Interview Mr. Charles H. Coleman


This is an interview with Mr. Charles H. Coleman a retired principal and central office administrator from the Reidsville Public Schools.

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Q: Good afternoon, Mr. Coleman.

coleman audio (Streamed audio file of interview for this question using RealPlayer)

A: Good afternoon.

Q: How many years were you in education--as a teacher, as a principal?

A: All combined forty-four and a half years.

Q: Describe your school.

A: The school, the first school that I worked at as a principal was a old structure with classrooms surrounded by an auditorium. There were nine teachers at that particular time. I taught the fourth through sixth grades and the remaining teachers taught one, two and third. Later the seventh and eighth grades from the county schools was brought into Branch Street School which increased the teachers to seventeen. At that time I became a classified principal which relieved me of teaching responsibilities and restricted to the administrative and instructional setup and I stayed at that for near twenty years.

Q: Okay. Why did you decide to become a principal?

A: Really, (I did not) I was not really interested in education at all. I went to school and after finishing I did become gainfully employed at some other occupation but then I went to school to be a teacher to satisfy my parents. And then I came to the South. I came to work two years because if you didn't work in a place for two years your follow-up would think something was wrong with that employee so, if you stayed the two years you ended up staying forty-four.

Q: I see. Okay. What was your school's philosophy?

A: We believed that American Education is a competitive society which engages in compulsory education. Every student has a potential and it's up to the educator to extract that potential to its fullest. In the early years, if you can eliminate failure and take the positive approach and end up with some kind of diagnostic material on the child you will find surprising results. The question is at what point in your life were you a success. It certainly wasn't the first grade, second grade, third grade.

Q: Okay. What was your school's philosophy? I just asked that. Okay. How was it developed.

A: The philosophy was developed by the teachers of the school. It was not a one person idea. We had in-service programs. At that time we met once a month and all the programs were conducted through the faculty with a secretary to the faculty meeting so that you kept minutes of the most important aspects of the meeting.

Q: How did you create a climate for learning?

A: We believed that every child was important and that a child coming to you with a problem you must listen. He's not going to tell you the first time so you have to make up your mind whether you are going to teach to learn or teach not to learn and once you teach so that kids will like you then they will respect you.

Q: Were there any particular activities that you did with the students in order to improve relationships?

A: Yes, I would hate to put this on tape but (uh) children came to school as early as 6:30 in the morning and stayed as late as 5:30 in the afternoon. So we had various things out there for them to do. I have shot marbles, I've played jack rocks. The kids knew or the children knew when the first bus came, what ever that activity was to stop it. We had a television for them, basketball, softball and then during the recreation periods we had about 650 children that we divided the grades into leagues. And you had your day to play.

Q: What leadership techniques did you use?

A: I think the best leadership quality was to be a good listener and do not be at haste to render a decision. When you haste the decision rendered, you regret it later. If a teacher brought a problem to me she was to leave it or we were to work it through and then arrive at the decision.

Q: What techniques were successful or unsuccessful?

A: At Branch Street we never thought in the negative- we always thought in terms of positive things. We always felt that if you continued to improve your positive attributes the negatives will take care of themselves.

Q: What role did you play in public and community relations?

A: In the public, I think I have served in every capacity that a person could. I started off with the Boys Scouts and stayed with it for forty years. I got involved in Civic activities and I am still involved with those. To name a few: Rockingham County Fund which is now defunct, and Mental Health Board, Enrichment Board, (uh) I am involved in Church activities. I attended most of the churches that (the students) where the students in our school went. I always let them know what Sunday I'd be to their services. I was involved in Sunday School and Adult Ministry which was very, very good, and we met on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. It was just that interesting.

Q: It does sound that way. Okay. What do you think teachers expect principals to be?

A: I think teachers expect principals that (uh) their number one, to help them be a source of information and willing to guide and not to ridicule or to find fault, to get the best work out of the person. You've got to praise them, let them know what they are doing well. Keep working, keep it positive. You don't have to tell them, if your rapport is good with the teacher, you don't have to tell her or him when you are coming into the classroom. They will be at ease whenever you come. The children will be at ease. Each evening, as an example, I was there to greet everybody in the morning and at the door to see them off in the evening. I never left a teacher in the building by herself. If I didn't lock it up the janitor did.

Q: How did you evaluate teachers?

