Title IX 50th anniversary

IHSA celebrates the 50th anniversary of Title IX.


Maddie Monroe

Coaches Helene Shulze, Jamie D’Andrea and Athletic Director Marni Polakow use title IX everyday in their jobs.

On Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, Illinois High School Association celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Title IX is a mandate that says no person shall be discriminated against because of their sex. This allows women to have the freedom to participate or coach in predominantly male-dominated sports. 

Antioch Athletic Director Marni Polakow began her career as a physical education teacher in 2007 and the boys varsity soccer coach in 2008 for Antioch Community High School. She has worked her way up to the top of the athletic department. She is now the first woman to become the head of the athletic department at ACHS. 

“I think there are some barriers that are up in this industry because it is a male-dominated industry,” Polakow said. 

As Title IX has mainly helped protect women against sex-based discrimination, it also has helped males. It allows both sexes access and equality in education. This gives people the right to obtain scholarships, even under less than ideal circumstances. 

Although Polakow is the first female athletic director at ACHS, other women are helping pave the way for more women who aspire to follow in their footsteps. Women look up to aspiring females in hopes of doing what they do. 

English teacher Helene Schulze is the archery coach for both ACHS and Lakes Community High School. At Lake Park High School, Schulze played for her school’s badminton team. As a young woman, she looked up to her coach Stacey Mosquera. Empowered women, empower women. That is what Mosquera was to her.

“Not only was she a really good coach, but she was also just a good person,” Schulze said. 

English teacher Jamie D’Andrea coaches boys and girls tennis, although the same sport, both teams have different strengths and weaknesses. It is a different style of coaching for each team, but taking on this task takes courage. That is something D’Andrea has experienced firsthand as a coach. 

“I think it’s different, [boys] approach the game a little bit differently,” D’Andrea said. “Whereas girls are more tentative about how they play and want to do well, the boys want to be powerful, they want to be stronger. I think I have to change my coaching style a little bit to meet their needs.”

Without the help of Title IX, women would not be making their mark in male-dominated areas. These are the women who are willing to help make a change for future generations.