This summer will be a homecoming of sorts for Pleon's new program director, Brad Carpenter. Brad spent a summer as a Pleon instructor when he was in college and has been teaching and coaching secondary school-age children for the past 20 years.
"I was at Pleon the summer of '88 as a team coach when I was in school at Connecticut College," says Brad. "It was just a fantastic summer. I look back at my time there and think that there is no better place for a kid to be than Pleon."
Since graduating college, Brad has been teaching English and coaching sports at some of Connecticut's most prestigious preparatory schools, including Greenwich Academy and Choate Rosemary Hall, where he was the varsity sailing coach. He is currently a teacher at Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Connecticut where he also coaches soccer, squash and lacrosse.
The academic schedule has enabled Brad to pursue his passion for coaching junior sailing during the summer months. For the past two years, he has been the Head 420 coach at a camp in Brewster, Mass. Before that, he was the sailing program director at several New England yacht clubs including Tarratine Club in Dark Harbor, Maine, and Scituate Harbor Yacht Club, as well as instructing sailing at Hingham Yacht Club and Boston Sailing Center.
"I really became a teacher because of the sailing coaches I had as a kid at a camp in Orleans," Brad reminisces. "I was always watching how they taught me things, and when I started taking on the role as a junior instructor, I found the teaching aspect incredibly rewarding."
According to Pleon Board Member Bill Lynn, Brad's dedication to developing kids through sailing and his affinity for Pleon and the Marblehead sailing community landed him the Pleon program director job. "Brad's passion and energy are just as impressive as his experience," noted Lynn. "He knows Pleon from actually having instructed here and brings so much insight from years of teaching and coaching. The program has been on a real upswing over the past few years and I think Brad is exactly the right addition to keep up the momentum. This is a real win for Pleon."
Brad is coming to the club at an eventful time in its history. Pleon hosted US Sailing's Chubb U.S. Junior Championships last summer, just two months after opening a new clubhouse. The organization is continuing fundraising efforts to pay for that new construction and is scheduled to host the US Junior Olympic Sailing Festival in August 2010 in addition to Marblehead Junior Race Week in July. Both events draw hundreds of young sailboat racers and require a tremendous amount of resources.