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Oak Ridge High teacher plays his final round

After 37 years of coaching golf, basketball and teaching, Massey’s calling it a career
By: Laura Newell Telegraph staff writer
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After teaching in the El Dorado County School District for 37 years, teacher and coach Carl Massey is slated to retire at the end of the school year. “I’ve enjoyed my time, but I’m looking forward to retiring,” Massey said. He originally taught at Ponderosa 37 years ago and in 1980 transferred to Oak Ridge High School for the school’s first year. “I am the last original fist-time teacher to still be working here,” Massey said. “This was the best move I’ve ever made.” At Oak Ridge, he was the head of the math department and head basketball coach from 1980 to 1993. Since 2005, he’s been the assistant varsity basketball coach. He was also the golf team head coach since it started in 1985. “I’ve taught just about everything in math over the years. It’s always been a great balance to coaching because I enjoy being in the classroom,” Massey said. “Math is a difficult subject to teach, but it’s very rewarding to see how it helps them later on in their life. The impact is greater.” Massey said both of his parents were teachers and he wanted to teach as well because of the service to the community. “When I was in college I wanted to major in physical education but my father told me to major in something else or I wouldn’t get a job,” he said. “So my next best subject was math. It’s been rewarding and now I get to teach as well as coach.” His coworkers also noticed his love of teaching. “Carl has been a great mentor not only in the classroom teaching math, but also on the basketball court,” said Stephen White, Oak Ridge High School athletic director. He’s also the girl’s basketball coach and math teacher. White has taught at the school since 1994. “We have become good friends and even go on annual golf trips together, and even though he’s old and I’m not, we are able to bridge the generation gap and become good friends,” White said laughing. “He has been a positive influence on me in how I teach and coach.” Mike Eisenhart teaches algebra at Oak Ridge. “He’s an amazing guy,” Eisenhart said. “He’s been there forever and has basically seen the school being built. He has seen a lot of kids go through this school.” Massey said as a teacher he never made his millions in dollars, but he did make his millions in memories. “The very first graduating class is a great memory,” he said. “It was a neat experience coming down and starting the school from scratch. It was a great group of kids that I won’t ever forget.” He said while starting a school was a great memory, it also came with its headaches. “I definitely don’t take what I have here now for granted with our new buildings and our facilities,” Massey said. “Students at adolescence don’t change though, they are still going through the same challenges.” He said he always wanted to teach at the high school level. “I try to guide them,” he said. “I don’t always see the immediate impact in the classroom, but it’s nice to see it later on.” He said over the years at Oak Ridge the biggest change he witnessed was the growth of the school and the area from the schools original 120 students to the school’s current population of 2,300. “There wasn’t anything here,” Massey said. “There were no bells. We would just look at our watch and tell kids to go to the next class. So now with all the technology of education changing, it’s a big change.” Still, he is looking forward to retirement. “I’ve been teaching for so long that I have taught some of my students parents,” Massey said laughing. “Guess it’s good to get out before I teach their grandkids.” Massey lives in El Dorado Hills with his wife Leslie. They’ve been married 38 years and have three grown children who all graduated from Oak Ridge High School. “Now I’m finally graduating,” Massey said. “My entire life has been around a school calendar. I don’t think I’ll feel the effects of retirement until August.” After retirement, Massey said he hopes to backpack and hike, travel with his wife and continue to golf. “I like the outdoors, I’m very active,” he said. “I’ll do more of these things after retirement.”