Ask the AD - Tina Queen, Reginald F. Lewis High School

This summer, CSZ will be doing a segment on the WICKipedia entitled "Ask the AD". In this feature, we'll be conducting Q&A's with various athletic directors around Maryland to learn more about how different high schools run their athletic programs, and what to expect from them in the future.

Today we're featuring Tina Queen, the newly appointed athletic director at Reginald F. Lewis High School in Baltimore City! During our conversation, Tina spoke with us about why she joined Lewis after being at Frederick Douglass for 10 years, what she thinks she brings to the school, and her goals for the Falcons' athletic program.

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County Sports Zone:You're starting your first year at Lewis after spending 10 years at Frederick Douglass. How did this new opportunity come about?

Tina Queen:It was just time for a change. What I loved about Lewis was that it was a smaller environment, which gives you a better chance of getting to know the students. I wanted that personal relationship with the kids, and the vision the principal has for academics has more of a line up with college in terms of needing to have a 2.3 GPA, which is in line with the clearing house for the NCAA.

CSZ:School hasn't started yet, but how have you found your time at Lewis to be thus far?

TQ:It's been good! The administrative staff is really supportive for the changes I want to implement. Our visions work together, meaning we're on the same page, so that's been great.

CSZ:What about the job of being an athletic director has changed since you started?

TQ:I think it's changed for the better. People look at Baltimore City in a negative light, but we are definitely making lots of positive strides in the right direction, and catching up with other jurisdictions. Academically for sure, but facilty-wise too. We used to not have any turf fields and now we have them at Mervo, Douglass, City and there's plans for more to get built. A lot of good things are happening in Baltimore City, and will continue to happen.

CSZ:What about the job has stayed the same?

TQ:The kids haven't changed. In some cases the kids spend more time with their coaches than their parents, they trust our word, so it's important to have good coaches. As a coach, it's my job to be realistic with them, let them know what they have to do, but also to be honest with them. A lot of kids want to play in the NBA or NFL but not everyone makes it, so it's important to teach them important lessons that'll help them outside of sports.

CSZ:In addition to being athletic director, you also coach volleyball and badminton. Do you enjoy still being a coach?

TQ:I love it, it's one of the big reasons why I sated in Baltimore City- they still let AD's coach. It keeps me humble. Sometimes you can get caught up with paperwork and the politics of being an AD, and you forget why you do your job. When I'm out there coaching, the kids and my coaches get to see a different side of me. I'm in the trenches with them and going to practice every day. I love being hands on with the kids and honestly, it keeps me young.

CSZ:What do you enjoy most about being an AD?

TQ:I love having the community be a part of the success of the school. What folks don't understand is academics and athletics go together. When you see the success of a child on and off the field, it's a wonderful feeling.

Student athletes are the ambassadors of our school. These are the students who go out and set the tone for the entire school. Within the school, the students who don't play sports look up to the ones who do.

What I love most is seeing the success of the kids on and off the field, especially the unified sports. When I get to see students who normally wouldn't participate in sports not only get a chance but succeed, it's just great.

CSZ:What do you think you can bring to Lewis Athletics?

TQ:I'm going to bring my winning attitude, that willingness to be on top. I let the kids know that even though you go to Lewis, you are no different than a kid at any other school like Poly, City or Western- that is the attitude I bring. You are just as talented as any kid at any school.

We want to put Lewis on the map, we don't want to be a doormat for anyone, and I hope the students and coaches understand that.

CSZ:Is there anything new on the horizon for Lewis Athletics?

TQ:We will be having soccer this year. I felt like when I first came to the school to interview for the position, I could tell there was a need for that sport in particular. Another big sport is wrestling- I want to bring that back into the fold. I want all sports to become available at Lewis. We want to bring back JV for too, and we will for football and soccer this year.

I have a really supportive principal, and a brand new coaching staff which has been helping with painting some of our facilities at the school this summer, like the weight room. We want to change the mentality and culture at Lewis- that's why I'm here.
August 4th, 2016By: Wick Eisenberg

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