A: I had my own personal method but the city had the scale of which you would reported all teachers on and submitted. I always gave the teacher a copy of whatever that chart called for (and if) when I went into an evaluation, a formal evaluation, they would know they had a chance to read it and we talked about before it was submitted to central office. Now, we did not cover-up or disguise anything that the person had to know. And once you get that type of relationship developed, then your people or teachers will respect you and work for you and that's the key to teaching.

Q: You mentioned personal evaluation, technique, could you elaborate on the personal technique for evaluating teachers?

A: Well, if I would go into a classroom and it wasn't formal and (uh) (the uh) I thought the teacher was (uh) making it harsh and difficulty and I would leave a note on her desk see me immediately or catch me sometime before the day is over because we never did go to wrong a child and once you accuse or did a wrong to a child if it was a chopper then you beg that pardon. Now, if I did a child wrong I would do the same thing and any children we have to work with, I am going to tell you this, so that's the type of (uh) I never kept grievances against people. Once it happened, then it was over and then we went on to the next day.

Q: What techniques did you use to make teachers feel important?

A: I tried to make them think they were the best in the world and nobody could top them and all of the teachers that worked with me, I believe there were about twenty of them in all, all except the cafeteria workers did graduate study--100 percent of them.

Q: That was outstanding. I have to say that, Mr. Coleman. What is your philosophy of education?

A: My philosophy of education (my philosophy of education) is that the child is the most important thing. You are working for his success and you have to do all that you can to extract his greatest potential, explore his talent and then when he is up and grown you will know whether he was successful from your work undoubtedly. You cannot say that he is a failure and show sympathy.

Q: What is your philosophy of teaching?

A: My philosophy of teaching is that your work, your lessons from day to day have to rotate. And just to prove that we did lesson plans day by day. The teachers submitted their plans to me a week ahead of time before they were into the lesson. And we talked about them so that it wouldn't be a gap in between lessons and what they were doing. If there was a child we say in the fifth grade, we had a rapport where you could send him in with another teacher for some consultation with that class in which he wouldn't feel that he was demoted or promoted. That I think increased and I found that to be successful.

Q: Okay. What is your personal leadership philosophy?

A: My personal leadership philosophy is number one be a good listener. If you are presiding, you don't opinionated. You listen and you give information. If you are the leader, and not the hidden structure then you have to weigh carefully your words and your opinions so that you do not have to come later and change your pattern. Once you begin to change your thoughts and patterns, it creates some tremendous doubt in people. So you are never hasty. Some people may dislike that, but (uh) it does pay off if you do not hesitate.

Q: What does it take to be an effective principal?

A: Good common sense and have a touch of the human element and have feelings for other people.

Q: What pressures did you face as a principal?

A: Pressures as (a) a principal comes from above and from your public. I am a product of a dual situation. One was segregated and the other one was integrated. The pressures that came and the committees or elements who fought them-I listened to them. After they departed I noted them and studied not to favor anyone. I never let them get to me that it disturbed my night's rest. I worked with those that were always ready with an answer. If it involved the entire school and the faculty in general, it involved me personally as well.

Q: Is there a particular pressure that you could recall and the way that you handle that particular pressure?

A: There was one that I'll never forget. I had three elderly ladies to work with me who held me in their laps when I was a baby. There was a school committee at that time that voted those three ladies with normal degrees relieved. And the pay was about $50.00 a month and I looked at the committee and thanked them and told them that I hope that when they got to the age that those three people were that somebody would treat them differently from what they may have been treated. The other pressure that I had was from my own colleagues was of this, I guess the impression. . .

Q: Interviewee didn't care to elaborate at this time. Oh, that's fine. All right. We'll cut the tape off.

A: You'll always have pressures from the PTA and various segments of your public because they will want the school to come up and be as good as someone somewhere else and that you have to listen to and then you are constantly striving to already improve your school. And Branch Street was one of the first elementary schools in the city of Reidsville to be accredited by the state. It was not an easy process. A little after that the entire city got certified by the Southern Association. Then other pressures would come. I worked with the NEA principal's association out of Washington and got invited to the executive secretaries and that bring other pressures from other people. They ask you can your board of education supplement you for this conference or that conference. Pressures are there-- some are hidden. When you get into this type of work some of your skin has to be toughened.

Q: Mr. Coleman, if you had to do it again, what would you do to better prepare yourself for the principalship?

