Carolyn Vanacore, Mrs. ‘V’, as her students refer to her, is first and foremost, a mentor to young women. Her career path was greatly influenced by Louise Ives, a new, young, and energetic Physical Education teacher at Lyman Hall High School.
Competition at the time Vanacore was in high school was limited to round-robin playdays consisting of a few schools, and pick-up games with the boys. In college, she played club field hockey, basketball, and softball.
Vanacore attended New Haven State Teachers’ College (SCSC). After graduation, she obtained a job in the North Haven school system. She initiated sports programs at North Haven High School in field hockey, basketball, softball, and track & field.
Vanacore joined the faculty at SCSC in 1965 as an assistant professor of women’s physical education. She earned advanced degrees at Southern and in 1982 was named Director of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Safety. Vanacore continued in this position until her “retirement” in 1989. Although “retired,” she remains on staff at Southern as Professor Emeritus, supervising student teachers and spearheading development efforts for the alumni and athletic departments.
Carolyn has received numerous honors throughout her career. Among these acknowledgements are the: CAHPERD Professional Merit Award, YWCA Women in Leadership Award, Yale Visiting Faculty Fellowship, YMCA Outstanding Volunteer Service, CT Association of Athletic Directors Distinguished Service Award, Lyman Hall High School Hall of Fame, Eastern District (AAHPERD) Merit Award in Physical Education, and the National Girls and Women in Sports Pathfinder Award.
Vanacore has devoted nearly five decades to improving student opportunities and expanding women’s athletic involvement. She is the proud mentor of many high school and college basketball coaches throughout CT and beyond.