John F. Kennedy was president when a freshman from Ybor City named Joe Sabin enrolled at Jesuit High School in 1962.
When Sabin first started teaching math at Jesuit in 1971, Richard Nixon occupied the White House, and a loaf of bread cost a quarter.
Wednesday (April 29) in St. Anthony’s Chapel before the entire student body and staff, Sabin and longtime friend and colleague Ernie Charette ’63 reminisced about Sabin’s distinguished career at a special Convocation to celebrate Sabin’s retirement from Jesuit.
From Jesuit student to math teacher to guidance counselor to first lay alumnus principal in school history to longest-tenured principal (eight years, 2003-11) in Jesuit annals, to coming full circle and teaching math again these past four years, Joe Sabin ’66 has been inextricably intertwined with Jesuit High School for the better part of the past 53 years.
Charette, who teaches English at Jesuit and also joined the faculty in 1971, spoke about the parallel lives he and Sabin have led, sharing the same high school, college (University of South Florida), and professional paths.
Charette read some testimonials culled from Facebook posts about the influence Sabin has had on Jesuit students, though his kindness, care, and wisdom. One wrote about Sabin changing his life by guiding him to the proper college. Another alum said Sabin’s teaching style left such a strong impression on him that he believes he passed Sabin’s influence down to his own son, who is now becoming a math teacher.
Upon retirement, Sabin indicated he wants to travel, rummage through his home, and do those things he hasn’t had time to do. He joked that his impending retirement began to sink in when a doctor’s assistant recently called to schedule his appointment for this fall, and he didn’t have to check his schedule to see when he might be able to fit it in.
Below is an excerpt of the introduction from Wednesday’s Convocation by Jesuit president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. Below that is a photo gallery (click here), and please click here to watch video of the event on the Jesuit YouTube channel.
For more than four decades, Joe Sabin has been the epitome of a dedicated and loyal alumnus, staff member, faculty, and administrator of Jesuit High School.
A graduate from the class of 1966, Mr. Sabin was actively involved during his time as a student here, participating in Student Council and The Tiger student newspaper, for which he served as Editor his senior year. He was also involved in the Quill and Scroll Society as well as the Sodality. ...
… He served as guidance department head until 2003, when he became the first lay alumnus to be principal of Jesuit High School, a position he held until 2011 –a span that secured his legacy, making him the longest tenured principal in the school's 115-year history. ... Throughout his time as a Jesuit staff member, he has devoted himself without reservation to the good of the school and the student body.
Mr. Sabin is an outstanding example of a “Man for Others,” and we have truly been privileged that he has shared his talents with us all. Joe, on behalf of the entire student body, faculty, staff and alumni of Jesuit High School, I thank you for your loyal and dedicated service to the school. We will miss you, but we know that even as you enjoy your much-deserved retirement, you will continue to be a supporter and presence at Jesuit High School events.
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