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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, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.




(More History)