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Rock Island AD Cartee finally gets his break in education
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More photos from this shoot
Photo: Todd Mizener/tmizener@qconline.com

More photos from this shoot
Photo: Todd Mizener/tmizener@qconline.com

More photos from this shoot
Photo: Todd Mizener/tmizener@qconline.com
Chris Cartee, Rock Island High School athletic director, began his career as a police officer before becoming a teacher/coach and now an athletic director at Rock Island High School.
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ROCK ISLAND -- Chris Cartee walked away from Wartburg College with an education degree and plenty of high hopes. However, like many a college grad, he couldn't find a job in his field of choice.

"I wanted to be a physical education teacher and coach,'' Mr. Cartee said. "I wasn't getting any bites, and I knew I had to start making some money. I decided to look around and started taking police officer exams in that summer after my graduation.

"In August of that year, I was offered a job as a crisis interventionist in the Davenport School District, which I took. Still, I continued to pursue the law enforcement exams and, in November 1989, I was offered a position with the Cedar Falls Police Department. In January 1990, I started working there."

That didn't mean he lost his desire to teach and coach. In fact, he remained on as lead instructor for the Davenport schools' summer clinics and assistant baseball coach at Davenport Central.

Mr. Cartee remained in Cedar Falls for one year before taking a job at Per Mar for a couple of years. Then, he moved to the Bettendorf Police Department, where he found plenty of opportunities to use his teaching skills.

"The police job allowed me to stay in touch with education,'' he said. "I was an instructor in several areas and did a lot for field instruction, which is not a lot different from being in the classroom."

He also spent three years as a commander for the Quad-Cities Metropolitan Enforcement Group Unit. All the while, he was able to continue coaching his children and watch them grow up.

It was in his final year with the Bettendorf Police Department that Mr. Cartee finally got the break he was looking for.

"My last position with Bettendorf was as liaison officer at Bettendorf Middle School," he said. "I was at a crossroad in my life because I was No. 1 on the sergeant's list to be promoted, but being in a school made me start thinking about teaching and coaching again.

"I found out the guy whose job I was going to possibly get wasn't going to retire, so when a job came open in Bettendorf (schools) I took it. I'm so glad I made that decision."

The next school year, Mr. Cartee was offered a job being head baseball coach at Davenport West and a split teaching position between two Davenport elementary schools.

"I took that and never looked back at law enforcement," he said. "As soon as I got into teaching, I started working on my administrative degree. Once I got that, the athletic director's job at Davenport Central opened, and I got that.

"I had a great career in law enforcement. I was given some tremendous opportunities, and I have no complaints. At the same time, teaching and coaching was always my passion. Then, to have the opportunity at Central, that was like a dream come true. Here I was, a nine-time letter winner at Central, and now I'm running the athletic department."

The Davenport Central job was one he figured he'd never leave. However, two years ago, the job at Rock Island High School came open when Bob Swanson retired, and again, Mr. Cartee's interest was piqued.

"I really thought I'd be at Central for at least 20 years. It was the perfect place for me," Mr. Cartee said.

"Then, the job at Rocky opened up, and I couldn't help but go for it. ... Central is in Iowa, Rocky is in Illinois -- a great all-around athletic program with tremendous history and support. It was a new challenge for me, and I'm so glad I've been given this opportunity."







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  Today is Monday, April 21, the 111th day of 2014. There are 254 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The female sex seems to have gone crazy on the subject of dry goods. When high prices keep them from increasing their wardrobes, they turn to stealing. Yard goods, hats, shoes and other items are being picked up and carried home.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Members of Everts Commandery No. 18, Knights Templar, under Commander H.C. Cleaveland, marched from the Masonic Temple to Trinity Episcopal Church for their annual Easter services.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Nate Hultgren pitched the Augustana College baseball team to a 10-3 victory over Carthage, striking out 11 men and allowing only four hits.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Marvel Leonhardi, a Rock Island High School senior, was the winner of an essay contest on advertising sponsored by The Argus and Advertising Age, a national advertising publication.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Augustana College band drew a crowd of 1,200 people for its annual home concert in Centennial Hall. The size of the crowd was indicative of the fact the band is rapidly approaching the stature of the Augustana Choir.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A benefit to raise money for extracurricular activities in the Rock Island Milan School District will be April 27 at the Quad City Downs harness race track. People buying $17.50 tickets to the second annual "Night at the Quad City Downs" will be entitled to an evening of harness racing and dinner.






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