Krysten Parson receives Champion of Character Award

KP is a former Maple Leaf, graduating in 2002, and was a basketball and all-conference softball player, and many of her career records still stand at  Goshen. 

After college, KP became a physical education teacher and coach at Bethany, and now she serves as school counselor and coach. . She has coached junior varsity girls and boys basketball, and is now in her 16th season as the head coach of the varsity girls basketball program. She holds the record for most wins _ at Bethany (155) and is the longest-serving high school head coach in Elkhart County.

KP shared some reflections over the weekend that talked about how participation in Goshen College athletics positively impacted her life, and we can all gain from the wisdom she shared. 

“Many of the life lessons that I learned as a GC athlete are a part of my everyday life. They are characteristics that have been instilled in me and are woven into my career as a coach, teacher, mentor, and counselor.” 

Here are a few of her important life lessons: :

  • “Be on time (dependable)-- To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is to be left. These words still hold true in my life today. Be early to everything. Plan ahead. If you are late, you are communicating two things, you are lazy or you don’t respect other people’s time.” 
  • “Be the hardest worker (skill can only take you so far) -- There is always a place on the team for those who work hard. Working hard does not require skill.” 
  • “Injuries (fighting through adversity) -- Adversity is all around us. We have survived 100% of our worst days. We can’t control many things but we can control how we react to the things going on around us.”
  • “Make the most of what you have (create a culture that everyone wants to be a part of) -- We didn’t always get along and agree on all decisions that were made, but when it came down to it, I knew my team had my back. Establishing an inclusive culture is an important quality for me as a coach and a school counselor. I want people to feel a sense of belonging and of security.”  
  • “You don’t always get what you want (sacrifice) -- Sacrifice really does pay off. No matter what you choose to pursue as your future vocation, sacrifice will always be required. There is a give and take that comes with every job opportunity and every decision you make in life.” 
  • “Trust the process (believe in the leadership, even when you don’t understand) -- If you want to be a great athlete and person, you have to surrender to the leadership you are under and trust the process. As someone who has been placed in a leadership position, I welcome the opportunity to empower our young people at Bethany to embrace the leadership opportunities they have been given.”

KP’s commitment to building community and relationships with students and fellow faculty members is part of what has made her an invaluable part of the Bethany Christian Schools  community for over 16 years as a coach, mentor, teacher, and counselor. 

Congratulations, KP! We are so proud of you!! 

boys coach speaking

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