This article is the fifth of a summer series of "Get to Know" sessions with various high school and middle school coaches in Dawson County.
Each week a coach will be featured answering questions about their personal lives and coaching careers.
This interview is with Dawson County Coach Charles Beusse.
Beusse recently finished his first year as a teacher at Dawson County Middle School and a coach at Dawson County High School. Beusse is also a graduate of Dawson County High School.
Tell me about your ties to Dawson County High School.
I am a 2008 graduate of Dawson County High School. During my time there, I participated in cross country, track and baseball. I grew up in Dawson County and I have lived here almost my entire life.
How was your first year as cross country coach at the high school?
My first season as cross country coach at Dawson County High was an awesome experience. Being able to coach, especially at my alma mater, was a dream come true for me and an experience I'll never forget. The program at the high school means a lot to me and I'm beyond blessed to have the opportunity to help the program improve, as well as invest in the lives of runners, just as so many coaches did for me.
Where did you attend college?
I attended North Georgia College & State University (now University of North Georgia) and graduated in the fall of 2012.
What were your academic and athletic accomplishments at in college?
During my time at NGCSU, I was a member of both the cross country and track teams. I was named an all-conference academic athlete twice, served as captain of the cross country team, and was selected as the NGCSU athlete of the week.
What are your goals for cross country at Dawson County High School this season?
My goals for both the boys and girls teams in 2014 are simple: We want to improve. Our placement in region and state last year were decent, but our goal is to improve on those performances this season and move one step closer to building a championship program that is capable of contending for state titles.
Who influenced you the most to be a teacher and/or coach?
From an academic standpoint, Robin Chapman, who still teaches at Dawson County High, played a big role in my decision to pursue a degree in history education.
She made learning fun and her classes first got me interested in pursuing a career in education.
As a coach, there are two men, George Graves and Tom Williams, who influenced me to become a coach.
George served as a community coach for cross country when I was in high school and there's no doubt in my mind that without his encouragement I never would have succeeded as a runner. We are fortunate enough that he still works with the program today.
Tom Williams coached me at NGCSU. He is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to running and he has had immense success as a coach at Walton High School and UNG.
Coach Williams and I stay in contact frequently and he has helped me greatly in making a smooth transition into being a head coach.
What is your degree?
I hold a Bachelors Degree in Secondary History Education and plan to begin my master's degree soon.
What do you teach at Dawson County Middle School?
I serve as a special education teacher, focusing primarily on language arts.
How do you balance teaching and coaching?
Balancing teaching and coaching can be tricky at times, especially during the season, but I think the key is simply time management. I try to prioritize, do lots of work on the weekends, and do my best to never let my coaching negatively impact my teaching and vice versa.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy being outside whether it's hiking, hunting or fishing. I also continue to run myself and do cross fit. I'm a very competitive person and cross fit has given me a way to continue to compete past my days as a college athlete by going to competitions and has also helped me explore new areas of fitness such as Olympic lifting.
What is an interesting fact about you that no one knows?
I'm a huge history nerd. I love traveling to historic sites and national parks and museums.
What is your favorite college team/sport and why?
I'm a huge University of Georgia football fan. My parents both attended UGA and my dad retired from the University System. We have gotten season tickets since I was a kid and some of my earliest memories are of going to UGA games with my dad.
Who is the most famous person you have every met? Where? Why?
I met former President Jimmy Carter once in Plains, Ga. We were passing through town and saw him painting a building downtown. We stopped and were able to talk to him and get some pictures with him. I've also been able to meet several Olympians such as Nick Symmonds, Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury at various running events.
If there were anything you would like to do, what would it be?
I'd love to coach cross country at the collegiate level one day. Before that, I'd love to see a cross country state championship at DCHS.
What is the most unusual place you have every traveled to and why?
I've been fortunate to travel to Oregon twice and see some of the best track runners in the country compete. I've also been able to travel to and run at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, which was a dream come true for me.