Rachael E. Peters
During Rachael’s twenty-five years at Annandale, the number of high schools increased from five to nineteen. Rachael was the first woman in the county and the state of Virginia to be appointed athletic director of a high school.
Rachel Elizabeth Peters, sixth of seven children of Mary and Ernest Peters, was born in 1929 in Moneta, a small community in Bedford County, Virginia. She attended the local schools and graduated from Moneta High School in 1947. She attended Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia for one year and transferred to Longwood College in Farmville, Virginia where she graduated in 1952.
After graduation, she moved to Marion, Virginia to teach health and physical education at Marion Junior College, a small Lutheran school for girls. Being the school’s only teacher of physical activities, she also coached all competitive sports teams and taught dance which was incorporated into a traditional May Day Extravaganza for parents. In 1954, Rachael began her career in Fairfax County as the department chair of girl’s health, and physical education as well as assistant athletic director at the new Annandale High School with an enrollment of 1,200 students. In addition to her administrative duties, Rachael taught physical education, health, safety, and driver’s education. At various times, she coached basketball, field hockey, track and field, and sponsored cheerleading.
In 1963, Rachael was named a sports consultant for track and field for girls by the Virginia Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. She was one of three state representatives invited to attend a training session in the development of competitive Olympic sports for girls held at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Following this appointment, she became very active in sponsoring teaching clinics in Fairfax and throughout Virginia. Rachael organized competitive track meets among the Fairfax schools, with the county meet at the end of each season held at the Annandale High School track.
During Rachael’s twenty-five years at Annandale, the number of high schools increased from five to nineteen. Rachael was the first woman in the county and the state of Virginia to be appointed athletic director of a high school. In 1972, Rachael was elected President of the Virginia Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and received its Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contributions to the profession.
Rachael retired in 1979 and moved to Oklahoma, with Murray State Park as her neighbor. She kept her hand in athletics by teaching golf and assisting with tournaments and grounds keeping. In 1980, Rachael co-authored a book with three professors from Florida State University, Guide to Effective Coaching: Principles and Practice, published by W.C. Brown. NVADACA is honored to award a scholarship in the name of Rachael E. Peters.