“A little bit of everything,” is how North Colonie Director of Health, Physical Education & Athletics, Ed Dopp describes his 33 years in the district. Originally from Amsterdam, Dopp’s North Colonie story began as a student teacher while a senior at SUNY Brockport. The fall following his college graduation, Dopp was hired as a football coach, filled in for a few leaves, and eventually received his first full-time job offer as a traveling elementary physical education teacher. Southgate Elementary was his home base, but he also taught in Latham Ridge and Forts Ferry. For the next 20 years Dopp’s home was Southgate, where he was not only a teacher, but an interim principal, and eventually, a parent.
“20 years at the elementary level, there was just something special about that,” he said. “I lived a block and a half away from Southgate. I was a teacher there, I lived in the community and I was a parent there. Those 20 years were phenomenal and I learned so much from my colleagues. We had something special.”
Eventually, Dopp’s career took him to Shaker High School, where he continued to teach physical education and served as the Faculty Athletic Manager. Ten years ago, Dopp was named the Director of Health, Physical Education & Athletics for the entire district.
“I was still coaching, but this time, coaching coaches,” he said.
Dopp says some of the greatest rewards of the job is to keep in contact with North Colonie student athletes as they continue their careers in college, and hopes to have been influential in the lives of the students and coaches he has mentored.
As Dopp’s North Colonie athletic chapter will come to a close at the end of March, he will continue to serve as the district’s Director of Continuing Education. But his new full-time role will be at the state level. As of May 1, Dopp will be the Section 2 Executive Director for the NYS Public High School Athletic Association. He will serve as a resource and mentor for athletic administrators for the 94 schools in Section 2.
“I still love my job here,” said Dopp. “But this opportunity came up and I just couldn’t pass it up.”
“Ed Dopp has devoted his entire career to serving the students and families of North Colonie as a teacher, coach, and athletic director,” said Superintendent Joseph Corr. “His career is an example of devotion and dedication to students. He has provided them with opportunities in physical education and athletics that have contributed to their overall growth and development. It’s been a pleasure to work with him and he will be dearly missed.”
“Mrs. Ehrenberg hired me and I’ll always be thankful for that opportunity,” added Dopp. “And to finish my career working for people who have the character and integrity that Joe Corr and Kathy Skeals have? I couldn’t ask for a better situation.”
When asked what his advice is for young physical education teachers, Dopp advised them to strive to be in a district like North Colonie.
“We tell Shaker students to take advantage of the zillion opportunities we provide here all the time; I like to think I did that. To the young people getting started, I know it takes a lot of time, and it’s a big commitment, but the rewards, 33, 34 years down the road are worth all the time spent. I’ll always be Shaker proud.”