A: I don't know that I would change the pattern of learning. The thing that I would change the most would be emphasis on early childhood study. I would find the best prepared teachers for grades K through three and I would want to pick those and have conferences with them before the contracts were signed because those are the important years. Then I would not departmentalize any of the grades. I would have them interchangeable in such a way that the fourth, fifth and (six) grades would go together. Five through eight would go together. Then the teachers with five and six would work together. This would give a dovetail and would not leave open gaps in the child's learning process. Wherever you have a termination of a school like K through three, move them over, four through five you seemingly have a deterioration of thinking because the early child is got to allow himself to someone he can trust and see and too many changes and too many specialists come into this early life is disruptive. In the in-service programs, I would attend all of the sessions that was pertinent to the things we were doing on that grade and that level of learning. If the conferences were permissable, I would always take an additional teacher or some faculty representative so that they could come back and interpret to the faculty what we attended. This also gave them the satisfaction that they were important but you never take the same one twice. I am going to tell you that now. That lets them know there is a fairness, and most state conferences and sectional conferences had very good value. It determines the purpose of learning.

Q: How did you handle teacher grievances?

A: Teacher grievance was a process developed by the board of education. I never took a teacher grievance to the board or to the superintendent. In the building in which I worked, we always tried to work it out among ourselves because usually the board would go and send the teacher right back and you still had to work together so it was better that we worked it out.

Q: Did you ever fire a teacher? Discuss the issue.

A: I never employed a person that I thought I had to fire or relieve. I felt once or twice like relieving one but when I finally realized that I had told them that if you get mad at me, come into the office, close the door, get it off your chest and work it out. But I never fired a person I hired.

Q: How can we improve education, improve teachers, etc.?

A: That is one of the areas that got very close to me. It's hard for me to understand how the people in higher education can always ask teachers to come back from pressures when they never come down on their level. They are bound to know what's going on so I don't adequately see how you can repress somebody unless they describe the problem to you. Now if there are forty people in there with forty different problems it is very hard for me to understand how an instructor of higher learning can deal with forty problems effectively.

Q: How did you handle the Civil Rights issues, the busing issues?

A: The busing issue in the Reidsville City Schools was controlled mainly by the board of education. The principals and administrative staff helped to set up rights on which bus to ride. There were rules and regulations outlined by the state that governed the students riding buses and once incidents reached any magnitude was given to the director of the person over the buses in the system. At that time this could mean putting a student off the bus. To my knowledge there was very little disruptive conduct of any sort that pertained to riding the buses. It went much more smoothly than I would ever thought or anticipated.

Q: So you did not have any significant problems that you had to happen during those initial days.

A: If a problem came to my recognition (uh) problems would get to me from the central office when the principal could not--unless it was referred by the principal--then I would handle it. Normally they worked it out because we would hold conferences among principals and work out common problems as how effectively to do this with the least amount of disruption coming through the central office and that was done with the bus personnel and you would always have one or two that you would have to suspend or some child's conduct was not conducive to riding. Then you must understand children's ideas and the way they mingle and do with others is far different from the thinking of the adults and that makes a tremendous difference and once the problem arises and you get the two or three or four people involved and work through that problem (uh) it's no need to go further. (Uh) And I believe it's Title VII which deals with the sex discrimination of the child act of privacy in which you are limited to the information and activity and involvement with children. Children got the right if you understand them and they understand you and you have explained to them and not wait for them to find out the hard way (you, you, you) you eliminate a whole lot of problems and you never trusted, we never at school trusted the kids out on the bus. Trust is not the word but a faculty member loaded the bus. And once you were seated (uh) they seated you in such of a way that if you were this address you got off first if it is the last address you went to the rear so that you didn't have to climb over and push and do. You never overloaded or have standing room because the sway of the bus would sway the kid to fall on one and that would create a problem. We tried to eliminate all problems that (was) would involve--we tried to organize in such a way that the buses (side two on the tape) that it wasn't necessary for the same bus to make two or three trips to different schools. It wasn't always necessary for the same bus to make two or three trips to the different school. This eliminated a (whole) tremendous number of problems. In some instances we used adult bus drivers which would help solve a lot of problems. I do not remember any problem with a tremendous magnitude to it. The Civil Rights movement has a tremendous scope to it. You are tied to the Department of Labor, the Office of Equal Opportunity, and the U. S. Office of Education along with sex discrimination in the secondary schools. And any violation of any of those regulations (uh) results in the refunding of any federal money the government sent you for that particular year. One example--whatever you prepared or did for boys in athletics you had to do for girls and had (had to) to be equal facility. If you had a teacher that became pregnant the doctor would give you a medical synopsis as to the length of her absence. It would be up to the teacher whether she wishes to return to the system at the end of that time. It also got to the point that if you wanted to see a student's records you had to sign for it, when you got then you returned it. A parent could not come and ask for a student's record unless that student gave his or her permission to do so. (Uh) Another example would be course work. (Uh) If you had boys to take brick masonry the girl wanted to get in it you had to admit her also. Same thing with home economic, sewing or cooking. If boys wanted to get into that you had to allow them equal facility. You had to be honest in any employment and advertised position. You could no longer close it. If you did it it was a violation. Whatever the job was you had to make a public notice to make it fair and for all. If you violated that then in a close letter somebody had approached you for that position then you had to go back and either repay them for the time they approached you or had to find them a job.

