DEARBORN — Long-time physical education teacher, athletic director, basketball coach, and mentor Tommy Shamey was honored at Stout Middle School in Dearborn on Tuesday, Dec. 14 in a surprise ceremony at the Stout vs. Salina basketball game.
Longtime Stout gym teacher, athletic director, and basketball coach Tommy Shamey has helped mentor numerous Arab American students in their transition to Stout. PHOTO: Nafeh AbuNab/American Elite Studios
"I was totally surprised by this, it was completely unexpected," said Shamey, who retired in June of last year after 21 years at the school and 32 years overall in teaching.
"This man loves the city and teaching here, and he truly deserves this honor we are bestowing upon him," said Stout 8th grade teacher Sam Haddad. "For 32 years he has dedicated his life to helping kids through teaching, mentoring, and coaching."
School personnel also talked about how Shamey helped mentor kids from the south end of city, mostly Arab American, in their transition to Stout during a large influx of them before Salina brought back its junior high school classes in recent years. Currently according to Shamey, more Arab American kids have been coming from Maples Elementary School in Dearborn.
Shamey talked about the process of welcoming new kids.
"We wanted to hopefully make the transition much easier for them, to mentor them, keep them busy, to help them enjoy the school and to get them to mix with the other kids," he said.
Dearborn activist and former fire captain Don Unis, Shamey's brother, who has a school named after him in the district, said the honor was "well-deserved" and said that the Dearborn Public School's system is doing about as well as it can despite a lack of funding because of people like Shamey.
Stout Principal Julia Maconochie was also excited to see Shamey recognized.
"I've worked with him for ten years; he's given everything for the kids," she said.
Shamey said he was glad he picked his chosen profession because of the impact it allowed him to make.
"It's been a great life, and there's really nothing else I would have rather done."