Meet Coach Mary

  1. Updates

Believe it or not, Coach Mary did not ride a school bus or enter an elementary school until college; she was homeschooled. She has lived in Minnesota all her life and graduated from the University of Minnesota. Some of Coach Mary's favorite things are: riding bikes, eating ice cream, doing spoken word, making cards, spending time at Ronald McDonald House and being silly with kids.

Coach Mary is in her second year as a Playworks program coordinator and loving it. She spent the last year in West Saint Paul at Cherokee Heights and is now bringing the energy to North Minneapolis at Lucy Craft Laney.

What was your favorite recess game growing up? My favorite game was definitely soccer. I loved pretending to be in the World Cup and going to a shoot-out.

Has your favorite game changed now that you're a coach? I would say my current favorite is tag—Ships Across the Ocean, Noodle Tag, Coach Fox, Cookie Monster Tag, Shark Attack, Shadow Tag… I love them all.

What is the best part about being a coach? Definitely the relationships with the students and staff. I get the opportunity to learn and grow along with my school community.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? The place that comes to my mind the most often is Africa, but I would also really enjoy a trip to a huge amusement park.

More Updates


August 24, 2021

Playworks Founder Jill Vialet Publishes ‘Why Play Works’ ›

Play brings out the best in every kid. Over the course of 25 years since Jill Vialet founded Playworks, she and her colleagues, as well as researchers and play experts, have demonstrated precisely how and why play works to help kids learn and grow in the most positive and healthy ways. Jill gathered stories from people…

March 25, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Physically Distant with No Equipment ›

As more and more schools transition back to in-person learning, we know educators are looking for games that are physically-distant and don’t require equipment. The need for play is more important than ever due to the isolation that our kids have endured during COVID-19. Play encourages creativity, flexibility, teamwork, and other critical social skills. We’ve…

March 12, 2021

Playworks: One Year Later ›

One year ago… All of our partner schools closed their buildings and our work serving kids in schools risked coming to a halt. We knew our mission had to continue. We remained committed to providing opportunities for joy and connection through play for kids in a COVID safe way, regardless if their school was virtual,…