Q: Okay. Did you ever have to make a decision as far as handling one of the problems as it related to the Civil Rights issue?

A: We had one that went into the Office of Equal Opportunity in which a girl came in for a secretarial position. The secretary told her that no jobs were available. On the same day another lady came in and was employed in the position. When this became known four months had lapsed and the Office of Equal Opportunity sent letter informing us that we had to pay that lady four months salary for which she never worked. The lady was very nice and said, I want to go to school and said if you would pay my tuition I would be satisfied and that was done.

Q: What procedures should be used before a person is selected to become a principal?

A: (Uh) A principal procedure need to be (uh) one of the procedures (one of the procedures) to me to be expected of a principal to me will be first to look at his background and the courses and all that he has been through. (Uh) It's not important whether he was an assistant principal or a counselor or what not. It depends on what his training and his rapport with students and his peers. (Uh) It's one thing that is evident in my experience, you don't teach a person to be a principal. That comes from experience. And once you can recognize the attributes of somebody then that person can split themselves as a perfect body in an experience position. You do not have to go to school to be a principal.

Q: How did you (how did you) handle assistant principals.

A: Assistant principals in the building in which I worked--if you came in as a stranger you would not know who the principal or the assistant principals were. Whoever was in the position to greet them reacted to the problem. Then you would say that that's loose, it's not. (Uh) Once when that conference is over at the end of the day the assistant principal and the principal gets together and sums up that day and (uh) if you are not going to allow an assistant principal to get some of the pressures and hard knocks while he is in that position then you'll never make an effective principal. So you treat it as the best you can and expose him to as many problems as possible.

Q: As a principal, what was your biggest concern?

A: The children. The children. Make sure all children are happy and had the tools and books from which to learn. If they are unable to get the books some organization got them for them. But every kid we saw to got his books.

Q: What was your biggest headache?

A: I think my biggest headache as a principal was in the cafeteria department where the school was a very, very poor school and the parents did not always have the financial means of helping so to feed the children without money was a tremendous burden of which we had programs, solicited help and was able to clear up all deficits in the cafeteria.

Q: What do you think of career ladders for teachers?

A: Career ladders as I understand it has to do with increments for some and not for others. Treat a teacher as a teacher and make her feel important as (as) a person and then you won't have to worry about the degrees of which this thing is. And then if there are steps and promotions that teacher will automatically prepare herself into that area, but the encouragement must come from you and stop expecting others to put it there.

Q: What about merit pay? What do you think about merit pay?

A: I dislike merit pay because you overpaying some on the recommendations of a few (uh) others are doing the same thing and maybe more and which to me is not just. A teacher is a teacher and ought to be paid for her services. And it doesn't seem logical to me that a very few people can decide who gets merit pay and who doesn't. (Uh) It ought to be a scale set to pay each teacher for their services. If you got a teacher who is not getting merit pay you are telling me that that's a poor teacher and shouldn't be there. Now, you got two concepts in there to work with. If that teacher is not getting merit pay then release her or either fix the scale where each of them get paid for their services.

Q: What do you think of the Standards of Quality, established by the state school board?

A: In understanding the state board of education and its functions and how it is allied to the local boards and the school systems, I have to admire them because of the procedures which they go to set up different policies. It was always been that for (for) some of type of proof before they finalize any type of a law. Now in this state when you become--when you get promoted the state board has to sanction that promotion and very few people possibly do not know that and you get the boards minutes you will see. So I really admire the state board of education for what they do and the manner of which they try to do it. (Uh) I wouldn't touch that.

Q: What are the characteristics associated with effective schools?

