Moorestown’s newest athletic director ready to step up to bat

Shawn Counard is excited to join the Moorestown community as its newest athletic director and supervisor of health and physical education.

Shawn Counard said he grew up around the Moorestown community and taught near it for years all the while hearing about the overwhelming sense of community support for the local school district. Come July, Counard is excited to join that community as he steps into the role of Moorestown’s athletic director and supervisor of health and physical education.

“It’ll be nice to be part of that culture that really has a tremendous amount of pride in their academics and their athletics,” Counard said.

Counard spent his childhood in Mount Laurel and attended Lenape High School. Growing up, his father coached athletics, and he knew he wanted to follow in his footsteps. In high school, Counard played football and baseball before attending Rowan University where he played baseball for four years.

Upon graduating, Counard took on a one-year position teaching history at Eastern Regional High School, filling the vacancy of a teacher who was in the reserves and had been called to Iraq. After departing Eastern, Counard was offered a permanent teaching position at Delran High School, where he taught for eight years.

In 2017, Counard moved to the Florence school district where he currently serves as the district’s athletic director, assistant principal and district testing coordinator. Along the way, Counard was always coaching, working as the head baseball coach at Florence, coaching baseball at the middle and high school levels in Delran and even logging time as a baseball coach at Eastern during his time there.

“I always wanted to coach; it’s kind of the reason why I chose education,” Counard said. “I wanted to teach kids. I wanted to influence their lives inside and outside of the classroom and also on the field.”

Counard said he came to know Moorestown’s previous athletic director, Neil Rosa, from meeting him at Burlington County Scholastic League conferences. He said his unexpected passing in December sent ripples throughout the Burlington County athletics community.

When Counard learned that Moorestown was seeking to fill the position, he knew he wanted to help continue Rosa’s legacy.

“I thought that I could maybe step in and try to continue the success that he’s had,” Counard said.

The decision to go from assistant principal to a supervisor was something Counard and his wife discussed at length, but, ultimately, he felt that as supervisor of physical education, he would still get to have the daily interactions with students, which is what he enjoys most about his assistant principal position.

Effective July 1, Counard will transition into the Moorestown community. He said once he gets there, he wants to get a feel for how Rosa was running the department and adjust things from there if necessary. He said as supervisor of health and physical education, he will evaluate all of the physical education teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade. He said he will be in charge of the physical education curriculum and making sure the department remains up-to-date.

In terms of what Counard hopes to bring to his new role, he said he hopes to place a greater emphasis on student achievement and recognizing athletes through social media. He said the Florence school district has an athletics Facebook page and Twitter account to spotlight students, and he hopes to do something similar at Moorestown. He said he always hopes to highlight athletic achievements at school board meetings.

Superintendent Scott McCartney said the district was fortunate to have many talented candidates apply for the position. He said he was impressed by Counard’s “sincere approach” to working with student athletes and his enthusiasm for the dual role.

“Mr. Counard clearly aligned with the work we are doing in Moorestown Township and his passion for working with teachers, coaches and students in the classroom and on the field was clear in the interview process,” McCartney said. “We are looking forward to working with Mr. Counard as he builds upon, or as I like to say in Moorestown, ‘reframes,’ the great work already in place and defines his legacy.”