Coaching with Charisma

Kelsey Corwen

As a young girl, Samantha Lupa always had a passion for sports and children. It is no surprise that today she succeeds in her career as a physical education teacher and is a positive attribute to the Manhasset community.

Samantha Lupa, known as “Coach Lupa” was hired into the district this year and holds the position as high school physical education teacher, junior varsity field hockey coach and middle school volleyball coach. Her excitement towards the position is reflected in her well planned lessons and the success of her teams’ seasons. “It helps that I love what I do and it makes my job not feel like work.”

Manhasset’s reputation of unwavering academic and athletic achievements drew Lupa to the school district. “I was drawn to Manhasset because of its prestigious reputation of being an equally high academic scholarly school as well as for its dominance in athletics. I also love the family and community involvement. It is a very supportive environment.”

Ms. Lupa was a phenomenal athlete throughout her childhood and pursued her field hockey career at SUNY Cortland. Selected twice for the All-State Field Hockey Player Award, Lupa created a lasting legacy in her hometown. “I worked very hard to be successful in this position and take pride in how far I have come.” In college, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in physical education, and later on a Master’s in health education. Lupa spent the first seven years of her career teaching at Half Hollow Hills and Hampton Bays School Districts.

In September, Ms. Lupa began her job while recovering from a tough ACL surgery. ”I still think it is very funny looking back now that I showed up with an ACL brace my first two weeks working at Manhasset. It was an unfortunate occurrence, but everyone was very supportive of my recovery. But the running joke is that they hired a broken phys ed teacher who can’t do anything!”

Ms. Lupa is now in full recovery and is able to refocus on her hobbies. She enjoys all sports and is passionate about staying healthy and working out. She also enjoys traveling and new adventures. In addition, she is obsessed with photography, “I take photos of whatever I can, landscapes, people, places objects.”

Ms. Lupa also explains that her experience at Manhasset has been very positive. “It has been the most welcoming/ supporting place to work and an amazing place to be! Very happy I was able to take a position here. My co workers have been great at helping me learn how things run here and the students have been so welcoming. My students, I feel, are all very active and love participating and need no motivation to get into the game. They are all very kind and eager to learn and do their best.”

Ms. Lupa presents a positive environment for her students and her charisma for her job motivates students to work their hardest. “I think my fresh approach will be helping the physical education program bring in more lifetime fitness activities like yoga Pilates and Zumba, activities that you can find in fitness centers. I think I also bring a fresh outlook to current units and help give a different perspective on how we can continue to make the unit fun and engaging.”

Ms. Lupa hopes to aid others who have the same aspirations as her. “To any aspiring educators I would digest that they work with children in a large group setting whether it is at a day camp or volunteering after school in after care but getting to know what is it like to work with children is huge. If it is something higher level in the high school, again, seeing how you can help that teacher in their classes or if there is anything they could do outside of class so they can learn specifics about that position is important.”