A: Some of the characteristics of a good school is outlined by faculty participation setting up your goals, your philosophy feeding that back to the public also to your state levels. If you have gone through the corrective (processes) process of the state and the national there are various elements that you must apply such as library (uh--uh) books numbering for the population you have in the school you (uh) have to have adequate teaching space for each (each) student. And you (uh) you have to develop plans that effects the learning of each (uh) student, but the accreditated process would give you many of the characteristics that you would need and once you get into that and stay with the follow up every five years (uh) you'll have a pretty good course chartered for you.

Q: What do you think of the testing procedures for such test as your SAT, NTE, GRE?

A: I don't think much of the testing programs unless they are set up by the teachers. (Uh) Because there is a different pattern in the geographical location of the country. (Uh) If you permit the local school to submit questions well and good, but (uh) a bunch of educators to become rich on setting up what they think a student ought to know to me is not (not) within keeping of education. I think the testing should go on within the local element (uh) that would do just well as the SAT and CAT or take the standardized tests from some of these foundations to me make much more sense than (uh) some of these things on other tests. New York State, eight grade testing example. Another example (I) I would object to the preliminary to the doctorate. A lot of the things on there they ask you is irrelevant to what you are doing so unless the test is of a local nature and the teacher sets it up or the state prescribes it then (uh to me it is not effective (in in that respect.

Q: Okay.

A: It's just a way of spending a lot of money. Cultural or biases on some test ought to be scrutinized very carefully and eliminated. The vocabulary in some of the test are different then in others. For an example, look at the last recent boat race in Australia. There was trouble distinguishing between the language and both of them were English. By the same thing go with cultural tests. Its got to be fair that the child can understand the terms. And either you got to find out the terms of the cultural tests and teach it or it got to be broken down so he will know what it is. For instance, oranges and bananas are picked green. When they get to where they are going they are ripened. Apples are given color after they are picked. Now, the children who don't know this would get that wrong on the test. So you would have to go to some phase that these cultural differences and language differences (uh) some kind of equalization. For instance, a kid in the lower part of Georgia, upper part of North Carolina and Virginia, have a different lingo. (So) so you got to make a cross in there somewhere in order to give them a fair share.

Q: What was the toughest decision--what was the toughest decision you had to make as a principal?

A: Closing an elementary school for integration.

Q: Could you elaborate on that?

A: Well, as I come along through patterns, I got into a situation where I loved the community, I loved the school, the faculty and the children. And I knew that the decision was coming and I was for it and I knew that I was in the back door of a white school and I will be the one to be closed, and it broke my heart to close that school knowing that we were the participles going to a building that I thought was not up to par as the building I was in.

Q: Why do you feel that was your toughest decision?

A: (I) I never wanted to (to) be a group that I thought depended (on) on its community. It was a source where the children could come, they could play, they could meet, they had some type of togetherness and with the integrated process that freedom of expression (uh) the social aspect and the discussion of problems to me seemingly deteriorated because the child was reluctant to talk to somebody he didn't know previously.

Q: Mr. Coleman, were you a manager of a building or an instructional leader? Would you follow up on that.

A: For a period of a time, I was a manager of the building and later became the an instructional leader in that building and selected later to become the instructional leader over the entire system which was nine years. Of course that dealt with many aspects of starting with maintenance through the (uh) learning process.

Q: As an instructional leader, what were some of the techniques you used in your school or some of the nine schools that you were in.

A: As an instructional leader, I would always want to know that you were coming. If you came in unannounced, I would listen carefully to whatever problem you had. (Uh) And I would ask you if you could leave the problem with me because if you worked with it and couldn't solve it you shouldn't expect me to solve it within a minute. So many times they would leave and then we get back and reschedule a conference (uh) and visits to the different buildings and people, I always tried to make them feel at ease and never unloaded a problem on them and walked off. We always made sure each of us understood the other before departing.

Q: What was you key to success as a principal?

A: If I were a success, I did not find that out until I had retired and gotten feedback which I hope was very honest from the public and the people with whom I worked. Because if you are a perfectionist and you are at the peak or height at where you wanted to be then you begin to deteriorate and I did not want to do that.

Q: What was your code of ethics as a principal?

