Sneads High School has had many teachers and coaches during the last few decades that impacted students from seventh grade through their adult life. No one has left a more indelible mark on her students, and students coming through Sneads High, than Sheila Robers.
No matter the sport, or the path they may choose in life, students from all walks of life over and over give credit to Sheila Roberts. They give her credit for her guidance, encouragement, strong will approach to getting the best out of them whether on the field, court, classroom, or in the everyday world. Coaches routinely impact players under their leadership, but Roberts goes far beyond that. She gets the attention of students in a most positive way, “In a nutshell, I think that coaching is coaching the whole kid, the academic, the social, emotional, everything. I strive to help these students meet their full potential in life, not just volleyball. Coaching is a blessing and I take it seriously. One of these days, I will be held accountable, so every day I ask myself if I have done everything I could do to help them.”
Roberts’ efforts are obvious to anyone who has seen the headlines of the area newspapers in the past several years. However this year, they caught the attention of the the National Federation of State High School Associations. Sheila Roberts is the 2015 South Sectional Coach of the Year for volleyball. The Southern Section includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. In making the presentation to Roberts, the NFHS said, “Your contributions to high school athletics are truly deserving of our recognition.” In receiving the award, Roberts says, “It was just a big honor, it was awesome and I am excited about it. I’ll put that on my resume and it just means a lot, that they recognized this. The girls and the programs have done well and all of that is on the coach. If the team does poorly, then that reflects on your. I just appreciate the athletes that I have worked with and their success.”
About her teaching, Roberts says, “As a classroom teacher, I am very competitive also. I am motivated to help my students exceed in the classroom and I think that’s exactly what I bring to the volleyball court. I don’t accept ‘I can’t’ in the classroom and I try to figure out a way to present the information that helps them understand what I am trying to say. I was in the classroom for 13 years when I moved over to physical education. You can find a way to help your students and players understand key concepts. That is what helps me to succeed on the court.”
Roberts taught exceptional student education prior to moving to the physical education classroom/gym.
John Shouse, principal at Sneads High speaks highly of Roberts, “I wish I had a 100 like her. She is just phenomenal with all of our students, has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve seen. She is like a magnet to the students who are fortunate enough to come into contact with her. She is so humble even after all of her accomplishments. She does so much more than coach volleyball, she instills morals and effort and she keeps God in everything.”