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


October 31, 2023

Indoor Recess Game Guide ›

Here at Playworks Minnesota, we know a thing or two about cold winters and rainy days. We know this can be a challenge for schools and educators to keep things…

three people with Playworks shirts
three people with Playworks shirts

July 28, 2022

A year of social and emotional learning ›

“You can’t do SEL, trauma, or equity work without each other,” Jennette Claassen, Head of Evaluation, Playworks. As Playworks continued to progress on our equity journey, we explored a critical…

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,…