Clarke Central High School head varsity volleyball coach and Curriculum Assistance Program for Students (CAPS) teacher Stacey Scott poses for a photo in the New Gym. Scott was raised in Athens, Georgia and attended Whitehead Road Elementary School, Burney Harris Lyons Middle School and CCHS. “Stacey loved high school. She has always loved school in general. She loves learning and has always been a hard worker,” Stacey’s mother, Georgia Scott, said. “She really loves being a Gladiator.” Photo by Zoe Peterson
Clarke Central High School alumna Stacey Scott, Curriculum Assistance Program for Students (CAPS) teacher and head varsity volleyball coach, aims to give back to the school that gave her so much.
Standing at 5-foot-10 inches, Clarke Central High School head varsity volleyball coach and Curriculum Assistance Program for Students (CAPS) teacher Stacey Scott has been a prominent figure in the Clarke County School District community since 1991.
Scott is a product of the CCSD. She attended Whitehead Road Elementary School, was one of the first to attend Burney Harris Lyons Middle School in 1996-97 and went on to attend high school at CCHS.
“(CCHS is) like my comfort spot. A lot of my teachers aren’t here anymore and that makes me sad, but I enjoy kinda getting to know the newbies that come through and rubbing shoulders with folks who work hard,” Scott said.
Her mother, Classic City High School math department teacher Georgia Scott, started working for the CCSD as a teacher when they moved to Athens in the early 1990s.
“I am so glad that she had the opportunity to attend Clarke Central High School. She was exposed to the best teachers in the world and the diversity of the student body was so enriching for her and has helped her to develop the great human relations skills,” Georgia said.
While at CCHS, Stacey was a three-sport athlete. She was a member of the varsity volleyball team, the varsity track team and the varsity basketball team.
“I was really active when I was a student here. I wanted to be involved in as much as possible. I was in a lot of clubs. Latin Club, the Spanish Club, (Student Government Association), (Distributive Education Clubs of America), Beta Club — you name it I was in it. I wanted to be a part of whatever was going on,” Scott said. “The lights were on, I was here. I was all about Central, and I had fun.”
Her senior year of high school, Scott was elected to the Homecoming Court and eventually won Homecoming Queen, becoming Ms. CCHS in 2003.
“It’s funny. Yes, I was Ms. CCHS, yes I won Homecoming Queen and I laugh about it now ‘cause I was such a tomboy,” Scott said. “I was not on the Homecoming Court freshman, sophomore or junior year, none of that. For whatever reason I was the queen my senior year. I was not a girly girl at all, but I was super social, like I wanted to talk to everyone.”
After graduating from CCHS in 2003, Scott left her roots in Athens and began attending East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina and majored in athletic training. Scott graduated in 2008 and found her way back home to Athens to become a Health Occupations teacher at CCHS.
“I wish the students here at Central were a little prideful. We come from so many different backgrounds but we took ownership of that,” Scott said. “We just took ownership of the rumors and the stereotypes and said that this is our building and these are our people and we stuck up for each other and I would love to see that happen.”
As a former teacher and parent at CCHS, Georgia has seen how it has evolved over time.
“Things have changed so much at Clarke Central since she was a student there. The physical building has been renovated and there are so many new members of the faculty and staff. Stacey has truly been able to witness a high school being transformed,” Georgia said.
Not long after her return to CCHS, Scott found her way back to the volleyball court in 2009 when she became the head JV volleyball coach and the assistant volleyball varsity coach, working with her former coach, Ashlee Wegmann.
“We balanced each other out nicely because she was a lot nicer than I was and so we played good cop, bad cop well and so I think she knew that about me. She knew kind of where I would lose it, where I would get upset and she would kind of step in,” Wegmann said. “She did a really good job of balancing when she needed to be tough and when she needed to love somebody, because I was just tough.”
Learning from Wegmann’s style, Scott works to bring positivity to her team now.
“Coach Scott is very understanding and encouraging. She really believes in our team, even when we don’t believe in ourselves,” CCHS varsity volleyball player Leah Orlando, a senior, said. “She knows what to say when we get down on ourselves.”
Nine years later from the start of the her coaching career, Scott is now the head coach of the CCHS varsity volleyball team.
“She’s a great role model to kids. She loves her job. She loves the kids at that school. She’s completely, 100 percent invested in Clarke Central and so those things are important, and they brought a lot to that position,” Wegmann said. “When she took it over from me, I think it was just a natural. I mean, there was no question for me.”
Scott’s dedication to CCHS and her team proved that she was meant to be head coach.
“She loves coaching and to have the opportunity to be the head coach of the high school volleyball team that she played on,” Georgia said. “As I watched her team during this season’s first home match, I was just as nervous and excited for her and the team as when I watched her play. She is a proud Gladiator and only wants to see her school excel in both academics and athletics.”
According to her team, Scott has qualities that set her apart from other coaches.
“She always has a positive attitude, which is different from other coaches,” CCHS varsity volleyball player Tavaria Smith, a junior, said. “She’s always encouraging. She never brings the team down with words like other coaches do. I think that kept us motivated as a team to work hard.”
Looking to the future, Scott wants the state tournament to become a standard for the CCHS volleyball program.
“I really would like state to be a norm for our volleyball team. I mean it’s hard, and it does take some sacrifice and commitment, but we can do this and it is a lot easier when we do it together,” Scott said.
Scott cares deeply about CCHS, but she is also interested in expanding her volleyball and coaching career.
“I would actually like to pursue collegiate coaching. I think it’s another level of learning. Honestly, it’s not really the prestige or the fame that comes with collegiate sports, like I’m going to the next level,” Scott said. “For me it’s just being able to learn more angles of the game. I really do enjoy learning and I love what it’s done to my life and what it could do for these young women’s lives.”
Once a student and player, now a teacher and coach, Scott has experienced CCHS from a unique perspective.
“Central is just so special to me, like I’ve had a lot of great experiences here. I’ve had just great people to love on me and believe in me and invest in me,” Scott said.