Tennis coach helped unlock the potential of New Pal Elementary's principal


New Palestine Elementary principal Katy Eastes. Tom Russo photo/Daily Reporter.

While their playing days might be over, the lessons Hancock County’s community leaders learned on the sports fields continue to guide them today. In this week-long series, we look back on the positive effect athletics had on their lives.

NEW PALESTINE – A Dean of Students by age 34 and a school principal by 37, Katy Eastes’ management skills have clearly not gone unnoticed by her teaching and administrative peers.

Long before she was put in charge of New Palestine Elementary and its 500-plus children, however, Eastes thought of herself as just another kid. A special coach helped show Eastes her potential.

It was on the Morristown High School tennis courts where Eastes learned about things more valuable than serving and ground strokes from coach Susan Sheets.

“She had very high expectations for her student-athletes,” Eastes said of Sheets. “She didn’t expect us to all have winning seasons or win county championships, but she did expect us all to be of high character on and off the court. She really took an interest in us as individuals.

“She also helped me see that I had strong leadership qualities. I had not seen that in myself before.”

Upon graduation from Morristown, Eastes attended Marian University and continued to keep in touch with Sheets.

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