Interview with Clarence Drayer

April 14, 1988

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Clarence Drayer, a retired high school principal, as part of the Virginia Tech Oral History Project. The date is April 14, 1988. We are seated in Mr. Drayer's home.

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Q: Thank you, Mr. Drayer, for agreeing to interview with me today. Let me begin by asking you how many years have you been in education?

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

A: Almost 30 years in public education.

Q: I saw by your resume that I have here that it's in a variety of positions. Can you give me a little bit of an overview in terms of the different kinds of things that you did in the public school system?

A: Well, my classroom experience was in the Social Studies classrooms. I've taught Social Studies and English, I taught either Social Studies or English at all grade levels from 7 through adult education (hand behind head) at one time or another. I was eleven years in a junior/senior high school classroom, coaching football, and the rest of my time was spent in administration in junior and senior high school.

Q: Could you please describe your school for me?

A: Which school? The last?

Q: How about your last one?

A: The last school was a secondary school -- Fairfax High School in Fairfax, Virginia. (Relaxed in chair, dog in lap.) Grades 9 through 12 with -- during the time I was there -- between twelve hundred and eighteen hundred students a year. I had a complete program in terms of both academics and the arts -- the manual arts. We also had a learning disabled pod and part of that time we had an emotionally disturbed group and we had a physically handicapped group all housed in the same building.

Q: Why did you decide to become a principal?

A: I think I wanted to be able to have an influence on a larger number of students and progression--as progression goes--your influence in a classroom is perhaps 130 to 150 students at a time and of course, going into administration why you increase the number of those with whom you are involved. At the same time you decrease the number that you have to deal with at one time. As an administrator responsible for discipline, I could deal with students on a one-on-one basis rather than having to worry about what the other 30 students in the classroom were doing.

Q: You found that a better ratio?

A: I found that a better ratio and I felt like I was more effective.

Q: It has been said that the principal is a prime communicator with the community. Would you define the "school community", as you see it, and share your philosophy of communication with this community?

A: Well, that's kind of which came first, the chicken or the egg because the school is the community. In fact, the school is -- the school building is the only place where at one given time five days a week, under one roof, you get a complete and total cross-section of the community, including the crooks and the good guys, so to speak. So that you're constantly in touch with the community and are responsible for it and therefore, you have to communicate. Communication is a two-way street. You have to listen as well as talk. You have to have a feel for the community by listening to those that are in the building and you can get a pretty good idea of what a whole community is like just by listening.

Q: So you would stress two-way communication. To give us a better understanding of how you handled community relations, would you describe the organization designed to work with the community which existed within your school?

A: The last -- well there are several conduits of communication within a community. Obviously, there is the school board (rocking in chair) and the concerns of the school board in terms of the educational program, in terms of the building needs, and so on and attendance at those meetings and, as in the case of Fairfax, there were two school boards, three superintendents all of whom that you have to deal with. Then there are other levels of communication such as dealing with the various boosters organizations in the community, band parents, athletic boosters organizations, the Thespians groups, all in that way you are dealing directly with the parents and adults in the community. Student organizations, student governments -- beyond the student governments - the honor society, the numbers of clubs and organizations that you deal with -- communicate with and listen to and then the other governmental organizations in the community -- the police department, fire department, safety regulations, safety building matters that involves safety through the fire marshall's office, just almost everything you do is someway connected with the community.

Q: How did that differ within the school division? How did they handle school/community relations? How is that different at the building level than it was at the district-wide level that you saw?

A: I wasn't involved in the district-wide level because I was never not in a school. I was always in a school. The difference, I think, is the difference, to some degree, of formality and informality. At the school level, it is possible to do a lot of communicating, a lot of dealing in public relations on an informal level. Whereas at the district level, it's generally on a formal basis -- public hearings as to what the boundaries of the school are going to be next year, public hearings with speakers and so on. Therefore, it is much more formal. The work that you do at the school level itself is, I think, by necessity, informal and at least in my mind, to a great degree, more informational.

Q: What does it take, in your opinion, to be an effective principal?

A: A lot of nerve. Patience. Knowledge. All of those things that involve knowing what's going on and being able to deal with people to make things happen. You have to make things happen and if you don't, you are going to have a stagnant situation on your hands. You are not going to have any improvement in your program, you are not going to have any vitality in the situation.

Q: What pressures did you face as a principal and how did you handle them?

