SUPERINTENDENT, SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT, MOONSHOTS, AND TEACHING
School administrators and policy makers have a very tough job, and I don’t envy them. One time in California someone asked me to run the school board. I declined. And they asked why. And I answered, “Because I’m afraid I might get elected”! The fact is, in many respects school board members have a tougher job than legislators. Votes in the legislature can be contentious. School board votes are contentious x 100.
As a parent of six, grandparent of eighteen – and also as a retired teacher – I understand the importance of public schools, and the need for good policy, curriculum, and adequate funding to help make good education happen. I can also look back on my own teaching experience.
My first teaching job was in 1959 at Stanford – not the university, but the elementary school in Westminster, Orange County, California. That’s the same year I made a home run from a pitch sent my way by the famous Dodgers baseball star Wally Moon, when Wally Moon played some baseball with Stanford Elementary School kids and teachers. That same year Wally Moon became famous for the "Moonshots" he hit over the 41 foot tall left-field fence that was just 250 feet from home plate in the Dodgers' temporary quarters in the Los Angeles Coliseum.
But I digress.
Let’s see if I can remember other places I taught in California: Gilbert Elementary, Garden Grove; Wells Intermediate, Riverside (special education); Edgemont Elementary, Moreno Valley; Allesandro Junior High; Moreno Valley; Lincoln Elementary (special education), San Bernardino; Cajon High School. San Bernardino (special education). I retired from teaching in 1995, when we moved to Alaska. I taught one year in Anchorage at Romig Junior High (teaching severely disturbed teenagers – good preparation for the legislature) in 1995-1996.
I enjoy discussing issues with school superintendents and board members, because that rarely happened during my years as a classroom teacher. It’s interesting that, since serving in the legislature, I’ve met more school superintendents and school board members than I did during my entire teaching career. Of course, during my teaching career, I didn’t get to sponsor legislation or vote on school issues. H’mmmn.