Anne Kriskovich ’08 knows her stuff.
Just ask any Ashland High School parent about the new head coach of the men’s soccer team and they’ll tell you so.
They’ll also tell you she’s passionate and competitive, and that her knowledge of the game is showing on the young team as they near the end of their fifteen-game season.
What they may not be able to tell you is that for Kriskovich—soccer coach and special education teacher—athletics, education, and the Chequamegon Bay have always been intertwined.
Kriskovich, an Ashland local, never thought she would go to college in her hometown. Frankly, she had never even thought about it, but after being approached by women’s soccer coach, Scott Mayforth, the team, and Northland’s campus community quickly became an important part of her life.
“It’s like its own little community within a community,” Kriskovich said. “Until you are in it you can’t really explain to others what it’s like.”
At Northland, teammates were family; Coach Mayforth engrained the importance of education into his athletes; and professors like Kevin Schanning, Annette Nelson, and Bruce Goetz were passionate about what they were teaching.
After playing on the women’s soccer team and graduating with a degree in physical education teaching, Kriskovich started coaching and kept learning. She jumped into assistant coaching under Mayforth, worked several odd-jobs, earned a licensure in special education, and started teaching at a local school. In 2015, she headed to Pennsylvania to gain a master’s in special education from Slippery Rock University, graduating the next year.
“You’re never done,” Kriskovich said. “You’ve got to be able to learn from others and take advice and grow as an individual.” After earning her masters, Kriskovich came back to the Ashland area to be by family as well as start her own with her fiancé and one-year-old daughter.
She has now taken a permanent position at Bayfield, where she has taught for the last four years. This year Bayfield High School is all online, and Kriskovich has had to rethink everything. “Really staying connected I have found to be the biggest positive out of everything,” she said.
Sports and education played a big part in Kriskovich’s high school and college career. “Being a student-athlete really taught me a lot of character qualities,” she said. “It taught me how to be responsible and to be an adult.” It is only fitting the two are now an everyday part of her life.
Teaching with the degree she worked hard on and coaching at the high school she learned at, Kriskovich enjoys sharing that knowledge and experience. “At the end of the day, it feels good to give back into the community that you grew up in and give to the youth of the area.”