Provided by Stephen Potecuk
This teacher can be found anywhere near a garden due to his love for horticulture, landscaping and agriculture. Guess who it is, yet? That’s right, Stephen Potucek. Although he may be a fresh face to some, Potucek has been in the Fauquier community for about 25 years.
He attended Virginia Tech for a degree in horticulture, landscaping and agriculture and worked in that field for 30 years. He is now taking his passion into the classroom. “My job as a teacher and coach is for students to fall in love with what I’m teaching. I want them to have fun and have an appreciation/love of landscaping & horticulture,” said Potucek.
During his time in Fauquier, Potucek has helped build the baseball concession stands, supported his kids during their attendance at FHS and recently helped make the turf fields by the tennis courts. He also coaches recreation leagues and has a motto. “In basketball, I ask my boys ‘What beats talent every day?’ I tell them, ‘Hard work.’…It’s true, outworking someone even if you’re not talented means more. I believe that hard work can get you anywhere,” said Potucek.
Due to his love of coaching Potucek added that “teaching was another step forward…On the court, there is a reward and I see the same with teaching.” His favorite part of teaching, especially this year, is the students. “I’m not tech-savvy. They tell me, ‘Mr. Potucek, you need to click this or do that.’ They could throw me off a cliff, and I would never know, but they don’t,” said Potucek.
Although Potucek could “landscape until [he’s] in a wheelchair,” he wants to help students find what they love. “Push on to college or the CTE field. Students need to find what [they] like, find out, go for it and don’t let anything stop you.”