ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Dwight EsteyDwight Estey's 35 year run as a teacher and coach spans more than a generation of students and stretches from the cinder track at Rose's Field to the modern six-lane facility at the High School that now bears his name. Beginning in 1974, when records were written in pencil and kept in manila folders, Mr. Estey taught health and physical education at six of the town's elementary schools, the Jr. High and the High School; however, by the end of his career, he had leaped into the 21st century with his own website—Northrunning.com—and had become the face of track and field in North Attleboro.
Excellence in Education
Following his graduation from NAHS in 1970, Dwight enjoyed a successful career as a track and field athlete at the University of Connecticut, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from their School of Education in 1974. For the next seven years, Dwight taught elementary phys. ed. in North Attleboro before switching to a schedule that included a combination of elementary and HS classes. In the early 1980s, he taught strictly health classes while serving as Health Director. From 1991 until his retirement in 2009, Dwight served as Director of Physical Education, supervising at least 12 staff throughout the district, and teaching four PE classes per semester at the HS. In addition, he served on a variety of committees and participated in numerous special projects. In fact, Mr. Estey is one of a handful of educators who can boast that he chaired committees during NEASC visits in three different decades.
Mr. Estey admits that he entered his teaching career without a firm philosophy, but he felt that he began with a strong value system that included honesty and integrity at its core, a product of tremendous parents and education. His eventual philosophy was shaped by a diverse collection of committed administrators such as William Kelly, Ken Pickering, Lou Kelley, Joe Ambers, John Sienko, Dick Blazo and Ray Beaupre.
Dwight's philosophy of education encompassed three main ideals: 1) Every facet of education (every discipline) is critical to preparing students for adult life. The more we narrow the definition of education, the more we withhold the variety of knowledge necessary to prepare students to fit in and enjoy life. 2) Health and physical education are therefore critical to helping to develop healthy and happy students, and 3) Coming to school needs to be a positive experience for every student, and every teacher needs to embrace that idea. The rest is just details.
Like his teaching philosophy, Dwight Estey's coaching philosophy evolved through the years. Although he admits to being rigid about certain things—representing the town, the school and oneself with pride, having integrity, and dedication to the team—Coach Estey placed a lot of the responsibility for guiding the team upon the seniors; they were the ones who had soaked up the traditions of the program and were most deeply invested in seeing it continue. In the end, Dwight acknowledges that the athletes had as much of an impact on him as he had on them.
During the course of his career coaching Outdoor Girls and Boys Track, Indoor Girls and Boys Track and Girls Cross Country, Coach Estey compiled an exceptional combined won-loss record of 468-120-4; it is no wonder he was inducted into the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005. He was honored again in May 2008 when the North Attleboro High School track was officially named the Dwight E. Estey Track.
Dwight Estey had the privilege of coaching both his son Ethan ('95), who is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Marine Biology at URI, and his daughter Emily ('97), who recently earned a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Dwight is enjoying his retirement with his wife of 35 years, Arlene, who has taught in the North Attleboro school system since 1985. The two split time between their home in North Attleboro and their house on Cape Cod, where Dwight gives historical walking tours of Wellfleet for the Wellfleet Historical Society. In addition, Dwight currently serves as Communications Director for the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association e-board, and he is still a fixture in local high school track and field, serving as a TV commentator and announcer at Hockomock League meets.
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