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The Career of Mr. Decker

From a journalist, to a teacher, to athletic director, then back to a teacher again, Christopher Decker has done it all. During his early days of employment, Decker worked with ESPN and NBC for seven years before deciding to teach here at Woodland. His endeavors included being an anchor for the morning news with NBC, as well as working with ESPN to cover local sports games and even the Olympics. Now he is back in a teaching position after serving  as Woodland’s Athletic Director and Dean of Students.

In Decker’s college days, he was pursuing a career in the journalism field.

“I really wanted to be a news and sports producer; that was my goal,” said Decker. “I wanted to do sports documentaries, not necessarily daily news but bigger features.” 

Fresh out of college, Decker worked with ESPN and produced pieces about athletic events in the Olympics. Decker found enjoyment is producing good quality stories that people would have pleasure in reading. 

Once he wrapped up his job at the Olympics, Decker covered local sports games, specifically the NBA basketball games that took place in Hartford every year. After a matchup between Magic and the Celtics, Decker was told to head straight to the locker room to interview basketball star Shaquille O’Neal after his team lost the game.

“He was sitting and I was standing; we were pretty much eye to eye. I asked him his thoughts on the game. He was just staring at me and he was mad, and told me he was pissed off. I just wrote it down and told him ‘Yes sir!’ It was pretty terrifying,” said Decker.

Decker’s journalism journey exemplifies how that career can truly lead you anywhere. 

“Everyday was different,” said Decker. “It was crazy and exciting, especially on daily newscasts when you have to be ready at eleven.”

It is the unpredictable and exciting factor that lures in most journalists, including Decker and many journalists within Hawk Headlines.

No matter what one does, whether a newscast or different aspects of journalism, writing will always be vital, especially in his eyes.

“Writing is always important, it doesn’t matter how good you are at other things, being a good writer makes up for a lot of challenges,” said Decker.

Writing was involved in almost every aspect of Decker’s career. Between writing about the Olympics, working for ESPN, and news casting, writing was a part of it all.

After all of these different jobs and experiences within the journalism world, Decker realized it wasn’t for him.

Following his father’s footsteps, he started teaching. Decker liked the thought of teaching and decided to start his pursuit.

“My first year was 2004. I was a teacher in Waterbury first, then Woodland. Mrs. Luddy was here when the school was brand new. She told me this was a great school and I should try to get here,” said Decker.

Since then, Decker’s place of occupation has stayed the same, but his positions have been twisting and turning in a roller coaster of directions. He started as a history teacher, then was promoted to Dean of Students. When the prior Athletic Director retired, the most sensible option was to combine the Dean of Students and Athletic Director position.

“It seemed like a natural thing. I love sports and this seemed like a good way to be a leader and do something I love,” said Decker. It seemed like a natural next step.

Decker was able to combine his love for sports and his love for teaching by being put in this new position. For the past four years, he has been an admirable Athletic Director assisting the sports teams of Woodland by contacting other schools, making sure all of our equipment is present and ready, and looking out for the safety of our athletes. 

Decker had a great run as Athletic Director. But now, things are changing as he has swung back into the teaching position. 

“It is awesome, and definitely a different environment. It’s been four years since I taught. The technology is so advanced now and I’m just trying to catch up. I’ve been getting used to sharing and publishing things; it has been a whirlwind,” said Decker.

He is now teaching ECE US History for sophomores, juniors, and seniors full time. This reporter, being one of his students, can agree that he has been on point with lessons and assigning work consistently. 

“I’m very happy where I am now,” said Decker.

Although he does state that getting used to the position has been the equivalent to a three-ring circus, his past experience and love for the job is sure to lead him in the right direction.

Julia Dommel

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