Longtime Huntington High School track coach Shawn Anderson has landed a teaching position on the coast of Maine. The Blue Devil alum plans to move later this summer.
Anderson returned to college three years ago to seek teaching certification through a graduate program at Molloy College in Rockville Centre. He earned certifications in social studies and special education last month and has been applying for positions. He recently secured one at Oceanside High School in Rockland, Maine.
“This past year has seemed like a whirlwind, but I am very much excited for the future,” Anderson said. “I am excited to get my feet wet full time in the classroom and help students reach levels they may not have otherwise thought they were capable of reaching. I may even have the opportunity to work with Oceanside’s cross country and track programs in the future. It will be exciting to help new athletes enjoy the fun of running.”
Anderson will be leaving behind many cherished relationships, which makes leaving so hard to do. Yet, he can’t wait to start his teaching career and is grateful for the opportunity he has been given in Maine.
“First, let me start by saying thank you to the Huntington Blue Devil community,” Anderson said. “I grew up in this town and graduated in 2001, running all three seasons. Huntington is where I fell in love with the sport of running under the guidance of Coach Dennis Walker. When Athletic Director Georgia McCarthy gave me a shot at coaching in the fall of 2011, I had no idea where life would take me, but I am so grateful for the path embarked. She has had my back through every up and down as a coach and personally and for that guidance I am grateful. The coaching staff I have been associated with, including Ron Wilson, Debra Cheskes, Eli Acosta, Mark Jackson, Heidi Bonhurst and Eddie Santos have helped me grow in my walk. We have turned a program that was already solid into one that is county, state and nationally ranked. I have been to meets all over the country and meet directors and coaches know who Huntington is. That is awesome and I am going to miss this staff.”
The longtime Blue Devil track fixture is going to miss his long runs at Caumsett State Park. “It holds a special place in my heart as that is where I met my fiancé Angelica, whom I am road tripping with across America to get married in Montana this August,” Anderson said. “This move is a big step, but the more we have visited, the more we knew it was an opportunity we could not pass up. Sometimes a door opens when we least expect it. It is up to us to walk through those doors.”
Anderson completed his requirements for certification and a master’s degree in classrooms at Huntington High School. During my student teaching with Lauren Desiderio, Peter Fusco and Dr. Erica Jessen-Murphy, I learned a wealth of techniques, classroom management strategies and professionalism,” he said. “Administrators Joseph Leavy and Linda Roth also provided me with sound advice during my time here. Tons of other staff members have been instrumental in my growth as an educator. There are too many to mention, but a big thanks to the whole social studies and special education departments and to Mr. [Brenden] Cusack, Mr. [Gamal] Smith, Mr. [Joseph] DiTroia and Mr. [James] Polansky. The building and grounds crew deserves a lot of thanks, too, for setting up our equipment for all the meets and dealing with our hallway running during the winter.”
It will be especially difficult for Anderson to leave behind all the athletes he has worked with so closely. “My biggest thanks goes to all the student-athletes I have had the pleasure of coaching,” he said. “They challenged me as a person and more importantly, they rose to the challenges I set out before them. I absolutely looked forward to every practice, meet and Caumsett runs we did. My goal has always been for the athletes to have fun first, because otherwise why practice day in and day out? From the first time we won a team county title indoors and breaking a 4x800m relay record from 1979 outdoors to witnessing a New York State record and national championship, my time at Huntington has been a blast. There will always be a part of me that bleeds blue.”