Robert Goetschkes: Education Expert and Philanthropic Professional
With an impressive 25 years of firsthand experience in classroom management and instruction, Robert Goetschkes has established himself as an expert in the field of education. Throughout his career, he has cultivated diverse skills, including curriculum development for public schools, innovative teaching methodologies, and the ability to foster strong connections with students.
A Journey in Education
Growing up in Mahopac, a suburban community near New York City, Goetschkes drew inspiration from his father, who served as both a firefighter and a plumber. His father's heroism motivated him to become a part of something greater, leading him to join the Coast Guard during the first Gulf War.
Goetschkes graduated from Mahopac High School in New York City in 1984. He furthered his education at SUNY Oneonta, where he pursued studies in history, economics, and foil fencing, graduating in 1988. His passion for education led him to earn a Master of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and a Field Endorsement in Secondary Social Sciences.
Throughout his educational journey, Goetschkes displayed immense determination. Working three part-time jobs year-round and financing his college education independently, he exemplified a can-do attitude that accompanied him during his education and throughout his 11-year service in the U.S. Coast Guard. In recognition of his achievements, he gained entrance into the prestigious Alpha Sigma Lambda Honors Fraternity in 2002.
Expanding Horizons and Impact
Following college, Goetschkes sought to extend his education beyond U.S. borders by joining the U.S. Peace Corps. For two and a half years, he lived and served in Tonga, engaging in community-based service that allowed him to forge connections, build relationships, and give back to the global community. Alongside his service, he embarked on journeys to India, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji, broadening his perspective and enriching his ability to shape the minds of countless students during his 25-year teaching career.
Teaching Accomplishments and Military Recognition
Having signed up for service with the U.S. Coast Guard during the first Gulf War, Robert Goetschkes earned several notable honors and awards for his dedication. These include the USO General Dynamics Community Service Award in 1995, the Navy League Award for Outstanding Military Service in 1996, two consecutive Good Conduct Awards from the USCG in 2000, and the National Ski Patrol 10-Year Service Award in 2017. Goetschkes treasures his military medals and awards, recognizing their significance in shaping his identity.
Beyond his military service, Goetschkes received recognition for his hard work and devoted service in various contexts. Notably, he received a Certificate of Appreciation for Peace Corps Service from President Bush in 1992. Additionally, he was honored with the National Ski Patrol 10-Year Service Award in 2017, the Knights of Aksarben Good Neighbor Award in 2012, and the Teacher of the Year Award from the Norwin School District in 2006.
Leading with Purpose
Currently, Goetschkes brings his critical thinking skills and passion for efficiency to his full-time position with the Leeward Light Charitable Foundation as a warehousing professional. The Leeward Light Charitable Foundation is a nonprofit organization that operates charitable thrift stores across New England. Profits generated by these stores are channeled back into the community through donations to various philanthropic organizations and foundations. Although Goetschkes is retired from teaching, his desire to remain active and continue making a meaningful impact on the community led him to this role. Since 2009, the Leeward Light Charitable Foundation has donated over $3 million to support local charities in New England, with a mission centered on providing food, clothing, and comfort to community members in need.
Family and Community Focus
Following his honorable discharge from the Coast Guard after an 11-year tenure, Robert Goetschkes embraced family life, marrying and starting his own family. As a father, he firmly believes education and service are pillars for creating a lasting legacy.
In addition to his accomplishments as an educator and decorated veteran, Goetschkes dedicated his time to several community programs. For five years, he actively served in the Red Cross Disaster Services Department, playing a vital role in providing immediate relief to communities affected by natural disasters. His efforts were paramount to ensuring access to essential resources such as food, water, and shelter.
Furthermore, Goetschkes demonstrated his commitment to public education by working closely with the Henry Doorly Zoo as an aquarium diver for five years. Leveraging the skills he acquired in the U.S. Coast Guard, he contributed to the maintenance and growth of aquarium programs.
In his personal life, Goetschkes maintains an unwavering love for learning. Whether indulging in writing, fly fishing, disc golf, cooking, or bird watching, he approaches his pursuits with the passion that fuels his teaching career. He earned certification as a Certified Sous Chef with the American Culinary Federation. Furthermore, Goetschkes delights in engaging in outdoor activities with friends and family. His childhood experiences of vacationing in the Adirondack Mountains kindled his deep appreciation for winter sports. When not at home engrossed in a game of backgammon or creating culinary masterpieces, he can be found skiing, kayaking, mountain biking, surfing, sailing, or scuba diving.
Robert Goetschkes exemplifies a remarkable individual whose dedication, service, and commitment to philanthropy have left a profound impact on education, the community, and personal pursuits.