Stepping off the Mat and into the Front Office

A chat with Mr. Seaney

This year, wrestling coach and gym teacher Coach Seaney begins a new chapter after a sixteen year-run as a teacher. Dean Seaney now heads the schools as Cheyenne Mountain High School’s most recent and most beloved teacher turned administrator.

I sat down with him to learn about his early career, his time as a coach, his jump to dean, and more.

What is your favorite song?

“Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day” by Luke Bryan.


What is your favorite color?

I know this is weird, but probably black or gray. Just because it’s nice and neutral and goes with everything. 


What is your favorite movie?

 “A River Runs Through It” 


What did you study?

I studied Sports and Exercise Science, and Kinesiology with an emphasis in PE and Education. I graduated from UNC in 2006 then went straight into teaching. I taught PE at various levels, from sixth grade all the way through high school for 16 years. I decided to make the jump into administration. So here I am as a dean. Then, I had to get a masters degree in Educational Leadership to take a Principalship’s Licensure test for Colorado.


Why teach PE?

I loved sports and I loved coaching. Having grown up as an athlete, I always appreciated my coaches so I want to be a coach. I thought that was a good path for me to pursue both of those and loved every minute of it. I wouldn’t have changed anything over the last 16 years.


Do you still coach?

This would’ve been my 20th year coaching high school wrestling. Now I volunteer a little bit at the high school and with junior high and youth club (K through 12). I go to practices a couple times a week, and just check on them. I still care about the program a lot. I also announce for their home duels. When we divvy up the activity-supervision for administrators, I sign up for all the wrestling.


What is the biggest lesson you learned through coaching?

The power of perseverance and what athletes can do if they stick with something. It’s always hard to see a freshman go through a tough time, where they kind of get beat up a little bit or they’re not very good, and decide not to stick with it. A kid that goes through that but endures and perseveres can then become really good.


What is your favorite grade to teach?

I started as a middle school teacher and loved those kids. But then I went to a high school and I really just enjoyed the jump in maturity. I get to build better relationships because students are more on the same developmental level and can have better conversations. Like you and I having this conversation right now, that doesn’t happen at the junior high level. They’re not there yet. Even just walking in the halls and saying “Good Morning,” and kids saying “Good Morning to you, how are you?”


Biggest change from teacher to administrator?

It’s been a steep learning curve, so I’ve had to figure out the constant go go go and the responsibility of making sure that people in the building feel like they’re being supported and have the help they need like going from a strict routine of the bell schedule to wide-open. 


What about admin interested you? 

Well, my dad was a principal. He was actually my high school principal. Sometimes it was really rough, but sometimes it was really great. He knew everything that was going on with me all the time. But I liked that aspect of him because I saw him as someone that helped staff members and teachers along with kids as well. So, I thought it was neat to have the ability to work closer with some of the adults in the building versus just kids all the time.


What does being a dean entail? 

Discipline and attendance are the primary positions. Another thing is activity supervision. I do some of the activities and just make sure everybody’s good and everything’s safe. I also do get to do teacher evaluations.


What is the best part of being a dean? 

Probably the reactive kind of environment. I kind of enjoy that chaotic schedule versus the routine schedule. And definitely seeing kids that had struggles improve because of interactions and conversations we’ve had. That’s pretty fulfilling to see a kid that may not be on the right path to get back on the right path. I also love seeing my former students. I enjoyed them but it’s tough too, because I don’t get to spend a full period with lots of the kids that I really enjoyed teaching. But, I still like seeing them around and it’s good to keep those relationships going. 


What is your outlook as a dean?

I think I have a better understanding of when I have to deal with a kid that has had some behavior and/or attendance stuff come up, because I remember being there.  I wouldn’t say I was a bad kid, but I was a little bit ornery. I had to be a little bit rebellious to show that I wasn’t the goody two shoes principles kid. So, that has given me a huge amount of perspective.