A: Well, do you have a couple of days? (Scratched brow). Most of the pressures involved dealing with people who had preset notions. People who have not been in the school for years, but yet have a mindset about what's going on and they know how to deal with it. Particularly in an area where you have a large number of college graduates -there are many people who feel that just because they went to school, went to high school and graduated from college, they know all about what should happen and frankly, I've been out seven years now and I don't pretend to know what's going on in the field, because the changes are that great and (106) that fast. Therefore, the pressures come from people who think they know what they are talking about and don't. And you can put that at any level that you want. Even people in the school system, who haven't been in the classroom for the last few years don't know what it's like now -- they can't know what it's like. The changes in the laws in the late 1970's that we are required that all students stay in school until they are 18 years of age made the school environment entirely different from what it was so that it is the pressure of dealing with people who have preset notions, to me, is the greatest. There are all kinds of other pressures that are involved, being constantly in the middle is a pressure, you are constantly in the middle between the teacher and student, between the teacher and the parent, a lot of times between the student and the parent, between the community and then the student body sometimes. You can put any combination of two things together and it's most likely the principal, at one time or another, be caught in the middle. So that I guess that is -- if you can put it into one thing, being in the middle is the pressure. You can't ever be right.

Q: Not to everybody.

A: You have to make up your mind that no matter what you do, you are going to be wrong as far as somebody is concerned.

Q: When you were a principal how did you go about selecting teachers?

A: Well, when we were able to select teachers, it would be depending on the field, depending on the available pool of teachers and the field made a difference how many people were available. It's almost like going out on a talent search. I would go so far as to -- went and drove 100 miles to observe a person in a classroom that I was interested in getting to teach. In the latter years that, with the increase in the activity of the personnel departments and assignments, we did not have that much leeway in terms of hiring that we used to. Now, in a lot of cases, you wouldn't do anything, personnel would send them to you.

Q: Did you feel that your teachers were as good or less good or just as good with personnel picking and sending them to you or did you sometimes think that you could have picked out things that would have made that teacher not come to your school in the first place?

A: There is a time factor involved. I was burned both directions. I was burned with my own judgment and I was burned by personnel's judgment, so I can't/wouldn't certainly make an indictment on anybody in that case. Teaching -- effective teaching -- is a very nebulous thing and it is best -- it takes all kinds of people in a classroom. Of course, you have all kinds of students. I've never yet met any one teacher -- I know I've never been able to deal with every single type of student that came into the classroom, so the first thing you have to do with the personnel is to be cognizant of the job that you have and try to match a set of traits to a particular assignment that you want to give that person.

Q: When you were a principal, how did you evaluate teachers?

A: Of course, there was a formal evaluation -- a formal evaluation, again, the whole thing being so nebulous, it was difficult to go on the formal evaluations that are involved. The informal evaluations or observations, I did a lot of my evaluations in moving through the halls and going by classrooms and observations -- informal observations -- what's going on. Listening to students, knowing student's tendency to exaggerate and not believing everything you hear because a lot of times what they are saying is the effect of people around themselves -- what they really feel, but observation was the best.

Q: Towards the end of your tenure as a principal, I am certain that the evaluation process got more and more formalized through the county. Would you like to comment on it at worked or didn't work for you?

A: It hadn't reached overly formal area before I left as I know it is now, I know it is much more formal now than it was. The evaluation itself I've had difficulty with because I was not sure how much they were actually used -- they were sort of -well, you ended up with a lot of trite statements that really didn't mean a whole lot and I understand now, that there is considerable change in that and I don't know anything about it so I can't comment on it.

Q: From what you've heard about the merit pay system for teachers, do you think it will work and be effective? What do you see as its positive points and its disadvantages?

A: Well, I know it has never worked before, for one thing. (Looked away). I don't know of anywhere it has been successfully used. In theory, it has great possibility; in practicality, I see extreme difficulty in keeping what you might call "politics" out of it. I think it adds pressure to teachers who already have enough pressure without adding more. It is a beautiful theory.

Q: If it would work ...

A: If it would work.

Q: How did you handle teacher grievances?

A: To say how I handled them would not be the point, because there is a specific procedure provided by personnel to handle grievances, but for the most part, I tried to keep everything at what they considered to be level one -- in other words on a local basis. And, depending upon the type of grievance involved, if the grievance involved myself, I would try to deal personally with that person. If it involved a grievance with regard to other members of the staff, I would try to meet with them, but for the most part I would try to handle them all at level one, which was within the school -- and from there, there is a very exacting procedure that you followed -- thirty days after that -- their answers come in writing and then if the person is not satisfied, then the person with the grievance goes to the next level by responding in writing and then hearings are held within a certain length of time after that. I think a good procedure.

