There is no way to quantify the legacy that Karinne Heise will leave on Deerfield and the Girl’s Squash Program. While she has won 215 matches and 3 New England Championships and bred countless Division I athletes, the most important impact she has had stretches far beyond the squash courts.
During Ms. Heise’s 30 years at Deerfield, she has seen no less than incredible success in the athletic realm. In addition to coaching Girls Varsity Squash for 22 years, she has also coached Girls Soccer and Field Hockey. She totals over 300 career wins across all sports, an impressive feat even for the most talented of coaches. Ms. Heise brings poise, expertise, and organization to every coaching role she takes on. Captain of Girls Varsity Squash Harbour Woodward ‘19 commented on Ms. Heise’s outstanding coaching abilities saying, “Your organization is something else that was essential for the team – you came to practice everyday with a clear plan of what we were going to focus on.” It is these leadership qualities that have led Ms. Heise to multiple New England Championship Titles and Runner-Up finishes.
While Woodward is grateful for all of the accolades Ms. Heise has brought to the squash team during her four years, she cited, “the smaller moments” as what truly makes Ms. Heise stand out as a coach. These include, “fun Friday practices and belting out our favorite song in the van.”
Co-Captain Ashley Manning ‘19 said her favorite memory with Ms. Heise was, “After I won the semi finals of New England’s my sophomore year and she gave me the biggest hug after my match and we both started crying because there had never been a moment for either of us that was more perfect than that.”
It is moments like these that make Ms. Heise not only a valuable coach, but an indispensable part of the Deerfield community. Ms. Heise used squash as a vehicle for so much more than just trophies and wins. Woodward noted this saying, “Your sense of humor in instances like that served as a humbling reminder to all of us that at the end of the day, despite the seriousness and intensity, squash is just a game consisting of a black ball in a white box.”
Ms. Heise has brought these same qualities to the classroom where she teaches sophomore and junior year english. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Bowdoin College, Ms. Heise’s demonstrated knowledge and passion for the subject of english will be greatly missed next year. Student of Ms. Heise, Izzy Hamlen ‘21, said that, “Ms. Heise lets students lead the conversation, but directs it in a way where we are able to maximize our learning”
Ms. Heise truly is a boarding school faculty “triple threat.” As if being a fantastic coach and teacher wasn’t enough, she has also left a lasting impact on students in the dorm. Serving as a hall resident in a number of dorms during her tenure and currently serving as an associate in MacAlister, Ms. Heise has truly influenced every facet of life at Deerfield. Whenever on duty, Ms. Heise brings a smiling face and is ready for whatever conversation comes her way. Dealing with pubescent teenagers in not easy, but Ms. Heise handles it with grace and ease.
It is hard to imagine a Deerfield without Ms. Heise. We have been lucky enough to benefit from her expertise, kindness, and generosity of spirit for the last 30 years, but no amount of time will ever be enough.
Thank you, Ms. Heise, for enriching countless student’s Deerfield experiences and lives. You will be greatly missed.