Meet Our Athletics Trainer
Hello Bear Creek families,
I want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Caitlin O’Neill, and I am the new head athletic trainer at Bear Creek. I will also be assisting Lea Hysom and the school health team with various assignments throughout the year. I cannot express enough how excited I am and how blessed I feel to be joining the Bear Creek family.
To give some background about myself, I was born and raised in the Lynnwood/Edmonds area, attending Holy Rosary School from kindergarten to eighth grade, and then continuing to Meadowdale High School. I have three younger siblings, and all of us are two years apart in age, which made for a very busy childhood, but a very tight-knit group as well. My dad, Kevin, has been an officer for the Seattle Police Department for the last 32 years, and my mom has been teaching at various schools in the Seattle Archdiocese for just as long. She is currently the preschool director at St. Catherine’s School in North Seattle. My boyfriend of four years, Geoff, is a legal assistant at Progressive Insurance.
It was during my high school career that I fell in love with sports medicine. I was an avid basketball player with an additional passion for volleyball. I loved (and still love) athletics, and I knew whatever career field I went into had to have something to do with sports. I also have a servant’s heart and feel called to help every person in need however I can. I took sports medicine classes during my junior and senior years at Meadowdale, assisting with football games, wrestling matches, and spending time in the athletic training room before my basketball practices started. When it came time to choose where to attend college, I began to look at schools that had athletic training programs. Making the decision to attend Washington State University (Go Cougs!) was one of the best I have ever made. I was accepted into the athletic training program, became a certified athletic trainer, and graduated in 2014.
For the last six years, I worked as the assistant athletic trainer at Lakeside School in Seattle. I had wonderful mentors and learned so much personally and professionally during those years. From being the primary medical professional assigned to cover all summer programs and the football team, to handling some gruesome injuries, it was so rewarding to watch those athletes return to the sports they love, knowing I assisted in returning them safely and quickly.
I know that Trainer Mike had a profound impact on the Bear Creek community, and I only hope to take the foundation of the program he built and bring it to new heights. This will begin with a move into a dedicated Athletic Training Room (what was previously the “little kitchen”) adjacent to the Main Commons. Moving into this space provides countless opportunities to provide pre- and post-practice medical treatment, availability to all our student-athletes throughout the school day and during practices, and a centralized place for students to receive care. (It also gives Coach Pohlman and Coach Byram a bit more space in their office.)
As we embark on our first year together, and a rather unconventional year at that, I remain optimistic that athletics activities will happen in some capacity, and we will have the chance to get to know one another in person. I ask that all lines of communication between your student-athlete, your family, and myself remain open and consistent. I will put my heart and soul into ensuring the health and safety of your student-athlete, but I cannot do that without the highest levels of honesty and respect from all parties. If your student-athlete has any sort of nagging or lingering pain or known injury, please direct him/her my way. There is no issue too small, and it is unacceptable to me to have your student-athlete missing valuable practice or game time for something that could have been handled early on. It is also my goal to educate each student-athlete in injury prevention strategies and to work with our strength training staff and coaching staff to promote healthy and safe practices throughout our athletics program.
I look forward to meeting each of you in the near future, and please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.
Caitlin O’Neill, ATC, LAT
Head Athletic Trainer
The Bear Creek School
425-898-1720 ext. 412