Q: Did you ever have to fire a teacher?

A: For the most part I -- to say -- I don't know -- whether there is a difference or not, but I've talked a few into leaving or resigning, let's put it that way.

Q: What were the circumstances that led you to believe that they should maybe do something else besides teach?

A: Basically, failure to carry out the job as they were supposed to in terms of dealing with the students. Most of it was human relations kinds of things. Inability to communicate with students, those kinds of things.

Q: In speaking with you previously, you shared that bureaucracy has impacted the educational process. Would you like to comment on that?

A: I think that the tremendous growth in size of school staffs, that outside of the school building, has had a negative effect on the school system in that a lot of the focus has changed -- from the focus of being on the students to a focus on problems that really don't have anything to do with the school. Well, basically are politically oriented. And because there are a lot of people, for example, I think I mentioned it before, that are involved in school systems but are not inside of a school building who are doing things -- decisions that are made by them that really aren't contributory to the schools, to the students themselves. They are based on how somebody in the community would think rather than what's best for the kids, and I just think that that has hurt the school system's job.

Q: Do you have any specific examples that you could recall?

A: Well, no I can't recall any specific examples off hand. Besides if I did, I don't know if I would really want to repeat it -- it's too close, some of the people are still around. And I don't think it was ever an intentional thing, I don't think people (263) intentionally were trying to hurt the kids, I think they were just making decisions on misinformation or lack of information. In their own minds, they were making decisions that were reasonable and from their point of view, they were perfectly reasonable. However, they weren't in a school and they didn't know what kind of effect that was going to have on the school. And therefore, it is nothing personal of the people who were involved, but such things as -- well, a lot of the decisions that were made in the latter 60's and early 70's were made by people who were not in schools and didn't realize what was going on in a school because no school is like it ever was in the latter 60's and 70's. It was a real social thing and not *# totally negative by a long shot, but the way to handle it -- the decisions on how to handle it weren't always made by people in the schools.

Q: The decision-makers didn't ask the people who were on the front lines?

A: Not for the most part, and the whole social thing that came out -- it sort of ended up as a double standards thing. The people in the schools were supposed to listen to everybody -- listen to the kids, listen to the parents, listen to that. (287) But the level and this is what I am concerned about in the bureaucracy is what is middle management. Top management didn't appear to feel the responsibility to listen to middle management. I mean, there were some gestures at it but there were some individuals who did, but for the most part, the people at the levels and particularly the policy makers -- school boards -- made a big deal out of listening to the kids and the public, but they didn't do a hell of a lot of listening.

Q: The questions were asked, but they didn't want to hear the answers.

A: Yes.

Q: While you were an assistant principal, civil rights was an issue. What impact did that have on your school?

A: I spent 10 years as an assistant principal in charge of discipline so it had a lot of impact. I think it was a positive one because I saw so many good things come out of the civil rights activities; students getting to understand the races in particular. I can remember one school where I was where a group of kids got together and they did a (315) play and we just did it informally and they ended up doing it about four times and ended up letting a kind of issue that every student in the school got to see it and become involved. Unrecognized acts of prejudice that people were doing that previously just weren't recognized as that's what they were. I can think of one scene in particular in this play that the kids did. There was a black kid sitting at a table in what was supposed to be a restaurant and a white girl comes up to wait on him and she looks and sees that it is a black kid and she says, "I'm sorry, but we don't serve nigers here". The black kid looks up at her and says "That's alright, I don't eat nigers". (Scratches head). The effectiveness in the telling is silly, but to see it and these high school kids doing that was a very, very touching thing. Very impressive. They did several other things that were very impressive, but the kids themselves did it. The thing was we had to let them do it.

Q: Is there anything else about that period of time that you'd like to talk about? You were mentioning earlier that the late 60's and early 70's were unlike anything else that any other period of time in schools than you can imagine. I've heard that before.

