Ed Shadoin: the man behind the machines


Zack Lighterman

Microcomputer specialist Ed Shadoin sits in his office located in the Media Center, his headquarters for maintaining the school's computers.

Jared Stumpner, Staff Writer

Many students and teachers know of Ed Shadoin, the microcomputer tech specialist at school, but most don’t know of his double life. On weekdays he devotes his time to fixing any broken or damaged electronic gadgets at Western, but on weekends he lives in a totally opposite world, spending most of his day in the outdoors rather than sitting on a computer.

Shadoin was hired in 1997 and has kept all the technology at school working, including computers, projectors, digital classrooms, telephone systems, networks and servers. He says he loves doing it because fixing computers comes naturally to him.

“This is very easy for me,” Shadoin said. “My mind is analytical, so by deduction I can figure out what is wrong with a computer quickly.”

After quitting his 24-year head manager job at Winn-Dixie because of the stressful hours, Shadoin earned a degree in computer science at FAU. He previously studied with computers, so he decided a computer science major would be the best fit for him.

“At Winn-Dixie they were giving me 60 to 65 hours… on a slow week,” Shadoin said. “I knew it was time for me to quit, so I decided to major in computer science since it came so easily to me,” Shadoin said.

When Ed first started working in 1997, most teachers at Western did not even have computers. There were only about 100 computers in the school. Now almost 20 years later he has to fix and maintain about 1,000 computers, one for every teacher and the rest to accommodate student needs, testing and computer classes.

“For as long as I’ve known him, his work ethic along with the amount of work given to him has increased exponentially,” guidance counselor Madeleine Molinet said. “He’s kept up with the all the work given to him. It’s actually amazing to see.”

To help maintain this workload, Shadoin gets assistance from senior Justice Schroeder.

“I was in teacher assisting and luckily got assigned to the Media Center,” Schroeder said. “Once I met Ed, we started working together and I started to fix computers for him. He’s a really great guy who helps a lot of people and I really like working with him.”

Outside of school, Shadoin lives in a completely different world. The fifth generation Floridian is mostly an outdoorsman when he’s not repairing computers in school. Instead of working on computers and iPads, he prefers working on airboats and motorcycles, fishing and observing his two camps in the Everglades. He spends most of his time fishing or riding his airboat.

“You would not know it, but outside of school I’m more of an outdoors person, not your typical tech who plays with computers,” Shadoin said.

Ed’s favorite hobby is fishing. He’s fished in numerous tournaments and has also won The Palmer Beach Fishing Rodeo tournament twice in 1981 and 1984.

“If you actually go to the [Rodeo] you’ll see pictures of me,” Shadoin said, “In the historical section.”

While Shadoin retreats to the water during his off-hours, he devotes his work life to making sure all the technology at school is operating smoothly. He takes it one technological crisis at a time.