Shawn Thacker sits down for a portrait in his home before leaving for work. Shawn's father died when he was 9 years old, and he leaned on members of the community for support during his schooling. "Morehead is a tight-knit community. Everyone is like a family," Shawn says. Shawn has been a leader and father figure to hundreds of kids in the area as a homebound instructor and coach.  

Shawn Thacker coaches the Rowan County Senior High School boys basketball team. Widely known among the community as "Coach," Shawn has worked for the Rowan County school system for 10 years. He also coaches track and cross country. 

Shawn stops by the library to see some members of his track team. Shawn currently splits his time between coaching basketball, cross country and track, as well as being a homebound instructor and a father. "a normal homebound instructor is assigned no more than 12 students except they gave me 10 because of my schedule," Shawn says. 

Shawn and his wife have been married for 27 years. Shawn and his wife curently work at Rown County Senior High School and have for the past 10 years. Shawn's wife is originally from Zimbabwe, South Africa and moved to Morehead, Ky., when she began college, that is also when the couple met. "I had a goal of being a single man and living out on a boat I would have been happy, but Ms. Thatcher decided to marry me," Shawn said.  

Shawn speaks with Laken Mcintosh (left) and mother Melissa Fultz (right) as he makes his weekly home visit. Laken was put into the homebound program after having gallbladder surgery, and she has been out of school since. Laken is currently in the 7th grade at Rowan County Middle School. 

Coach Shawn Thacker reads to Makenna Riddle during his weekly visit to her house. Makenna suffers from conditions that leave her nonverbal and unable to school. As a homebound instructor, Shawn has been visiting Makenna for three years. "She lights up when she sees Coach," Makenna's mother Mary Ann says. 

Shawn Thacker visits with Carter Stevens a 5th grade student in Rowan County. Carter stays with his grandmother Vivian Wagner (left) during the day to finish school work.Carter has been out due to anxiety and will resume attending school once a doctor has cleared him. 

Shawn talks with friends during the first annual Brewha which is a fundraiser for the local arts center. Shawn has become an essential part of the community.  "Morehead is a small town everyone here is like a family everyone is connected," Shawn said.  

Shawn has three children, two of which are still living at home. Shawn's middle son Tyler has followed in his footsteps and volunteers as a boys basketball coach for Rowan County Middle School. Outside of the home Shawn has helped over hundereds of children in the community through the homebound program. 

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