Editor’s Note: June is always a big month here at the shore. There are schools graduating, the weather warming up and resort Boardwalks and other attractions are opening for the summer. June also means Father’s Day, which is Sunday.
For a couple decades, Tom Williams has turned his sports column over to area athletes to write about their fathers.
Another appears in the sports pages this week. This year, Dan, Abby and Amanda Jamison write about their father – the principal of Ocean City High School and past president of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, who has also worked at Mainland Regional, Atlantic City and other area schools.
Dan received an undergraduate degree from Clemson University. In May he graduated from Temple University School of Pharmacy and is currently working at Capital Rx in Lakewood. Abby graduated from James Madison University in May of 2014 and is currently working as a fourth grade teacher in Brigantine. Amanda is going into her senior year at Stockton University. She is majoring in Health Sciences with a concentration in Occupational Therapy.

A Father’s Day tribute to Dr. Matt Jamison

By Dan, Abby & Amanda Jamison
Guest Sports Columnists

Many people around town know our dad as Principal of Ocean City High School. Similarly, many people know us as the “principal's son/daughters”. This may have been something we shied away from in the past, by sinking down into our seats during assemblies or acting nonchalant in the hallways. Today, we couldn't be more proud. Our dad is someone we look up to and truly admire. When thinking of words that best describe him we could easily agree upon hardworking, supportive and fun loving.

One of dad’s most admirable qualities is working hard. It seemed like he was always going to school, whether it be teaching, coaching or continuing his education. When we were growing up Dad taught history and coached football, basketball and track at Mainland. We loved being on the sidelines to cheer him on. Before we knew it, he was doing the same for us. We also remember Dad’s late nights when he was going back to school. When we wondered why he wasn’t home for dinner, Mom would explain that he was at Rowan. We thought she meant “rowing”… until the day he graduated. The next year, Dad was back in school working towards his Doctorate Degree. Although two of us now understood what all of Dad’s hard work was for, one still thought he was switching his profession and becoming a doctor. We were all proud to see Dad graduate from Widener. Afterwards, we quickly rushed home to make it back in time for OCHS prom so Dad could chaperone.

Dad’s hard work goes well beyond the school day. When we were in high school he attended all of our after-school sports, activities and events. We appreciated that he was always there for us. Years later, he still attends the same sports, activities and events with equal enthusiasm. It is easy to see how much Dad enjoys supporting students at OCHS.

Our dad's support and guidance has shaped each of us into responsible, successful and caring young adults. He was always willing to teach us something new, from riding a bike to doing our own taxes. This has taught us to tackle any new situation with confidence and ease. As it came time to make decisions, he always had realistic and encouraging advice. No matter the situation, he offered us his guidance, love and support with our best interests in mind. We all had different ideas of colleges we wanted to attend and careers paths we wanted to take. We are all thankful to have had dad there to help us get started and guide us through any stressful and overwhelming times. We wouldn’t be where we were today without him.

When thinking back on our childhood, many fun and special memories come to mind. Our days would consist of dad's "foot rides" around the house, wrestling in the living room, rollerblading around the block, building sand castles, getting buried up to our heads in the sand and many more. Some of our happiest memories include one of our Dad's favorite things - the boat. It was one of our favorite things, also. Even though he could have been peacefully fishing, he chose to load everyone onboard instead. We loved being pulled around on the tube, anchoring in the middle of the bay to jump overboard, and fish (whether it be for flounder, seaweed, buoys or each other's lines). It may have been the furthest thing from peaceful, but we always had the best time. Growing up, we remember Dad leading the family trips and no matter how hard he tried it always resulted in something very similar to the Griswold Family Vacation. Even though the trips may have turned out to be exhausting, he always kept us moving and made sure we saw every site, rode every ride and took advantage of any and all activities. Aside from vacations, we also appreciated the weekend trips our parents would make when we were in college so that we could all spend time together. Even if it meant leaving on a Friday afternoon, sitting in countless hours of traffic, tailgating early the next day, and going on a very expensive shopping spree before leaving.

Dad - your genuine personality, positive energy, constant support, and sense of humor has helped shape our family into what it is today. You have taught us to recognize and appreciate the things that matter in life, have a strong faith and the importance of hard work and dedication. We can’t thank you enough for all that you do for each of us.

Happy Father’s Day, we love you!

Read more of Tom Williams' columns