Athletic director Buchanan rejoins English department


Ava Kim

Shawn Buchanan will be leaving his position as Athletic Director to return to the English department.

After four years as Pascack Valley’s Athletic Director, Shawn Buchanan has chosen to step down from his position. When school commences again in the fall, he will rejoin the English department.

“I truly enjoy being Athletic Director. I’m very honored to be the Athletic Director, but I just love teaching, and I miss interacting with the students,” Buchanan said.

As Athletic Director, Buchanan was able to interact with all the coaches, athletes, and parents at PV. From local to state games, he enjoyed working with the PV athletes who represent the community. However, he misses the student interaction found in the classroom. 

Prior to taking up the mantle of Athletic Director, Buchanan was an English teacher. Starting in 2003, Buchanan has been teaching here for nineteen years. Coming from college with a major in English and a minor in history, he spoke of wanting to pursue a career in such topics, gravitating more to teaching at a high school level. 

Head of the PV English department, Valerie Mattessich, speaks highly of Buchanan.

“He, like all my [English] teachers, really loves the students and loves the work. You have to love reading, and you have to love teaching, writing, and you have to just really want to connect with the kids. He has all these things.” 

Although Buchanan’s schedule is not officially set, he believes he will be teaching freshmen and American Studies, a history and English combination course he created with fellow PV teacher Ryan Walter. Furthering this full circle journey, Buchanan will have the opportunity to teach with PV history and American Studies teacher Luciano Cofrancesco, whom Buchanan worked alongside for an estimated six years.

Buchanan describes a yearning to get back to teaching, missing the “daily rapport” of working in the classroom. 

“Most of the time, it’s maybe not even about the actual lesson you’re trying to achieve that day. It’s just more of that personal connection with students,” Buchanan said. “I’m really looking forward to that.” 

When asked about the readjustment, Buchanan expressed that he is not nervous to come back to the English department at all. He noted his previous experience, and doesn’t believe that much could have changed in 4 years. 

According to Mattessich, an independent reading and vocabulary program has been implemented since Buchanan’s hiatus from the English department. Taking into account these changes, she still anticipates a seamless transition.

“I think there will be zero problems whatsoever [adjusting] because he’s stayed really connected with the students with the student government. So I know he has a pulse on the student body and he never let go of his teaching skills,” Mattessich said. “He’s always a great teacher, and he was able to use it in a different way in his A.D. role.” 

Buchanan plans to embrace the change, however minuscule, with open arms.

“I’ll face whatever changes there are and embrace them,” Buchanan said.