ALUMNI: Leigh Choate continues her family’s tradition of teaching

By Jihan Moon, Staff–

Leigh Choate, 49, left Davis to move to Las Vegas with her husband, a professional baseball player, after living her entire life in Davis.

Choate is part of a long family tradition. Her parents went to Davis High. She became a teacher, like her father, mother and grandmother before her. She also coaches, as her father did.

Her father coached football at DHS for 30 years and taught Choate how to coach. Now, she applies his philosophy to the volleyball court. “The difference I make is not how to [teach how to] play a game. I teach them about life and lessons about life,” Choate said.

Her teaching career fell in her lap. “I just didn’t know what else to do. It made sense [to teach],” Choate said.

Choate enjoys teaching more than being a student. She said she struggled at school “scholastically,” but that helped her develop her teaching philosophy. She teaches to the struggling kids because she “knows what it is like to be in that position.”

After graduating from DHS in 1988, she attended CSU Sacramento to play volleyball for three years, then went to Humboldt State to get her teaching degree.

Choate’s first teaching job was at Will C. Wood High School in Vacaville. Then, she went on to coach volleyball at DHS from roughly 1996 to 2012, where her team won leagues each year.

While she coached volleyball at DHS, she taught at many different places, including Holmes Junior High, DHS and Harper Junior High.

On Jan. 1, 2012, she married her husband, Randy Choate. He was a professional baseball player for the Arizona League Dodgers, and was playing the Sacramento Rivercats when he met Leigh.

Choate hadn’t been able to see her husband a lot previously because they lived in different places. To strengthen the relationship, she took a sabbatical and moved to Las Vegas with her son, Jake Sherwood, and her husband.

In 2017, Choate and her husband moved back to Davis. It was the right time because her husband retired from baseball and Sherwood graduated high school. They moved to Davis because a job opened up at Holmes.

Now, Choate works at Holmes as the coach of the eighth grade volleyball team, a P.E. teacher and as the athletic director. For the month of October, she is a temporary vice principal at DHS.

Her daughter, Makenna Sherwood, may continue the family line. Makenna Sherwood is currently a ninth grade volleyball coach at DHS.

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