Debbie White, longtime coach and physical education teacher at Penn Charter, was surprised at a ceremony May 26 to honor her as an exemplary teacher-coach in the Inter-Academic League.
White received the Michael F. Mayock Distinguished Teacher-Coach Award, which honors and thanks teacher-coaches who have inspired young people in the classroom and on the playing field. She is the 25th educator to receive the award.
White began at Penn Charter in 1988 and oversaw the introduction of girls athletics at PC as the Upper School transitioned to co-education. She was the girls varsity lacrosse coach from 1988 to 2007 and girls athletics director from 1988 to 2006.
For the surprise ceremony, Head of School Darryl J. Ford interrupted girls lacrosse practice to usher White and members of the team to the perimeter of Maguire Field, where White's colleagues and former players were gathered for the ceremony.
Director of Athletics and Athletic Planning John Thiel presented the award along with John "Hench" Murray, a former PC teacher, administrator and football coach who coached against Mayock. Michael Mayock's son Matt also participated in the presentation.
In the photo above with Head of School Darryl J. Ford and Assistant Head of School Beth Glascott, White is shown with three previous Mayock Award winners from Penn Charter: Rick Mellor OPC '69, Stephen Bonnie OPC '66 and Val Erdmanis Hon. 1689.
Chelsea Erdmanis Greenspon OPC '02, in a video announcement to honor Debbie White by naming the girls locker room in Penn Charter's new William A. Graham IV OPC '58 Athletics & Wellness Center, said: "Anyone who has played for Debbie knows she is much more than a coach. She is also a mentor and lifelong friend. And when you play for Debbie, she takes you in and you truly become part of her family."
Michael Mayock, a football coach and teacher of Latin, math, English and history at The Haverford School, so inspired his students that when he retired from Haverford, in 1996, former students created and funded the award in his name. The award now is bestowed by the schools within the Inter-Academic League. Mayock died in January 2021 and a memorial will be held June 24.