Written By: Mathilde Requier
Having recently transferred to Newport Harbor from Orange Lutheran High School, Andrew Mabry is much more than your typical American history teacher. It isn’t a coincidence he was born on July fourth. Being a military brat, his passion for American history stems from his childhood, as he moved over five times before the seventh grade.
“My first memory encountering American history was probably when I was a little kid. My dad was in the military so, by just growing up on military bases, listening to the history and being aware of it, I learned a lot about the patriotism surrounding it,” Mabry said.
Later, his eagerness for working with young people came to Mabry in high school, through his volunteer work and coaching. However, it wouldn’t be until college that he would choose this passion as his career.
“It wasn’t until I was about twenty-one, in the midpoint of college, that I realized [working with kids] is the way of life for me … I later graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in history.” Mabry said.
Following in his family’s footsteps, Mabry recently joined the Sailor community. Both his stepbrother, Garrett Govaars, and his wife, Taylor Mabry, have worked at the school for over a decade, as well as being Harbor alumni.
“Our family has a great connection to this school and community. There’s a great athletic tradition here, a great tradition of high academics and a great community. This is just a great place to be a part of,” Mabry said.
Aside from being a teacher, Mabry has risen in his first year as both the girls’ and boys’ volleyball coach. Around the third grade, he started playing volleyball in his home in Hawaii, marking the start of his never-ending love for the sport. He would later go on to coach at Edison High School, where he is an alumnus, leading on a victorious season from which emerged a true passion for coaching.
“In my first year of coaching, we went to the CF championship with the varsity team, which was a great experience. I was also working with the Junior Varsity team and we also won a league championship with them. It kind of hooked me ever since,” Mabry said.
With the girl’s volleyball season over, Mabry has high hopes for the incoming boy’s volleyball season and next year’s girls’ volleyball season. He hopes to keep on building the teams, affirming there is a lot of talent in Harbor’s volleyball program. For him, however, coaching at Harbor has not only been about winning and losing. He admires the team dynamic of the sport, but, most importantly, the school spirit of the Sailor community.
“The atmosphere, especially at this school, in a volleyball match that’s high-level and high-intensity, is probably the best atmosphere in southern California. Our gym, when it’s packed and the game is intense and tight, is a great thing to be a part of,” Mabry said.
With the full year ahead, Mabry is excited to be a part of the community. Being an AP and Honors US history teacher, he is aware that high school is hard, but hopes that students enjoy their high school experience.
“My one piece of advice for students is to try to enjoy every day, treat people with kindness and respect because it always comes back around. The more organized and diligent you are now, it will pay dividends for you later in life,” Mabry said.