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No one could ever call Shawn Kapusinsky a late bloomer.

In the seventh grade, he was already a varsity athlete, a member of the golf team at North Rockland High School.

It was just the start of a long and varied career as a varsity athlete.

He was so accomplished that at the end of his second golf season, he became North Rockland’s first-ever eighth grader to be selected to the All-County first team. He finished that season undefeated in Rockland County individual match play.

Also as an eighth grader, he added a second varsity sport, joining the varsity tennis team.

And it just kept getting better.

Five-Year Reign in Golf

For five seasons, right through to senior year, Shawn was the Red Raiders’ top golfer, a five-time first team All-County selection and a four-time All-Section selection.

As a ninth-grade golfer, he placed second in Section 9, which covered Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties.

As a sophomore, he placed fifth in the New York State golf championships to go along with finishes in 13th and 8th place in two other state championship appearances.

Shawn also had a second-place finish in the South Atlantic Junior Championship, composed of the top junior golfers on the East Coast. In the process he beat both the Maryland and Virginia junior champions. Four times, Shawn won the Metropolitan Regional Qualifier for the Insurance Youth Golf Classic.

As a junior, Shawn added winning the Section 1 Conference A Qualifier and then won the Sectional championship against Section 1, including Rockland and Westchester.

As a senior he was one of three golfers statewide to qualify for the National Insurance Youth Golf Classic, which pits the top three youth golfers from each state against each other.

Shawn also has a Metropolitan Golf Assoc. Junior Summer League championship to his credit.

Along the way, Shawn reaped the benefit of having two legendary coaches, Joe D’Auria and Ralph Cordisco, both of whom are enshrined in the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame.

“It was a pleasure coaching Shawn because he was very teachable and had a great concentration level and a positive attitude,” Coach D’Auria wrote in supporting Shawn’s nomination. “Shawn was the best golfer I coached at North Rockland High School,” he added.

A Man for All Seasons

What’s just as remarkable as Shawn’s golf success is his athletic versatility.

Shawn won six varsity letters in golf but added another five as a skier and four more from eighth to 11th grades competing in doubles on the tennis team.

On the ski slopes, Shawn was selected to the All-League and All-Section 1 ski teams as a junior and won two ski meets as a senior. In addition to his slalom and giant slalom racing, Shawn competed in freestyle moguls at Gore Mountain and Smuggler’s Notch where he took first place.

In his senior year at North Rockland, Shawn was honored by selection as a Journal-News Scholar-Athlete of the Week in recognition of his athletic prowess, membership in the National Honor Society and participation with Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse.

Naturally enough, Shawn continued swinging his clubs for three golf seasons at Penn State University, where he earned a B.S. in secondary education in biology and general science in 1991. Two years later he earned his master’s in environmental sciences from CCNY.

Paying It Forward

It’s also no surprise that sports remain a thread running through his life as a parent, teacher and coach.

Shawn and his wife, Chandra, who is also a teacher, live in Tomkins Cove where they raised their three now-adult children – Carly, 23, Jamie, 19, and son Logan, 17.

Just as his father, Gerry Kapusinsky did, Shawn taught his children to golf, ski and play tennis. All three attended North Rockland High School and became outstanding scholar athletes in their own right. All three captained their Red Raider teams – Carly, tennis and golf; Jamie, tennis and skiing; and Logan, baseball.

By virtue of his long career in teaching and coaching, Shawn has shared both his athletic skills, knowledge and passion with countless students. During his more than three decades as a biology and AP environmental science teacher at Spring Valley High School, he has also coached both the boys’ and girls’ golf teams there. He also served as the varsity coach for the North Rockland High School boys’ and girls’ ski teams. Shawn also served as assistant golf pro at the U.S. Military Academy golf course at West Point and at the Philip Rotella Memorial Golf Course, where he conducted clinics for youth golfers.

In the process, Shawn has emphasized the value of both golf and skiing as sports that provide a lifetime of recreation, fun and fitness.

Throughout his adult years, Shawn has also devoted himself to his students, local families and community organizations. He coached in Stony Point Little League, the North Rockland Soccer Association and CYO, volunteered with Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts and participated in drug awareness seminars, Elks Club programs for underprivileged youth and various charity drives.

Tonight, Shawn builds on a family tradition and joins his father Gerry and Uncle Hank, both standout multi-sport athletes at Haverstraw High School, as a member of the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame.