably the added strength exercises. Ladders and wickets (sprint-drills) were also something new.” Nowadays, there are more agility-type activities for cross country runners rather than mostly just running when Sweet was an athlete here.

Sweet on the track during an afternoon Cross Country practice the week before state. So fun!
Photo by Alli Wiggins

Whitney Sweet has already had such a large impact, especially on the girls’ cross country team, and it’s only her first year. Sweet knows the traditions and expectations of RHS, so it will not be hard for her to adjust to the new ways of high school teaching and coaching. Many of the students, athletes, and her fellow friends cannot wait to see more of her dedication and kindness being spread throughout the halls. Whitney Sweet will most definitely do great things here at RHS for the students and the rest of the Roswell community!