Adapting the High School Performing Arts Program
Brian Horigan Retires
Brian Horigan retired at the end of this school year after a long career as a teacher, coach and mentor at ANC.
In 1974 Brian graduated from the Boys School, where he had been a resident of Stuart Hall. After earning degrees from Bryn Athyn College and the University of Waterloo, and a stint on the oil rigs of Alberta, he was hired by the Academy as a teacher of Physical Education. That was 40 years ago.
In the four decades since, Brian has become an “institution” at ANC, a word Principal Irwin used to describe what Brian has meant to the Academy. A calm and commanding presence, generally quiet but not afraid to speak out to colleagues and students on behalf of the principles to which ANC is dedicated.
Brian recalls that, like many new teachers, he worked a heavy schedule. In addition to a full slot of Physical Education at ANC, he taught P.E. in the Bryn Athyn Church School as well. Over the course of the years, Brian taught a number of courses and filled any number of additional duties. With his mustachios and piercing look, he was a regular support to his players, on the field or rinkside. Whether they needed praise or a little correcting, his teams could reliably find it in Coach Horigan.
One of the things countless graduates of Mr. Horigan’s Health classes will remember is the requirement to memorize the list of moral virtues. Brian understood that teenage boys, in order to truly learn the moral virtues, must first learn that there are moral virtues and learn what they are. His mentoring in and out of the classroom modeled for the students what a moral man is.
After his retirement from the Academy, Brian looks forward to more time for reading; getting plenty of exercise; possibly returning to a passion for fine woodworking; traveling with his high school sweetheart, Leslie, both abroad and to visit his children; and perhaps a part-time job to maintain the sense of usefulness and duty that have been a hallmark of his life thus far.
In his Yearbook article, Brian’s ambition was listed as “To be Successful.” That is an appropriate ambition, particularly for a high school senior. Looking back through 40 years of teaching, coaching, mentoring, and modeling, it is safe to say that it is an ambition fulfilled.
View Brian's Commencement Address to the Class of 2020 below: