For the past five years, Mary Crismon has known that her teaching license was set to expire in June 2020. And she had no plans to renew it.
Back in January, Crismon gave notice that she’d be retiring from her position as James Monroe High School’s athletic director. Her last day on the job is July 1.
“I haven’t really made any plans yet,” said Crismon, 67. “I’m going to be sad when I leave, but I’m also looking forward to watching my grandkids and enjoying life.”
Crismon has been an educator for 42 years, spending the past 33 at JM. Hired by former Fredericksburg City schools superintendent Dr. Richard Garnett, she’s coached girls basketball, softball and cheerleading. She then assisted Rich Serbay for more than a decade, applying for the AD job when Serbay relinquished that role seven years ago.
Under Crismon’s watch, the Yellow Jackets enjoyed success across a number of sports, most notably in field hockey, where James Monroe is the three-time defending state champion. She also fondly recalls the school’s underdog run to the 2008 Group AA, Division-3 state football championship.
“People thought we didn’t have a team and wouldn’t go too far,” she said.
Crismon said she’ll miss the little things about a job that required 70–80 hours per week: arranging team buses, rescheduling games delayed due to inclement weather.
“It’s going to be hard because I put my heart and soul and into this program, and I’m going to miss it,” she said.
At the time of her retirement, Crismon was the only female athletic director in the Fredericksburg area. The AD opening at James Monroe was posted March 5, Crismon said, but the coronavirus pandemic will likely delay the hiring of her successor.