Basketball won the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Coach of the Year award. She will be awarded at the MIAA Headquarters on May 30.
Penney found out that she won the award a couple of months ago, and it is an honor, she said.
"This is a big one, and this is my first one," Penney said.
She credits the award to her assistant coaches and players, saying that her assistant Jim DeBenedictis has been her "right arm" and that her staff is "unbelievable". It also has a lot to do with the characters and sportsmanship of the kids in the program, she said. She is grateful to Athletic Director Phil Vaccaro for nominating her and having confidence in her. It is "an award won by the whole program," she said.
"If we didn't , I don’t know if we would be in the running," Penney said.
She is entering her 15th year as head coach of the basketball team at RMHS. She played basketball herself at Revere High School and then at Tufts. She went on to coach at Salem State and Revere High School before she started coaching at RMHS.
"What I enjoy most about coaching is to see a group of young women come together and value not only their own game, but the game of their teammates, and to understand that they are only a piece of the puzzle," she said.
She appreciates that her players are learning life skills, she said, while playing a team sport. Skills she knows they will use in their personal and professional lives.
"Basketball is a portal to teach them about life," she said.
In her professional life, she has her own business in Wakefield, One-on-One College Consulting. She works with students on the college admission process and helps them choose the best school to fit their needs.
The MIAA's Coach of the Year award is not her first honor. Penney won the Boston Globe Division Two Coach of the Year award this year and the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year award last year.
She will attend the award banquet at the MIAA headquarters on May 30 with her husband and two sons to receive the Coach of the Year award.