Beloved History Teacher and Soccer Coach of 22 Years Says Goodbye


Amy Tran, Staff Writer

After serving Athens Academy for over 22 years, Steve Stewart has decided to retire. A beloved varsity girls soccer coach, history teacher, and a friend to all, Stewart is deeply embedded in the ACAD community. Though he will be dearly missed by all the people he has impacted, his retirement is well-deserved.

Stewart’s plans in his retirement mainly involve one thing: Netflix. He is a dedicated movie buff and has extensive knowledge on nearly every historical event. Stewart’s endless list of historical movie recommendations is what makes him a great teacher, as he is constantly adding to his knowledge and refining his view of the world. He encourages this same growth in his students and urges them to always keep the big picture in mind.

“I want my students to understand the trends, the facts – and I say this in class all the time – what makes us Americans,” Stewart says.

His longtime friend and colleague, Zackry Farmer, in addition to good-naturedly wrapping Stewart’s cubicle with caution tape and taunting him to stay for “one more year,” admires Stewart’s ability to “use anecdotal stories to help students find the subject matter more interesting.”

Stewart believes that his successor, a teacher from an all-girls school in Virginia, has a “good world view” and feels that he is leaving the people he will miss most, his students, in good hands.

As for the soccer pitch, Stewart’s players will miss his uniquely serious yet fun attitude.

“I try to teach them how to play because I will not watch bad girls’ soccer. I teach them how to play so I can watch a decent game,” Stewart says.

In his time at ACAD, Stewart has led the girls to 280 wins, 20 state playoff appearances, 13 region titles, 4 state final fours, and 3 state runner-ups. Many believe that his hard-driving but supportive coaching and, most importantly, his passion, are behind the team’s success.

Though she is sad to see him leave, ACAD soccer player Clara Jane Williams is confident that the new coach, a club coach she has known for a long time, will uphold this record.

Even so, Stewart’s retirement doesn’t mean that his presence from the school will fade entirely.

“We’re happy for him, but we’re going to miss him. I’m positive he’s not going to be able to stay away from campus in terms of soccer because he’s not planning on moving. He’s been here so long, he’s kind of an institution,” Farmer says.

Steve Stewart’s impact on Athens Academy is immeasurable. His colleagues, students, and soccer players are grateful for all that he has done for the school in the last two decades, and will continue to spread his passion for the school in the years to come.