Mr. Walker’s Retirement


Congratulations to Mr. Walker on his retirement!

Mia Camey, Reporter

After being the athletic director for over 25 years, Mr. Walker has decided that it’s time to retire in the 2020-2021 school year. Mr. Walker has had many proud moments while working in the Hampton Bays School District. 

Mr. Walker has many moments that he cherishes and enjoyed being a part of at Hampton Bays. He will always remember the events hosted and celebrated over the years. Some of these events include The Baymen 5K, Eastern Long Island Special Olympics, Coaches vs Cancer Basketball Tournament, Section XI Boys Track Championship, American Cancer Society’s ¨ Relay For Life ¨, the Homecoming Pep Rallies and Bonfires, the dedication of Mike Fitzgerald Wrestling Room, Doc Fallot Wrestling Tournament, Recognition of George Moore, Bald and Fat Wrestling Tournament, Unified Basketball and Floor Hockey games, and celebrating Hampton Bays’ first football team established in 1949.

Another moment he cherished was watching 2020 graduate, Quinn Smith, win shot put in the NYS Indoor Track Championship. He was the first-ever Hampton Bays NYS Champion. Mr. Walker said ¨Being able to watch him work so hard over the years, putting the time in, individually and with his coach Mr. Romer, it was very rewarding to see what Quinn had earned as a student-athlete at HB.¨ 

Drew Walker has been the Director of Health, Physical Education, and Athletics at Hampton Bays for at least 23 years. Before working at Hampton Bays, he worked for 9 years at Hancock Central School located 40 miles East of Binghamton University. Mr. Walker also spent time at SUNY Cortland where he gained experience working in the Sports Management program and worked within the athletic department organizing events and special programs. Mr. Walker stated “I really enjoyed the aspect of game management in an athletic environment. Working with others to organize and plan for a game, tournament or special event was rewarding.” He was also an elementary school Physical Education teacher who coached football, basketball, and baseball. Mr. Walker held responsibilities as the Physical Education and Health Department for grades K-12. In addition to this, he worked with the building and ground crew for games and practices as well as facility management. He also worked with community youth sports programs and was a Key Club Advisor when it first began.

A challenge Mr. Walker faced in his years working at Hampton Bays was when there were issues between athletes and spectators when playing against Hampton Bays’ rival school, Southampton. Mr. Walker stated that there was poor sportsmanship and behaviors that had built negative tension at athletic events. It had also made games against Southampton not so enjoyable. Both the Hampton Bays’ and Southampton’s Student Council met to develop ideas to create better relationships between both schools. As a result of these meetings, an idea was struck up to create a Unified Basketball game that is still being continued with Southampton today. Unified Basketball has been a great experience for many students, families, and staff members. Mr. Walker states “Working at Hampton Bays reinforced the athletic concept of the acronym ‘TEAM’– Together Everyone Achieves More.  The things that have been accomplished within the Hampton Bays Schools and community over the last 23 years to create a quality educational experience, provide fantastic school and athletic facilities, and create a feeling of family by helping one child at a time, has been because of the support, teamwork, hard work and perseverance of many people over a long period of time.” 

Furthermore, Mr. Walker taught Principal Richardt a great deal about giving back to the educational community. Principal Richardt stated, “He has been very generous with his time over the years, working on Section XI committees and with the Suffolk Zone to expand opportunities for students throughout Suffolk County.”

Mr. Walker will miss the people at Hampton Bays such as fellow administrators, teachers, coaches, secretaries, custodians, ground crew, parents, the HB Booster Club members, and most of all, the students. Hampton Bays High School Principal Christopher Richardt stated “I will miss Mr. Walker’s student-centered approach to decision making. Over the years, Mr. Walker has gone above and beyond to expand opportunities for students on our fields, in the gymnasiums, and in classrooms throughout the district. He is always there to help a kid in need and cares a great deal about the HB school community.” Principal Richardt will also miss Mr. Walkers’ sense of humor “which often provided a laugh when needed the most.” 

After retirement, Mr. Walker plans on spending more time with his wife and traveling to other countries throughout the United States. He would like to spend more time exercising and enjoying the great East End of Long island on and or in the water and cycling. Mr.Walker may come back to work at a K-12 school or a college setting in some capacity to work in an educational environment that he loves. The first thing Mr. Walker will do on his first day of being retired will either be paddleboarding or kayaking on the Peconic Bay.