School Life
Morning Meeting

Unwavering Passion

Over 25 years on staff — and over four decades as a Titan — Admission Director Margie Vaughan Snead ’85 has been “all in” for Trinity 
Student. Athlete. Alum. Parent. Coach. Administrator. Champion. It would be hard to find a more multidimensional Trinity Titan than Margie Vaughan Snead ’85
Despite not having a classroom of her own, she has brought the spirit of a teacher to the education of thousands of students and their families. “From my very first day, Margie Snead instilled within me what it means to be a Titan: hospitality, togetherness, pursuit of excellence,” says Brian Griffen, school chaplain and community leader for nearly two decades. “She sent a clear message that I had the honor of teaching at a very special school, and she has lived out what it means to be a Titan and part of the community.”
Like Family
Margie Snead’s Trinity story begins in fall 1981, when former teachers like Pauline Crowling recall her as bright, energetic and athletic 9th grader. “The school wasn't even 10 years old, and I don't think I realized that I was a part of the school's early days,” she says. She was fully engaged in the life of the school, participating in SGA, Model UN, field hockey, soccer, basketball and lacrosse — and even joining a sorority. 
On the playing fields, Snead was a force, logging 15 varsity letters and multiple LIS first-team and player of the year honors in field hockey, soccer and lacrosse — eventually joining the Trinity Athletic Hall of Fame’s inaugural 2004 class. “She’s arguably the greatest female athlete to wear the uniform here as a student,” said Rick Hamlin ’96, fellow Trinity Hall-of-Famer, in a 2019 tribute broadcast on WTVR News 6. 
Her extended Trinity family includes husband Billy Snead ’82 and two daughters, Annie Snead ’16 and Sally Snead ’19, sister Diane ’81 and Joe Monaco (head of business operations), niece Cate ’21 and father-in-law the late Dr. Bill Snead. A two-time All-American in high school lacrosse, she went on to earn the same honors at William & Mary (1988 and 1989) and earned a spot on the US National Team in 1989.
Working summers at a field hockey and lacrosse camp in Pennsylvania, Snead never strayed too far from the world of education. “My Trinity and Tribe communities were, and still are, like family,” she says. “I loved my experience so much that I was very drawn to the possibility of returning to work at TES to impact others in the same way.”
After working as a project manager in the financial sector, Snead ran into her former Trinity soccer coach, Page Mauck, who suggested she talk to then-headmaster Tom Aycock about a possible role in the alumni and development offices and coaching soccer and lacrosse. “My first interview and job that followed was in an old converted trailer set up in the spot where the science building now sits,” she recalls. “The Trinity we know today was just a dream, a possibility. [Dr. Aycock] was a passionate individual, and I was drawn to his dreams for the school.”
Following a few years in development, and a stint as assistant athletic director, she moved to the admission office, eventually taking on the lead role after the retirement of the long-tenured Emily McLeod in 2013. Snead says her time working with the legendary former admission director gave her an appreciation both for the “grace and poise in the way that she shared Trinity's story” and the thoroughly welcoming way in which she did it. “We don’t want prospective families to feel they need to jump over a fence,” says Snead. “It’s more like standing at a gate and opening it. Welcoming people to experience our community was something that she had a gift for.”
Building a Community
From the start, Snead felt empowered to bring her own ideas and strengths to the table, a lesson she pays forward with student volunteers. Her team of STAR (Students Trained as Admission Resources) tour guides tells the Trinity story honestly and authentically — an approach that has been pivotal for more than a generation of future Titans. “Our admission events are so unique from the smallest detail to grandest gestures,” says sister and colleague Diane Monaco ’81. “Margie has a keen sense for how to make our prospective families feel welcome in a really personal way. She also helps our students develop their communication and leadership skills because she involves them in the process.”  
“Every year she builds the community for us,” says Head of School Rob Short. “Before they even come through the doors, somehow every year by the time September rolls around, each new group of students already feels a part of the school. That’s magical, but it's also a big product of what Margie has done.”
The secret to that success is as simple as “bringing groups of people together to make things happen,” a skill and passion of Snead’s that runs like a thread through her days as a student leader, team captain and professional project manager. “With prospective students coming from over 80 different feeder schools, we want to open our doors for them to see who we are — and give them a chance to show us who they are.” 
The community that Snead has helped to build makes the school powerfully unique. “You cannot clearly describe and identify a ‘Trinity student,’” says Snead, “because our student body is so diverse with such a wide range of interests and passions. But they come together every day to celebrate and encourage one another — and we actually thrive on those differences.” 
Don’t Quit the Cone!
Since becoming the head field hockey coach in fall of 1998 and head lacrosse coach soon thereafter, Snead has been just as impactful. Named LIS Coach of the Year four times, she has notched multiple 20-win seasons and over 300 wins. But more important to her are the lives impacted both on and off the field. Monaco estimates that over 1500 young women have discovered their path with Snead’s lessons on “what it means to work hard for the we and not the me,” and to “embrace humor and cultivate leadership qualities that help them succeed in life.”
Perhaps no phrase better sums up her approach to teaching a winning mindset than “Don't quit the cone!” — words from a sprinting drill that still ring powerfully in the ears of hundreds of alumni like Addie Nash ’18. “She knew that if we 'quit the cone' (didn't touch the line) we would be letting ourselves down,” says Nash. “She wanted us to maximize our potential on the field, in the classroom, with relationships and as all-around people… We learned how to stop making excuses for ourselves because if you quit the cone, then what else are you going to quit in life?”
Alex Upadhyaya ’13 is equally grateful for the lessons of leadership, teamwork and commitment. “But most of all, I learned the importance of putting your heart and efforts into something fully — even if success isn't guaranteed,” she says. During moments when she needs a boost, Upadhyaya just thinks about Snead’s game-time pep talks: "Let yourself experience this. Make your minus a plus. Celebrate every small victory. Never give in. Titan up.”
Setting a High Bar
When asked how Snead would like people to think of her, the word passionate comes to the forefront. “If the students I come across leave Trinity knowing that I believe strongly in what happens here on this campus and that I care about them and their experience, then I am happy with that,” she says. “High school should be and is challenging. Students who come through here should be taken out of their comfort zone, but for the better. And when they leave, we should be better for having them here,” she says. 
Parent and assistant coach Beth Stinson (parent of Miranda ’16) agrees. “She has and will go the extra mile to mentor her players on and off the field, will track down stats and talk to college coaches, whatever is needed to achieve the goals of her players,” Stinson says. “Her standards and expectations are high for the girls she coaches and she holds herself to the same.”  
For Cynthia Coleman, (parent of Henry ’20 and Leland ’23) and trustee, the word that sums all of this up is: “CONSISTENT! There's always the big hug first, but there's also so much genuine love, enthusiasm, compassion, energy, care and concern that she exhibits to everyone, all the time,” says Coleman. “The way she loves Trinity makes you want to love Trinity. She is a gift. There is no one like her and there never will be another like her.”

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