After 13 years of teaching, coaching and serving as athletic director at Gardner-South Wilmington High School, Shane Tucker is taking his things and going home.
“I’ve already moved on to the spot where I am living,” Tucker said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
His new home is in Oneida now and his new place of employment is Kewanee Wethersfield.
“Which is 27.4 miles away according to my wife Elizabeth’s dad Carl,” Tucker said.
Tucker and Elizabeth married two years ago and their son Bryce is 10-months old. They are living in a home previously owned by her family.
“We purchased her grandparents’ home here in her hometown,” Tucker said. “You can pretty much see each of her aunt’s and uncle’s houses from here. We’re right in the middle.”
The other nice thing about the deal is that Tucker is also that much closer to home.
“We live 12 miles from my hometown in Williamsfield,” he said.
It is quite apparent that the moved seemed most logical, especially since the job at Wethersfield was right there for the taking.
“I knew the head coach of the baseball and basketball team (Jeff Carsons) and he told me that they had a math teaching job available,” Tucker said. “I’ve been looking for something like this for two or three years now and I feel very fortunate to get the chance to teach math at another small school.”
Even though Tucker has coached boys and girls basketball at GSW, as well as baseball and served as athletic director, he said that he is quite content to just be simply a math teacher again.
“This year I am going to be happy to just teach math again,” he said. “We’re renovating the house and the time off is going to be important to me. But we’ll see down the road. I’m not against doing it, I just want to enjoy the current situation for now.”
Tucker spent 13 years at GSW, eight of them serving as the Panthers’ athletic director. Combined, he coaching girls and boys basketball for 12 seasons.
“Coaching the girls taught me a lot ... I also enjoyed watching the girls softball team go to the Elite 8 this year,” he said. “I liked watching Jon (Posing) and his team.
“I also enjoyed coaching the boys teams. I know at one point we had a really good team where we won 23 conference games in a row. So it was nice to win (River Valley Conference) titles there. Those kids I got to coach were outstanding.”
Posing said that he learned a lot from retired coach Jim Fair.
“I enjoyed those two years coaching with Jim,” Tucker said. “Some of my most memorable two years was getting to spend time with him. I learned a lot from him and enjoyed his friendship at the time.”
Kris Spiezio will now take over as GSW’s athletic director.
“She’s been talking to me for months about the daily stuff associated with being an AD,” Tucker said. “She’s a former principal and I know she can handle the evaluations of the staff and things like that. But there is different paperwork. Still she took a lot of notes I think she’ll be fine. Besides she has my number if she even needs anything.”
Tucker said that he will always hold Gardner close to his heart.
“Gardner is a special place, so that makes this bittersweet,” Tucker said. “It’s the place where I first started. I’ve made a lot of friends there. I’m going to miss those people and the area.”