A: Maybe that is because my kids were teenagers during that time. They contributed to my frustration. I think that the whole era - the whole period - was frustrated -- or started -- by the VietNam situation and to the adults, our mindset was on the World War II level and in World War II, everybody was unconditionally committed to World War II. It was just accepted - taken for granted. The high schools didn't have any activities. Period. Because you didn't want to use the energy -everything was directed at the war effort and we got in this VietNam thing and it almost made it to appear as though to people whose mindsets was on the World War II era, why, the reaction of a lot of people in the VietNam thing was traitors to a degree and that set things up into a very -- it split the groups -- it split the age levels. A lot of the things that went on though were good, I think they contributed to a better understanding of ... A lot of it is a matter of degree. I think permissiveness went too far. Who is to say, that is history. it can't be judged objectively for at least 50 years after that.

Q: While you were an assistant principal, special education became more commonplace to the public schools and, eventually it was legislated. How did this additional role affect your job and your school?

A: I guess I have a funny attitude towards special education. I think it is needed, it's obvious, because the needs are there

Q: You were saying that you thought you had a funny attitude towards special education, that you thought it was obvious that it was needed ....

A: I feel there were a lot of negative sides to special education because although it was needed and the people were there, it also became a plaything for a lot of people. I think that you will find that there are no more "average" students in the world because the attention was drawn off of the largest number of students and given to the smaller number of students and although nobody wants to admit it, there is still an average group there. But a lot of resources were siphoned off on that and we wonder why we are in the mediocrity. So on one hand where it was good to provide for those who were atypical -- on the other hand, without adding to the resources but splitting the pie up into smaller pieces, the largest number of students was hurt and as a result now, everybody wants to be atypical so that they either want special attention or special resources as a handicapped person or they want special resources as a gifted person. And I think that has had at least to some degree, a negative effect on the overall education system because the rest of the kids in the middle are just sitting there.

Q: There are a lot that are borderline, and they want so bad to be just to be a little bit worse to fall so they can be included.

A: That's right and they want the laws changed so they can be included. And then of course there are the gifted -- if you don't believe it, just ask them and they will tell you they are gifted.

Q: What was the toughest decision you had to make as a principal and why was it so difficult?

A: I guess we finally got to one I wish I would have had known ahead of time. Let me say the toughest category of decisions, rather than the toughest, because -- particularly where discipline is concerned and working with kids -- the toughest (030) decision to make is to decide what is going to be best for a student in a disciplinary situation. The principal cannot expel from school. The state law says that only school boards can expel, but to exclude a student from the classroom with a determination as to whether it is best for him or whether he should go back and then to consider the rest of the student body as whether this person should be within the student body or not. That category of decisions is so vital in terms of human relations of a school. A school is like a person -it has a personality - give or take a few students within that student body and you can entirely change the personality of it. And if you take five negative people out of a building and put five positive people in the building, you would be amazed at what a difference that whole place can be in three days time. So that those decisions are tough to make and you're constantly caught in the conflict of making a decision as to what is best for the student and the same thing what's best for the entire student body. Sometimes they just don't go together.

Q: What aspect of your professional training best prepared you for principalship?

A: Experience.

Q: Experience?

A: That was quick (laugh).

Q: Could you describe your typical workday for me and how you spent your time?

A: Generally, I would be usually be one of the first ones to get there and the last one to leave. (Rocking). I would check the building and make sure there were no -- I usually would try to split time between the office and being out and I tried to get out in the building and be visible and available to the students and the staff. So that at times when the staff, for example, were not in the classroom and tied, I would try a lot of times to get out into the building and talk informally. When class change -- I tried to be visible in the hall and then at various meetings, I would be hard to try to give percentages of time in meetings with parents and groups of students and it depended on the circumstances and a lot of times, it depended on the time of year. With the various activities, cycles, activities.....

Q: What time y" you say was your typical arrival and departure time from the school?

A: Anywhere from -- the latter years anywhere from 6:00 on, usually 7:00 or 7:30 the morning and sometimes it was as late as 10:00 at night if I had a meeting going on until I get home, but generally around 5:00 - 5:30. The high school, in particular -- the junior high was not that time consuming because you didn't have as many night meetings and night activities. The high school, particularly with all the activities that I tried to get to as many as I could personally like the band when they would go on an exchange trip at least once a year. I would go to the plays, go to the games, athletic and various activities and so on. Quite a bit of time.

Q: All research points to the fact that excellent schools have administrators who are actively involved in leadership for educational expectations. What are some of the techniques or strategies you have used to involve yourself in educational leadership?

