On Monday, March 25, the Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education approved the hiring of Janeil Draffen as seventh and eighth grade girls physical education teacher at Smith-Cotton Junior High for the 2014-15 school year. Draffen also will serve as head coach of the Smith-Cotton High School softball program.
Draffen is a 2001 graduate of Boonville High School. She holds an associate’s degree (2003) from Motlow State College in Lynchburg, Tenn.; a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Fitness Management (2005) from Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens, Tenn.; and a master’s degree in education (2005) from Missouri Valley College in Marshall. She currently teaches P.E. in the Harrisburg School District and has been head coach of the Harrisburg High softball team since 2010, where she led the Lady Bulldogs to district titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Her 2011 team finished fourth in the state.
Smith-Cotton Activities Director Rob Davis said: “We are excited to have Coach Draffen as our softball coach. Her track record shows that she knows how to build a program to a point where it can compete for conference, district and state titles. She knows softball, but more importantly, knows how to motivate kids to want to achieve at a high level. She will be a wonderful addition to our staff.”
Draffen said she is looking forward to working with a larger program with more players.
“The biggest thing is getting to know the girls,” she said. “I was a pitcher, so I am excited to work with the pitchers and catchers. We need to figure out where everyone is going to be and what we are going to do for the summer. … I’m new, so we will do a lot of team building.”
Smith-Cotton Junior High Principal Jason Curry said Draffen comes to the district with “a quality softball background, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact she has on the program.”
Draffen begins work in the Sedalia district on July 1, but she is hopeful to meet with prospective players by the end of this week to start her quest to put the softball program on a winning track.
“It will take a lot of hard work,” she said. “We’re not going to get where we want to be if we don’t work hard and have a lot of commitment and dedication from the whole team.”