Sports were an important part of alumna Clare Polis’ (‘17) Oakcrest experience, so when she got the opportunity to give back to younger Oakies through coaching, Clare took it. This spring will be her third year serving as a Track & Field coach for the Chargers.
Clare is currently studying at Marymount University, where she plans to graduate this spring with a B.S. in Biology with pre-Physical Therapy coursework. She was accepted both to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs at George Washington University, Marymount University, and to Shenandoah University. She chose Shenandoah, and will start a three-year D.P.T. program there in the fall of 2021.
Clare’s classes at Oakcrest paved the way for her choice of studies and career. “Oakcrest science classes developed an inquisitive nature in me,” she says. “They taught me to always ask questions, and even try to answer my own questions. Anatomy and Physiology was one of the most impactful classes at Oakcrest. It increased my interest in the workings of the human body and all of its intricacies. I also greatly enjoyed Conceptual Physics, which has translated very well to the college-level Physics courses I have taken.”
At Oakcrest, Clare was a very active student-athlete, playing Varsity Soccer for four years and running Track & Field for three. Some of her favorite Oakcrest memories are from her time as a Charger; particularly special moments for her were when Oakcrest won the PVAC Soccer championship during her junior year and winning the PVAC Track & Field championship her senior year. After graduating, Clare continued to pursue her passion for athletics as a member of Marymount’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams. However, she also wanted to share the great experience she had as a Charger with younger Oakies. “I loved the tight-knit community that I felt on sports teams during my time at Oakcrest, and I wanted to help foster that same sense of community for current student-athletes,” Clare explains. “I also wanted to help student-athletes learn how to be committed to something, just as Coach Jennifer Pruskowski did for me.” Clare returned to Oakcrest to help coach Track & Field in 2018 and 2019, and this spring she will once again be helping out the team, with either Sprints or Mid/Distance.
Clare is grateful for the intellectual foundation Oakcrest gave her. She notes, “The liberal arts education at Oakcrest helped to form me into a very well-rounded student… I feel that with any college class I tackle, I can rely on the concepts and information that I learned in my Oakcrest classes. I find this to be especially helpful when I’m doing research on a specific Biology-related topic. Oakcrest taught me how to read documents and summarize what I read, which is very useful in the research I do.”