Tyson finds himself at home in state|Educator takes on drafting program, athletics programs

Published 5:42 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2009

By By KEVIN SCOTT CUTLER Lifestyles & Features Editor
PINETOWN — Although Kenneth Tyson is new to Northside High School, he’s already fallen in love with the area.
“I’ve always liked North Carolina,” he said. “There’s good weather, good sports and the education system is good.”
Tyson joined the Northside faculty this year as drafting teacher. It’s his first teaching job, but he has a wealth of experience in the subject because he worked as an engineer and designer for a power-and-utilities company in Connecticut.
He also has an extensive background working with youth, having coached track and field on the high-school level for several years. He was responsible for both the indoor- and outdoor-track sports and took on the boys and girls teams.
“Because of that, and with my job as a drafter, I decided I was going to become an educator,” Tyson said. “I got a job interview based on my design resume and became certified as a drafting teacher in Connecticut. I did a crash course to become teaching-certified.”
Tyson interviewed for the Northside position in mid-July, learned he had been hired a few days later and shortly afterward became certified for teaching in North Carolina.
Tyson was born and raised in St. Kitts and Nevis in the British Virgin Islands. He moved with his family to New York when he was 5 years old, and later he relocated to Connecticut. From 1980 to 1986, he served in the Navy, stationed aboard the USS Comte-Grasse based in Norfolk, Va.
After leaving the service, he worked as a mechanic at a manufacturing firm and took on an electrical apprenticeship and enrolled in trade courses.
Tyson brings to Northside High School his love of sports. He was All-City, All-League and All-State in track and field in high school, and he played football for two years. He set sports records while in high school.
“It took a professional athlete to break my hurdle record, and I actually coached him in breaking my record,” Tyson said.
For 21 years, he played and coached in the Waterbury Football League, and he served as its commissioner for eight years.
He’s volunteered his time and talents to help with the football program at Northside, and he’s interested in assisting with the track-and-field program as well.
Tyson is the father of two children, 20-year-old Quinton, who’s a junior studying criminal justice at Benedict College in South Carolina, and 17-year-old Jazmin, a recent high-school honors graduate now enrolled at Southern Connecticut State University. Jazmin was a recipient of the distinguished Christa McAuliffe Scholarship, presented to an outstanding student planning to pursue a teaching career.
“It was a very proud moment,” Tyson said.
He resides in downtown Washington, and even though his school days are often long — he arrives in the classroom around 7 a.m. and doesn’t finish with football practice until 7 p.m. — he enjoys going to the beach, cooking and photography in his spare time.
Tyson thinks he has something to offer Northside and its students.
“I bring my enthusiasm and my drafting background, and I bring my football knowledge and my trade skills to Northside High School,” he said. “Whatever I do, I let the students know it’s relative to the real world. I’m trying to get the kids to be young adults, and I want them to get an understanding of life and the lesson plan.”