‘Pathfinder’ a Journey from the Heart of Worcester to Striving for Educational Equity in Charleston

by | Sep 21, 2020 | Headlines, Arts, Sports

WORCESTER – If you grew up in Worcester, you may remember Charlie’s Surplus on Water St., store owner Charlie Epstein and his race, Charlie’s 10-Mile Road Race.

You may also remember Charlie’s #1 fan, his son, Mark “Pathfinder” Epstein.

For the past 32 years, Mark Epstein has lived in South Carolina and worked as an educator and coach in the Charleston school system.

Next month, Epstein will release his memoir, They Call Me Pathfinder: A True Story of One Man’s Mission to Improve Education in South Carolina — a nearly 200-page account of growing up in Worcester, his life in Charleston and his love of teaching and coaching basketball, and the constant striving for educational equity in South Carolina.

Epstein gave ThisWeekinWorcester.com an early copy of They Call Me Pathfinder and allowed us to release an excerpt from his story to our readers.

What follows is an excerpt from Epstein’s account of his first year at Berry Elementary School in North Charleston, S.C.:

“We worked hard that year. My students did everything in their power to close the achievement gap. They read and wrote stories every single day. Phonics were taught and reinforced again and again.

Fighting became a common occurrence, unfortunately. Seeing as I was the only male teacher in the school, I found myself being the disciplinarian for several teachers on my hall. During parent teachers conferences I did notice how young some of the parents were. Some were no more than in their middle to late twenties.

The funniest thing that happened that year took place on the first day of the school year. Like I mentioned earlier, I was in rather good shape back in the late eighties from my own conditioning. I thought I would bring my running shoes with me and during recess I would challenge the students to a race. It was a tremendous idea except for one small detail – my students were more than ready for the challenge.”

– an excerpt from They Call Me Pathfinder: A True Story of One Man’s Mission to Improve Education in South Carolina, by Mark Epstein.

They Call Me ‘Pathfinder’: A True Story of One Man’s Mission to Improve Education in South Carolina will be available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble in October.

 

'Pathfinder' a Journey from the Heart of Worcester to Striving for Educational Equity in Charleston 1

Mark Epstein (right) with NBA Hall of Famer Julius “Dr.J” Erving/Courtesy: Mark Epstein


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Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Previous to starting TWIW, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Before that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He can be contacted at [email protected]