‘The Time Has Come The Walrus Said’…To Wish McCartt A Happy Retirement


Courtesy of Steve McCartt

“I can’t help you now, I’m too tied up!” Steve McCartt, along with his daily antics, will be missed as he heads into retirement.

Madisun Tobisch, Editor-in-Chief

After a 35-year-long teaching career, Sedro-Woolley High School’s digital arts and yearbook teacher, daily pun provider, debate coach, and loudest voice in the halls, Steve McCartt, will be retiring.
McCartt spent the last 28 years teaching at SWHS, seeing wave after wave of new students, and new education standards. Over the years he has taught over 15 different classes, from English and Journalism, to Literature through Film and Drama. His years of teaching have shown him that the future of learning is seemingly more project based and hands-on.
“Creating a product like the newspaper or yearbook or doing a broadcast is real-world learning,” said McCartt.
McCartt spent his last years as SWHS’ resident media teacher, single handedly teaching Photography, Cinematography, Broadcasting, and Yearbook, while still coaching the Debate Club.
Freshman and debate member Emersen Wagner considers joining the Debate Club one of her best decisions. “Through going over tournament results and working on the same speech seven times McCartt helped me become more confident in my abilities, debate or not,” said Wagner.
President of the club and SWHS junior Emily Redling has been coached by McCartt for the last three years, all of which the team made it to State. “I feel so lucky to have had him as a coach and a teacher,” said Redling.
Through all his years as an education provider, McCartt describes his biggest takeaway as being the continuity of the youth.
“Kids are Kids. Kids still listen to bad music, they still want to hang out with friends, they want to be accepted by their peers, they want to be told they are loved and cared about, and despite their bravado, they are still kids and kids get hurt,” said McCartt.
For as many new faces McCartt encountered, he said farewell to just as many. “They [kids] grow up before your eyes from freshman year to senior year and they leave to go out and make their footprint on the world,” said McCartt. “You are so thankful you got to be a part of their lives for that short time.”
Former SWHS student Keegan Holdt was impacted by McCartt’s enthusiasm and confidence as a teacher. Holdt, whose work in photography and videography has led him to work for creators such as Maclemore, attributes McCartt as a source of inspiration for him.
“Not only did he help students feel comfortable telling their story, but he also offered support and care to any student who needed it,” said Holdt. “He was an amazing teacher and is an even more incredible person.” Holdt returned to SWHS in 2016 to film the annual lip dub which was set to Macklemore’s “Downtown.”
The decision to retire came before the school cancelations due to COVID-19. “Never in my wildest imaginings did I predict that this is the way I would finish my career, teaching from a computer and not being able to see my students on a regular basis,” said McCartt. Teaching a class that relies on computers and cameras have made McCartt’s final months interesting to say the least as he organizes distance learning procedures for his students.
The biggest let down for McCartt comes from not being able to say farewell to his students. “No last words, No handshakes or hugs, No goodbyes…just an empty classroom that I will one day turn off the lights in for the last time and then turn in my keys and walk away from SWHS,” said McCartt.
McCartt made an impact on most everyone at SWHS, including staff. History teacher Tom Rawlings believes McCartt was truly born to teach. Both began teaching at SWHS in 1992 and over the years, Rawlings says McCartt has left a lasting impression on the school.
“He has brought so many cool things to the high school that have become traditions and that have made this such a special place,” said Rawlings. “His positive influence on SWHS can’t be measured or replaced and the impact he has had with so many former students is his legacy.”
McCartt plans to make use of his free time by staying just as busy. “I live in Sedro-Woolley and I love it here, but it is now someone else’s turn to record the history of SWHS,” said McCartt, who will further his many hobbies including playing guitar, gaming, biking, cooking, painting, and building models, as well as spending more time with his wife, kids, and grandkids. “I am a very busy person. I was in my job and I will be when I retire,” said McCartt.
McCartt looks forward to the freedoms that retirement will offer him, but after playing a role in nearly every part of SWHS, there are plenty of things that he will miss including broadcasting events, filming the annual lip dub, and creating the yearbook.
“I will miss yelling puns as students pass by my classroom, I will miss my colleagues… even Mr. Jensen,” said McCartt.
Interacting with his students will be what he misses the most. “I will miss hearing my name a hundred times a day from all the kids that passed through my life,” said McCartt. “The absence of those voices will be a deafening silence.”

2019 Lip Dub

2018 Lip Dub

2017 Lip Dub

2016 Lip Dub