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The Aquilian

Ms. Caitlin Farley taps into many talents in her versatile roles on campus

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Ms. Farley following her nomination for novice teacher of the year.

Gonzaga’s director of student activities, Ms. Caitlin Farley, does much more than what her title suggests. Ms. Farley serves countless additional roles here at Gonzaga. Along with her title “Director of Student Activities,” Ms. Farley is an assistant coach on the varsity lacrosse team and a teacher in the science department. 

The student activities aspect of Gonzaga is where Ms. Farley thrives most. Spearheading dances, pep rallies and other events for the men of Gonzaga to grow in brotherhood and love is what Ms. Farley does here on Eye Street. More than the events students participate in, Ms. Farley is the person on faculty all clubs and field trips are run through. Buses for field trips go through her desk and are coordinated by her.

“What the student activities refers to is the bucket of student life that’s not academics, not athletics, not campus ministry. So it’s all events, all clubs, dances. It’s just a different side of extra-curriculars,” Ms. Farley said.

Although Ms. Farley deals with a different side of the extra-curricular activities here at Gonzaga she works very closely with faculty members who do oversee other extracurricular aspects. The WCAC basketball championship game is an example of the various extracurricular offices working closely with one another. 

“I honestly end up working closely with athletics and campus ministry because so much of our mission overlaps— because going into the championship game tonight Coach Kernan is in charge of the logistics. Steve Turner’s in charge of the team. Mr. Kilroy and I work on the students section and the pep rally— so we are all really connected,” Ms. Farley said.

Just over three years ago when looking to get involved again with lacrosse, the sport Ms. Farley played during high school and then collegiately at Catholic University, she had been in conversation with the coaching staff at Visitation, her alma mater, to be the goalie coach. 

“After being in high school for a couple years and not having anything to do with sports, I just realized there was a piece of me who I was missing,” Ms. Farley said.

Senior lacrosse players at the time who knew she was looking to get back into lacrosse and who knew her well and were every day visitors in her office and approached her one day, asking if she would join the coaching staff here at Gonzaga. She accepted this invitation and is now the only on campus teacher on the varsity lacrosse coaching staff. 

“The seniors on the varsity lacrosse team actually cornered me and approached me and asked me to coach and to stay here. They knew that I was getting back into it, they had a new program, and they were really excited about their new program but they thought they wanted an on campus coach,” Ms. Farley said.

Originally joining the Gonzaga community as a science teacher, Ms. Farley still does teach in the science department just not as much with her main focus on campus being student activities. This past year she has just taught anatomy and physiology, which is a topic she is very passionate about and enjoys teaching. 

“My teaching load is less than it used to be, so I only teach two classes now. Particularly, I’m teaching stuff I really like to be teaching,” Ms. Farley said.

The attitude and devotion to her work is what enables Ms. Farley to be involved in so many different parts of campus here at Gonzaga. Ms. Farley prioritizes and values relationships more than anything. She uses her student and colleague relationships as a catalyst for her work. 

“I genuinely am motivated by relationships. And helping in relationships and you know, working for the people around me.  I like to share enthusiasm. I like watching people be infectious about something they like. Helping people be excited about things like science or or even like Gonzaga school spirit,” Ms. Farley said.

Ms. Farley’s players and students value their relationship with her very deeply. The students notice and are deeply appreciative of her constant care for their wellbeing on a whole. 

“​​Ms. Farley has helped me in many ways outside of just school work. She has helped me understand how to deal with emotions and understand that every day is going to be different than the next,” said Charlie McNamara ‘24. 

For some students, Ms. Farley serves as a close reliable person they can speak to about any issues or troubles they might be going through. 

“She is always an immediate source of help and always has your back when in a tough situation. She is always there for you when you need it,” said Joe Matan ‘25.

Wearing all of her many different hats at once, Ms. Caitlin Farley continues to push the men of Gonzaga on the field, in the classroom and in extracurriculars. The leg work and effort she puts into each endeavor and relationship she encounters here on Eye Street continues to make each graduating class leave Gonzaga with more than just a teacher and a coach; these men leave Gonzaga with a friend. 

“Ms. Farley has really elevated my Gonzaga experience in many different ways. She is always offering her help when it comes to school or extracurriculars, which is why she welcomes everyone into her office space,” said Freddy Fowler ‘24.

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