A: Here again the time factor is involved, but for the most part, I held weekly meetings with department chairmen of the various disciplines and to deal with matters with regard to the programs and to try to make it as much as possible, an open (090) forum. And I would say this is where we did most of the planning for let's say, next year's course offerings - program offerings. Any additions to the program that we would want to try -- those kinds of things and it was done for the most part through group department chairman and you can do that in a large high school. You have to do it in a large high school. I think, had I been in a smaller situation, I would have tried to do it with the entire staff, but it is almost impossible to deal with those with the entire staff.

Q: Did you have a model person you patterned yourself after when you went into the principalship? Somebody who served as a mentor?

A: Yes, I guess I had two or three. The first principal I worked with and I was with a classroom for eight years and then went back and worked with him as an assistant principal and then the first first principal I worked with in high school. Those two in particular impressed upon me.

Q: Were they a part of the reason you went into it?

A: I think so.

Q: It's said that we learn most from adversity. Would you describe some of the most difficult experiences (110) you had in the area of community relations and share with me what you learned from these incidents?

A: I guess one of the -- well, I know one particular incident in the last school. We had a group of -- I guess it was a time where there was a school board, there was a school board/teacher organization conflict and the students decided that they were going to support the teachers. I think the major reason for their support was that it appeared to them as a way of getting out of class. So they -- a large group of students -- just walked out of class. And were milling around in the front of the school and so I went out and told them I was going to give them -- I think at that time -- a half hour to get back in their classes and anybody that wasn't back in that time was going to be suspended from school. I knew I was playing with fire because I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get away with suspending a couple hundred students. I gave them that time and made it at the end of the next period, which actually gave them about the twice the amount of time that I had told them, I made a check of all the classrooms and got the absentees. Those that weren't on the absentee list we got those names and got them separated and isolated the names of those who didn't go back and then I called in all (137) the secretaries in the school and had them check with the teachers to be sure that we did not, you know, get mixed up with somebody who may have been out because of illness or something. And then we had the secretaries -- they were the ones who got the brunt of it -- they called every parent to let them know what had happened -- and to tell them that their child was suspended from school. As a result of it, we ended up suspending 95 kids in one day. And I only got three appeals out of the whole 95 and those appeals were upheld at the area superintendent's level. But it was a touchy thing to do because of that kind of numbers - in the first place, the kids were getting a big kick out of it because one of them had called the newspapers and of course, the story that the media put out was entirely off the mark, which is not unusual. But as it worked out, it was fine and I ended up with the support of the community; but for a while, it was, you know, it was touchy as to when you -- when something happens -- why, you always have to consider everything and every possibility and every segment of the community as to what their reaction are going to be before you do it.

Q: You probably had a little bit of difficulty in wondering where you were with your internal people -- you know, where you were with the student body, where you were going to be with the teachers, so that you know, it's wonderful to have central administration on your side, but they don't live with you. They are not at your building. (158) Well, that was another concern, too. The kids said they were supporting the teachers so I questioned how the teachers were going to react, but ...

A: They were very positive. I think everybody knew the kids were just playing games.

Q: Some of our best memories come from the recollection of past triumphs. Would you share your most important and enjoyable successes in the area of community relations? What did you feel the most proud of?

A: I don't know that I had any triumphs. I think just a general feeling of the community satisfaction with the school itself rather than one thing or something with me personally. I knew anything happening in the schools was going to be laid at my feet and I never -- I think I was more concerned , would be more concerned over the general attitude that the -- I got a couple letters here and there from parents who were happy with the things that had happened, but for the most part, it wasn't (177) anything specific that I'd done. I think one parent put it in terms of the atmosphere of the school was such that students would xxxxxx . I remember that it was in one a,,"letter from a parent who had just attended an honor society induction and an end-of-the-year baccalaureate ceremony for the graduates and then the graduation and they said they were impressed with the overall calmness and the attitude and the atmosphere in which the way the students handled themselves and they felt -- that it was because of me. I'm not going to fight them, but one reason, was it was a bunch of good kids.

Q: What is your own experiences did you find most beneficial in helping you maintain your sanity as a principal in given that it is such a hectic pace?

A: Well, I am not sure that I totally maintained my sanity. I guess rather than say sanity, let's just say survival. I survived, I think, just by accepting the attitude and the idea that you're never going to be right. As I said before, no matter what you do, there is somebody that's gonna think you are wrong -- maybe a student, maybe a parent, maybe the level of, you know, a line or rather a staff level of an administrator or something, but you just have to accept that when you take the job that you are not going to do anything right for the rest of your life.

