Ever since high school, Charles Beusse knew he wanted to be a teacher. The Dawson County alum graduated from the University of North Georgia in 2012 and has been teaching at his alma mater ever since.
For the past four years, Beusse has taught eighth grade English in the Exceptional Children program at the junior high school, but starting last year he took on a new role: Instructional technology coach.
He works alongside teachers to do professional development and assists teachers through the use of technology and lessons. The position was created last year through the 1:1 iPad initiative.
“The role that I have this year is very similar in a lot of ways to coaching with cross country because I’m trying to help motivate people and help give teachers the tools they need to be successful,” said Beusse. “I think the instructional technology coach – that’s the right term for it because there’s a lot of overlap between the two.”
When he’s not coaching teachers with technology, he’s motivating his cross country team. Last year he was named state coach of the year in Class AAA by the Georgia Track and Field Coaches Association.
“I mean that’s something that had never been on my radar before so it was very – I was very humbled by it by the fact that it’s something that’s voted by on other coaches and the state and just the fact that they thought enough of me and what the team did this year to recognize me,” said Beusse.
In the five years that Beusse has led the cross country program, the teams have seen great success. The boys cross country team has won three region championships, were top three in the state twice and were state runner-ups this past season. The girls cross country team has also won three region championships, been top five in the state five times and on the podium at state once.
Beusse has also been named region 7-AAA coach of the year three different times.
He doesn’t take credit though.
“We’ve just been very fortunate to have a lot of really great kids that have come through the program over the last five years,” Beusse said.
For Beusse, he hopes his kids take away life lessons they can carry with them beyond the sport. One of the biggest lessons he wants his athletes to learn: A strong work ethic.
“It’s very much one of those sports where you’re going to get out what you put in,” said Beusse. “Kids over the course of a year see that getting out there every day and putting in a hard day’s work will lead to something bigger.”
It’s a lesson Beusse has seen kids carry over into their academics as well and hopes they will carry it with them into their college careers and the workforce.
Beusse also has big goals to expand the program throughout the county. When he first began coaching, there was only a high school cross country program for ninth through 12th grade. Beusse has worked to expand the program to middle school students and hopes to get more involvement from the elementary schools.
Currently, the elementary schools participate in marathon clubs with the PE teachers with the hope the program will continue to flourish in the county.
“At the end of the day one thing we are really trying to promote is just lifelong fitness in our community,” said Beusse. “We feel like it’s a really great way to do it and cross country is a little different than most sports because …you can run your entire life – we really try to focus on and try to promote that with the kids because we feel like it’s something they can take further.”
Beusse is a member of Bethel Baptist Church but he splits his time with Liberty Baptist Church as well. He’s been a member of the choir at Bethel Baptist and has helped with youth groups. He married his wife Katie two years ago. She works at Forsyth County Schools.