By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR When asked on a recent afternoon how he is doing in his new job, Stephen Schroder smiled brightly.
“So far, so good,” he said.
Schroder is the new Athletic Director at Livingston Manor Central School. He took over for Shirlee Davis, who stepped down from the position at the end of the 2007-2008 school year.
Davis, who served as the Manor AD for two years, decided to focus more on her teaching duties.
“I missed my old classroom,” said Davis, who teaches in the Manor middle school and is the coach of the Manor girls’ varsity soccer team.
Schroder, a business teacher who began working in the Manor high school at the start of the 2006-2007 academic year, said that he was asked about taking the AD position last spring by Manor High School/Middle School Principal David Banker.
“I was definitely interested in the job, it was offered to me and I accepted it,” Schroder commented.
He then spent a great deal of time in May and June working with Davis.
“I did some job shadowing with her,” Schroder explained. “I learned about all the duties and responsibilities of the job. There is a lot of stuff to do.
“It’s an exciting job,” he added.
In addition to being in charge of the Manor coaches and sports teams, Schroder still spends time in the classroom. He teaches high school business courses for three hours in the middle of each school day. He uses the first two and last two class periods of the day to complete his AD tasks.
Schroder describes himself as “a sports guy.”
“I have always loved sports, whether as an athlete, coach or spectator,” he said.
Schroder grew up in Millerton, a small hamlet in northeast Dutchess County. He noted that Millerton is less than a mile from Connecticut and just a few miles from Massachusetts.
From fifth grade through ninth grade, Schroder attended a private school in Connecticut and played football, basketball and baseball. For 10th, 11th and 12th grades, he went to Webutuck High School. As a sophomore, he helped the varsity basketball team win a league title and earn the No. 1 seed in the Section I tournament.
After graduating from Webutuck, Schroder enrolled at SUNY Albany and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics.
He then worked for a year before going to Syracuse University to obtain a master’s of business administration degree. While pursuing his MBA, Schroder taught some undergraduate courses and discovered he enjoyed teaching much more than doing academic research.
He returned to the business world after completing his MBA, working for a few companies, including Corning, Inc. in Corning and for American Express as a Financial Advisor in Poughkeepsie.
But Schroeder decided he wanted a career in education and earned his teaching certification at St. Rose College in Albany. He then took a job teaching at a high school in the Albany area.
After seeing a newspaper advertisement about a full-time position for a business teacher at Livingston Manor Central School, Schroder applied for the job and was hired. He and his wife, Jennifer, then moved to the Manor.
In the summer of 2007, Jennifer took a new job in Poughkeepsie and the couple moved to Fishkill. Of course, Jennifer’s commute to work is much shorter than Stephen’s commute, but he doesn’t mind.
“It’s about 70 miles one way,” Schroder said of his drive between Manor and Fishkill. “I don’t mind it. I really enjoy driving.”
Schroder, who was a volunteer assistant coach for the Manor varsity girls’ basketball team last season, said he hopes to be the school’s AD for many years.
When asked about his goals, Schroder said the top priority is the members of the Wildcat and Lady Wildcat sports teams.
“I want all of our student-athletes to work hard on the playing field or court and in the classroom,” he stated. “I want them to do their best academically and athletically.”