Q: What haven't I asked you that I should have? What questions did you expect me to ask, but I haven't?

A: The only thing I could think of that you might have gone into more were about the programs in the school, the curricular -- the extra-curricular programs because particularly in the high school, there is a tremendous amount of -- now they call them co-curricular activities, but personally I think it is only one thing -- one curriculum. Some people get hung up between the academics and what they call non-academics. If public school is going to do the job that they say they are going to do, and that is to get students ready to live as well as perform in an academic atmosphere, I think that you can't do without those activities. But they have tremendous effect on a program and on a student body. You will find that most of your conflicts will become, rather than over. the academics, because academics are pretty much cut and dried, most of your conflicts in the school with come from the nonacademic programs. What the mascot is going to be ....

Q: For Fairfax High School...

A: Right. And that's the source of more conflict than the academics, I guess mainly because there aren't that many things that are questionable in an academic program.

Q: Like you said earlier, perhaps something that's more difficult in those situations are the interpersonal relationships between teachers and students. There is obviously much more room for things. What about, you were saying, there were many different conduits to influencing or sharing news about the school with the public. What are some of the conduits that you used during your tenure as principal?

A: A lot of personal contacts at different levels. You have to know -- and I am thinking now specifically of dealing with this one, for example -- you have to know ten times as much about the community as what you can actually come out and say and use and do. In other words, I am sure you are aware, and I've mentioned it before -- the criminal element of a school. You've got drug dealers, you've got thieves, and you have to deal with the other segments of the community that are dealing with them. The police department, for example. Because of the laws and the court systems, and so on, you have to know a heck of a lot more than

Q: School policy?

A: Than school policy -- because it is -- there are different levels of communication that involve the -- and you have to communicate at every level. I knew a heck of a lot more about what was going on than what I could do anything about, but if you know what's going on, you can take steps or you can move to keep other things from happening. If you know who's committing the theft in the locker room, you can take steps to keep it from happening again. Like I say, you deal with police departments, you deal with fire marshals offices, you deal with the PTA's and everybody.

Q: If there was some person outside of your central office, your office staff and your teachers, what one person or group of people make the biggest difference in your school/community relations program? If you could single it down to one, was it somebody in the community that you used a lot or was it an organization, or was a media contact or was it a..... ?

A: Oh, it was kids.

Q: Kids..?

A: Sure. It would have to be and very often it would be the kids. Sometimes well, they used to call them 'hoods"; I don't know what they call them now. Ninety percent of those kids were good kids, just something in their economics or in their backgrounds made them appear to be.... They are more honest. You can walk up to them and talk straight with them and they will give it to you straight. They know you are going to be fair with them and you will find more about what is going on in that whole place. It's amazing what you find out about. Because they are right up front.

Q: Any other questions that you can think of that I should have asked?

A: No. Not right off hand. I haven't focused on this for a long time.

Q: If you had to do it again, would you be a principal again?

A: Well, with what I know now and if it were to be under the present circumstances, no. But if it were under the -- in other words, at the time when a principal could handle the program and you could do your own buying and save the school money -- for example, it was -- it turned out to be a time where you could go down to Woolco and buy your school supplies cheaper that what they are charging you on am a your budget in a school system. And those natural cheapskate and I saw those things as really not being economically sound operations and once it got to that point, I got disillusioned with some of those things. If I were able to do things myself so I know I could get the best for the money that was involved in the school system, I certainly would. But I think that's why I brought up the point of bureaucracy because I think that is what bureaucracy has done to us. Of course without the bureaucracy, we would a heck of a unemployment problem in the country.

Q: They have to have a bureaucracy so that the people that don't last have some place to go.

A: You got it.

Q: Why did you retire when you did? Was it thirty years and it was time to retire? Was it the bureaucracy that got you and you just decided this is it?

A: Partially. I just figured that 30 years in high school without graduating was enough (laugh). And I have enjoyed it since. I have been fairly active. I haven't actually. I worked one year. I managed a racquet club one year and -- but the rest of the time, I have spent busy working with a daughter and a son-in-law who manage hotels. So it's been interesting. I have learned one thing -it is a heck of a lot easier making people happy in a resort hotel than it is in a high school.

Q: I want to thank you, Mr. Drayer, for agreeing to let me interview you and I think you shared with me some very valuable insights to the principalship. Thank you very much.

A: Thank you. It has been my pleasure.

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