Joshua Sullivan found his calling as a coach [Fulton/Highland]

Joshua Sullivan came to Reservoir High School in 2004, where as a special education teacher he has pursued his love of coaching.
Joshua Sullivan came to Reservoir High School in 2004, where as a special education teacher he has pursued his love of coaching. (submitted photo)

It's interesting to ask a teacher or a coach how they came to be where they are today. This week's person on "the hot seat" is Joshua Sullivan, a special education assistant at Reservoir High School.

Josh is a New Yorker, born on Long Island, but at age 3 his folks moved to Ellicott City. He grew up in the Glenelg area and was educated through the Howard County school system.


His sports of choice were baseball, basketball and soccer, which he played competitively all through his high school and college career. He graduated from River Hill High in 2000.

In Elon, N.C., he attended Elon University, where he majored in psychology and political science and graduated in 2003. A North Carolina high school is also where he got his start in coaching as a JV baseball coach. He found that he really liked coaching. After graduation, he was not sure if he was ready for law school so he decided to try his hand as a substitute teacher. And to coin a phrase, "the rest is history".


Josh came to Reservoir as a long-term sub in 2004 and was hired shortly thereafter as a special education teacher. He has since gotten a master's degree in teaching through Towson University and completed his administration and supervision certification through McDaniel College.

He has been working with varsity coach Adam Leader in some capacity for the past 10 years. Seven years ago, Josh took over the girls varsity soccer program.

Working closely with the boys coach Paul Linkins, they established a joint soccer program that has fared extremely well — three state championships in four years plus multiple regional championships.

Josh wrote, "Seeing the students and community embrace the programs has been rewarding. It's been wonderful to work with and continue to try and incorporate our philosophies of coaching and collaboration with both programs."

He credits his parents Ray and Barbara for the success he has had in his life and career. He also credits his brother Ray the Third who, being six years older let the little brother tag along.

He wrote, "I'm sure I probably annoyed the heck out of them back then, but he and the others were always letting me be a part of what they were playing and didn't take it easy on me".

Josh can't point to any single event that put him on his current career trajectory. "I think I just followed my heart. I love working with people, students, coaching, competing, etc, everything that comes with this job."

Let me close with his response to my question about what he'd like folks to know about him: "I think the community or folks who know me, understand that I just really care about our students, this school, and its well-being. I feel much supported here and I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities that I've had here".

There have been a few staffing changes at Fulton Elementary School. At the top, there's the new principal Sharon Lewandowski who comes from Bollman Bridge Elementary School. Then, there are the following new teachers: Sarah Callanan, special education teacher; Alyssa Jaffe, second grade teacher; Kara Traub, third grade teacher, Laura Thompson, fourth grade teacher; and Josh Griffis, physical education teacher. Welcome to the Fulton community.

Then, there's those that have left: Lisa Martinez, special education teacher, and Andrea Collins, second grade teacher. They both transferred to St. John's Lane Elementary. Jeff Jacavage resigned from the school system and relocated to Pennsylvania. We wish you all the best in the next great adventure of your lives.

This is your last chance to get a spot at the annual St. Francis community yard sale this Saturday, Sept. 6. Twenty bucks will still get you two standard parking spaces. For more information, contact Christine Prada-Schultz, cmps0727@gmail.com or Dottie Demos, dmdemos@verizon.net.

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