A: I always wanted the people who worked with me to be a model for those that they were instructing. (Uh) That included your dress. There were no with the instructors, no jeans, no sweat shirts. You were dressed. And I as the leader always had a coat and a tie. The only time I would be without a tie and coat when everybody was out the building. If the teachers were coming for a work day and no students were involved then you could dress appropriately to do whatever you want to do in the classroom. When students were involved, you were a model for them and dressed accordingly. There were nine schools in the system in which I worked. And I always felt in working with people or your superiors you should be loyal to that person and if you couldn't be then you should find other means of employment. I am talking about if you are going to work for a person (uh) try to be loyal to them, and if there is a disturbance between the two of you and you can't work it out then you need to do something yourself.

Q: What are your feelings about the responsibilities of the principal for identifying and developing future school administrators?

A: (Ask for the question to be repeated)

Q: What are your feelings about the responsibilities of the principal for identifying and developing future school administrators?

A: The responsibility of the principal in identifying future administrators need to in the recruiting process and employment is to scrutinize very carefully in the first interview the persons who are employed. (Uh) You have to realize if the person's attributes are greater than yours there's no hinderance for you to try to have excuse not to work or do (uh) with that person. The principal's responsibility is always to encourage and promote the best you can to those people under his guidance and leadership and once you encourage people to go on to do various studies in different fields the qualities of leadership will be more pronounced or more (uh) standout as they do as they proceed through the program.

Q: Now, how did you go about doing this? What did you actually do with a staff member that you felt could be a future administrator?

A: This is sort of off the record. I have a seen in my time several people under who worked with me go on into administration. I always in the initial interview tired to find out your intent and the length that you want to put into education and I felt that after two years out of a college you ought to be able to do at least one summer of graduate studies and I couldn't hold you to this, but, but I encouraged you that you should in order to stay up with this faculty to try to earn the next step up. And most a lot of the people actually did that. And (uh) this and once the children learned and found out that Mr. So and So had a degree and they'll ask you now, why don't you have one. That's also an encouragement.

Q: Describe your typical work day in terms of how you spent your time?

A: The time as an administrator is (is) limitless. (Uh) My day began usually for me at 7:00 and ended at 6:00. The regular hours by the system was scheduled 8 to , but there were some children that I needed to see or some faculty person I wanted to talk with rather than take teaching time away from the child I could always wait until after hours. Parent consultation is excellent. I sometime wait until (uh) after the parent was off from work. Now many parents are on the defensive when they come to the school office so if you can it's best you meet them on a neutral ground and (uh) so that they won't feel that you are out to take advantage of them. And when I would go in the mornings early (I would) I had planned my day before I left for the evening. When the school day actually began for children if I were going to schools I had them listed in order in which I would go. And (uh), the number of periods that I could spend. I also had five federal programs to (uh) work with and I had to devote sometime to those things. I also had a federal program in another city which I administered and I would have to travel to that program at least twice a month of which I would take the day from the office. But (uh) in the nine schools I tried to give as much equal time as I possibly could.

Q: How did you spend the most of your time?

A: In the later years (end of tape 1 side 2) the conferences, Title VII, which was the sex discrimination program and vocational programs took a lot of time to go through and develop (question) answer question and give theories of different programs to satisfy the federal requirements. Also (the teams) the regional teams overseeing the programs based in Tennessee and Atlanta took a lot of time. The kindergarten and Headstart programs consumed a lot of time (a lot of time). But even with those there was time to make visits to the regular programs and the migrant programs which was just beginning in the area, and of course all of these programs had their various conferences which you had to go out of town for required time. A good experience, but it did take away from instructional time and the teachers. Q: How do you account for your success as an administrator?

A: My success as an administrator to me will come, now that I have retired from the people with whom I worked. I would like to think that I was successful, but I raise the question, at what point do you feel in your life at work that you have reach the point of success? And when you do that you have reached the point of saturation going into deterioration.

Q: What caused you to choose retirement when you did?

A: I chose retirement in December because I had worked under four superintendents and the one that I was employed under then I felt that he was going to retire and to break in another one, I did not choose to travel that road, I had worked three years beyond the retirement age and social security was effective in January. December (December) was a good time to go out -Christmas time.

Q: Nice Christmas present? What have I not asked you that I should have?

A: Well, I am thankful that you did not ask me about my formal years of training. I am thankful that you did not go into my (my) family background. I admire you because you stayed strictly to the professional side of the program.

Q: Well, Mr. Coleman I really would like to thank you for spending this time with me this afternoon. I feel privileged to have shared this time with you. There are many things that you have said this afternoon that will stick with me, that I will be able to use daily in my strive to be a successful administrator. Thank you again.

A: Mrs. Smith, the pleasure is mine.

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