For most of his career, Dennis Walker was an American studies, economics and special education teacher at Huntington High School, where he also became a dean.
For most of his career, Dennis Walker was an American studies, economics and special education teacher at Huntington High School, where he also became a dean. He was an educator there for 30 years and also coached track for 25 years.
However, Walker’s love for track and field can be traced back to his time as an undergraduate student at Adelphi. He participated in track and field for all four years and eventually became captain of the team. Off the field, he was a history major and the treasurer, and then president, of Black Students United. He was part of the graduating class of 1973.
Walker went on to pursue a graduate degree in special education at Queens College. He acquired his first job out of Adelphi at IBM through a pilot program they had to help athletes, but he only remained there for two months because of the time commitment. Before graduating from Queens College, he had already begun teaching at Huntington High School.
After a long career in education, Walker retired a little over 10 years ago. However, remaining open to new opportunities, he became involved with A1 Universal Care, a non-profit agency that provides support to developmentally disabled individuals in Westbury. He believed that he would help out in a supervisory role for a few weeks, but weeks turned into months and then years. Walker retired from his job as a service coordinator supervisor and compliance officer just last year, 10 years after he first joined the organization.
Now living in Dix Hills, Walker said that he still maintains friendships with other Adelphi alumni, and he visits from time to time for Black History Month celebrations and Spirit Weekend.
Dennis’s Tips for Longevity, Preparedness and Enjoying the Ride:
- “Do your background work. If you’re approaching a career or job, do your due diligence. If you’re going for a job, know that company. Once you have that, you have to know your strengths and how you can use them in what you’re going towards.”
- “The other thing is being able to adapt, to understand that change is going to come inevitably. Education changes on a daily basis. We all have to keep learning.”
- “Develop your network. And, by developing your network, it’s not necessarily going out and getting cards from people, but your family, friends, coworkers, the people that are close to you – that’s your network. I still have people I developed friendships with at AU, and we communicate until today. It’s amazing how conversations with them will open doors and give you different ideas.”
- “Enjoy the experience. Travel, meet people, get out of your comfort zone and keep an open mind. Your career is not necessarily going to look like how it started out. You may be looking at one area, and you may end up totally somewhere else, but be open-minded to it, and you’ll be alright. It’ll be a fantastic ride.”
Originally published in the Delphian Vol.73 Issue 8 – With updates made by Alumni Relations
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