(WJBF) – Shane Dowdney has a lot of experience in a lot of fields.
“I was in the Navy for right at 4 years,” Dowdney says. “I’ve done construction. I worked at Home Depot for a long time. I’ve been a coach most of my adult life. And even when I worked at Home Depot I was still teaching classes.”
And now he’s focused on making his Thomson McDuffie Middle School classroom a place of growth and discovery. He fits right in with his 6th and 7th grade Gifted Science students.
“I’m a big kid. I like to play. Science allows me to do that.”
It’s also a place where technology is at the forefront. Notice the laptops instead of textbooks.
“This way I can track, it’s more immediate feedback. I can grade on here. They can correct without having to use pencil and paper on everything. It saves time for them and it saves time for me.”
Mr. Dowdney also makes sure his middle schoolers are straight shooters. He’s the coach of the Archery team.
“The Archery coach was retiring. She asked me a couple of times, I told her I didn’t know anything about archery. She said yeah, you’re a coach and they’ll train you. So I went to present at the Georgia Middle School Association conference two years ago and Dr. Tam who is at the district office and used to be the principal here, I got to the conference and he said, so I hear you’re the new archery coach and I said, well I guess I am. I went through the training and I fell in love with it and I have a blast.”
He’s also in charge of the Girls Who Code program. He helps those students get interested in the world of cyber at an early age.
“We average about 30 girls every Tuesday up from about 15 last year so it’s growing. I don’t turn any girls away for Girls Who Code.”
And all of this is made possible by Mr. Dowdney’s dedication to his job and the support of the entire team in the McDuffie County school system.
“For me, it’s awesome,” he says. “I’ve taught in 3 states and multiple counties. I love the support that I get from the board, from the district, from the administrators here at the school, the other teachers, the parents. I enjoy what I do and I get help along the way doing it. So for me it’s awesome.”