Leadership Academy - Meet the Director

Mission Statement | Meet the Director | Interviews

Monica Gerardo has spent a majority of her life immersed in athletics and education.Her father worked for the U.S. government,  and she, along with her mother, and two older brothers lived in Minnesota, Alaska, California, and Rome, Italy. Monica traveled regularly on family trips to Spain where her mother was born. Adapting to living in different regions of the world, each with new schools and widely divergent athletic opportunities, challenged Monica at an early age to be flexible and to begin to develop the characteristics that would later become her core values. 

Her athletic ability and academic efforts earned her a full athletic scholarship to the University of Notre Dame. While competing at Notre Dame, her team won the 1995 NCAA Division I National Championship and Monica participated in two other Final Four Tournaments before ending her career as the Irish all-time leader in goals and total points.

Upon graduation with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology & Elementary Education, Monica competed internationally for the Mexico Women’s National Team (her father was born in Mexico), which involved participating in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She went on to play professionally for the Washington Freedom of the Women’s United Soccer Association beside soccer greats Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach.

In 2003, Monica hung up her soccer cleats and transitioned into becoming a full-time soccer coach.  Her passion for impacting the lives of young individuals through sport, by leading student-athletes to understand the connection between the skills developed as athletes and success in their personal and professional lives is evident. She spent three years as an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh and two years at St. Mary’s College, before she embarked on her next journey...bringing her commitment to young people to the classroom, teaching 5th grade G.A.T.E. in Sacramento.

Realizing that her personal experiences in connecting academic and athletic pursuits led to her becoming a strong, confident leader, Monica moved back to southern California to  become the Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Whittier College in 2011. She could now on a daily basis, dedicate herself to reach, direct, and help shape not only the members on her team, but those of the entire athletic department.  While earning her Master’s degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration  from Concordia in 2013, she had aspirations to take her zest for leadership development to the next level.

In 2014, St. Mark’s Lutheran School hired her as the Director of its new Leadership Academy, assisting Principal Barbara Clark, in implementing and building a leadership program for kindergarten through eighth grade students as well as working with staff members to hone their leadership skills. In 2014, Monica’s leadership role expanded further as she was tabbed  as the first Director of the Poet Student-Athlete Leadership Academy at Whittier College. This is a leadership program geared to select student-athletes,  designed to develop and challenge them in their quest to become world-class leaders in athletics, academics, and life.

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St. Mark's Lutheran School

2323 Las Lomitas Dr., Hacienda Heights, CA 91745 | Phone: 626-968-0428 Fax: 626-333-4998
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