Rockwood School District physical education teacher Kally Fischer must dream about finish lines, given that she has been running toward them for the past 20 years or more.
Fischer recently was named the Missouri Class 4A Girls' Coach of the Year. For the last 12 years, she has taught physical education at Rockwood South Middle School and has coached at both Eureka High School and Rockwood Summit High School. Most recently, she has served as an assistant track coach and head girls cross country coach at Eureka.
This year was a good one for Fischer's Eureka girls cross country team, whose members achieved a second place finish at the Missouri State Championship.
"I believe the key reasons to our successful season this year, and every year, is due to our rich tradition as a program," she said.
"I have a solid group of girls who spend the offseason putting in the necessary time of training and those who are focused on the goal at hand, whether it is individual or team goals, during the season. They are a special group of girls who are just as passionate as I am about our sport."
Eureka High School Assistant Principal and Activities Director Jason Green said Fischer was focused and driven. “Kally does an excellent job coaching at Eureka. We’re excited for her to be recognized for her work to help our student athletes compete at a high level.”
As a former high school and Division I athlete at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO, Fischer competed as a student athlete there in cross country, as well as indoor and outdoor track between the years of 1992-1996.
Fischer said she feels lucky to be blessed with such hard working, talented and dedicated athletes to work with each day. “I love teaching and coaching; it's my passion."
She told Patch she believes teachers and coaches are always learning.
"As long as you are fair and consistent with your students and athletes your classes and teams will be successful. I teach my students character…I feel this is important in the classroom and track or course. I tell my girls all the time you will learn a lot about yourself through our sport that will help you in life."
Fischer said their beloved sport is always challenging, in a good way of getting student athletes out.
"Running is becoming more of an up-and-coming sport, however, still many high school girls do not come out for cross country. The reason why we are successful in getting kids out (at Eureka High School) is because of our rich tradition. Our school has laid the foundation for success and the girls thrive on keeping that going," she said.
In addition, Fischer said they get some of the most dedicated and passionate students out for the sport, students who want to either just be part of a team or be the best in the state.