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WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Dentist and Cheer Coordinator/PTO President Anthony and Shannon Gardiner (’02)

Anthony Gardiner and Shannon Garr, both from longtime Ferndale families, met at Vista Middle School but didn’t begin dating until a few years later. Anthony, who played running back for the Golden Eagles football team, clicked with Shannon – then a cheerleader – during a school dance following a football game.  

“Even though we already knew each other, there was just a spark that night,” Anthony said.  
“We had a connection, I asked her to dance, and it just led to everything else.” 

Fast-forward more than two decades later, Anthony took over a long-running dentistry practice, the pair are married and proud parents of three kids at Eagleridge Elementary School, and they are both deeply involved in the Ferndale community. Even though the Gardiners left Ferndale for college and their early careers, returning to Ferndale was always the plan. 

“We always knew we wanted to come back to Ferndale, because we love that small-town community,” Shannon said. 

“It’s a blessing to be back in Ferndale,” added Anthony. “To grow up here and now support the community, provide a health care service, it’s wonderful.” 

In school, Anthony always found himself drawn to math and science classes. He originally attended the University of Washington to become a physician, but some advice from medical professionals convinced him to pivot to dentistry. Anthony loves multiple aspects of his career, from taking care of patients to seeing the before-and-after effect when he completes their care 

“There’s a lot more art in dentistry than I originally thought. I thought it would all be science,” he said. “When you’re working on a person’s teeth, there’s a lot of finesse – I never considered myself to have a knack for art, but I feel like I’ve been able to develop that and do some beautiful dentistry for people.” 

In 2011, Anthony began working under longtime Ferndale dentist Dr. Richard V. Tucker, who began his practice in the 1940s. He purchased Tucker’s practice in 2013, and just this year purchased the dental office building near Main Street. The Gardiners are working on renovating the 72-year-old building this year. 

“I think once we told our patients we were going to be staying here, they were pretty happy about that,” Anthony said. “We’re excited to see what we can do, give it a face lift, make it a little more functional.” 

Shannon attended Washington State University – yes, the Gardiners are a divided Husky/Cougar household – and earned a teaching degree. She then moved to Seattle while Anthony attended dental school and taught in elementary schools for five years, including one year at Cascadia Elementary once the couple moved back to Ferndale in 2011. 

Although Shannon stopped teaching to focus on raising her family, she still devotes a lot of time to helping Ferndale youth. She’s served as Eagleridge’s PTO president for three years, helping lead fundraising and putting on exciting events for students and staff. 

“When we grew up in elementary school, I remember vividly all those special moments like school dances or field trips,” Shannon said. “I really wanted to make sure our kids had those same experiences and the same incredible memories of school.” 

Shannon is also the coordinator for Ferndale Youth Sports’ cheer team. The nonprofit group asked Shannon, who cheered for both FHS and Washington State, to help create the program, and she loves helping building confidence in the kids on her team. 

Shannon said her goal is to “empower the students to grow, strengthen, and build confidence in themselves independently and as a team.” Shannon’s enthusiasm has inspired Anthony to volunteer in multiple coaching positions as well. The Gardiners are proud to support the Ferndale community in many ways.