Beloved Wellness teacher and former Varsity Football Coach, Coach Nick St. George, will be retiring in January after 33 years of working in Longmeadow Public Schools. For the past 20 years, he has been an integral part of the LHS community, providing students with the opportunity to grow and learn and a shoulder to lean on.
When he was younger, Coach St. George didn’t know exactly what he would do in life, but advice from his father led him to choose a career that he knew he would love and enjoy. He grew up involved with sports; having played football, basketball, and baseball, and came to understand the importance of sports in his life. He recalled the strong “community support” he received from his New York hometown whenever there was a big game. These moments made him realize the importance of having a great coach.
“Coaching is just teaching.”Coach St. George
Reflecting on his years working in Longmeadow, he recounts some of the things he has learned over the years. Through victories and defeats, funny moments, and connecting with students, he has found that “coaching is just teaching,” and “you have an impact on everyone around you.” When asked about his most memorable moments here, he expresses fondly that there are “too many to choose from” but his most cherished are being able to see the kids he taught grow and be successful.
Another vital component to his teaching career was having mentors who gave him the advice and guidance he needed. He recalls the amiability and tenacity of previous LHS coaches Dan Kane, Steve Bush, and most importantly Alex Rotsko, noting that they mentored him and helped him become the great teacher he is today. Being able to be a confidant and an advisor to students is crucial to St. George, and he is proud that he has always been a motivator and a huge supporter of the students here at LHS – whether he taught them or not.
“You have an impact on everyone around you.”Coach St. George
As for life after retirement, Coach St. George is “nervous, but excited” for what is to come. He has two kids who are both high schoolers, his daughter, a senior, and his son, a freshman. He wonders what they’ll think, and if it’ll be strange for them having him home so much. Despite this uncertainty, he is eager to be home more, and have more time to spend with them. He notes that his kids are very hardworking, and always help out around the house. In addition, his family loves spending time together hiking, riding bikes, and backpacking, and he is elated to be able to do these activities more often. Being available to his kids when they need him is something Coach St. George is looking forward to most as he embarks on this new chapter. When asked about his decision to leave mid-academic year, he explained that since his daughter will be graduating soon, it’s imperative that he be there for her, and to create new memories before she goes to college.
“If you are not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”Coach St. George
To a student considering a career in coaching or teaching, Coach St. George answers that you should “go in the direction that gives you the opportunity to be happy,” but also choose a path that is “a good investment and practical for your future.” Many students have been lucky enough to receive this guidance from him personally, and have been able to make decisions that are critical to their futures. Not only has he been an amazing coach over the years, but he has been an exceptional educator. He inspires students to stay motivated and learn from their mistakes. As he always says, “If you are not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” As we bid farewell to Mr. St. George, let’s all thank him for his many years of service to Longmeadow schools and wish him the best as he continues on his journey.