Amanda Kammes is the head coach of the Benet Academy girls varsity lacrosse team.
Her decision to accept the position was announced Tuesday afternoon after the high school’s board of directors changed course and offered Kammes a job that was previously rescinded when school leadership learned she was in a same-sex marriage.
The board of directors met Monday night.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Kammes said she was proud to be a Benet alumna and pledged allegiance to the LGBTQ community.
“It’s been 20 years since I walked the hallways of Benet Academy and yet, never in my life have I been prouder to be a Redwing. The past week provided a chance for Benet to rally together in the name of community, sportsmanship and social change, and I’m beyond grateful that Benet reconsidered their decision,” she said.
“Throughout the past few days, my hope is that the LGBTQ+ community at Benet and other Catholic institutions felt supported, loved and know that they are not alone. You are part of a community – as students, athletes and friends – and I am your ally and will continue to be one.
“To my classmates, fellow Benet alumni, current students, parents and, most importantly, the girls lacrosse team, I am truly humbled at the outpouring of support. This community is full of highly intelligent, driven, socially aware and passionate people who will always stand up for what is right. I am encouraged, ready to move forward, and coach Benet’s girls’ lacrosse team to success on and off the field. GO REDWINGS!”
The outpouring of support for Kammes included a Monday morning rally during which students, parents and alums gathered outside the Lisle high school to protest the initial decision not to hire Kammes.
Kammes also received significant support on social media, including a letter opposing the school’s initial decision signed by nearly 3,000 people.
Kammes has extensive coaching experience having served as the head coach at Montini Catholic High School in Lombard. She led high school teams in Pennsylvania and served as an assistant coach at University of California, Davis.
Benet’s leadership determined that Kammes’ background and experience made her the right candidate for the position, according to the statement issued Tuesday.
“The board has heard from members of the Benet community on all sides of this issue over the past several days,” according to the statement. “We had an honest and heartfelt discussion on this very complex issue at our meeting. Going forward we will look for opportunities for dialogue in our community about how we remain true to our Catholic mission while meeting people where they are in their personal journey through life. For now, we hope that this is the first step in healing the Benet community.”