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Q: How long were you in teaching before going into administration?
(Streamed audio file of interview for this question using RealPlayer)
A: I taught for two and one-third years, and then they asked me to become principal after the former principal became the assistant superintendent.
Q: Your first principalship?
A: Greenwood High School.
Q: Where was the school located?
A: About three miles from Crozet.
Q: What date did your principalship start?
A: December of 1946.
Q: How long were you at Greenwood before moving on to your next job?
A: At Greenwood up until 1953. when schools were consolidated; seven high schools were consolidated to form Albemarle High School.
Q: Albemarle High School was built?
A: In 1953.
Q: You were in tenure at Albemarle High School from 1953 to 1984 as principal, making it a total of thirty-one years.
A: For one year I was assistant principal--the first year.
Q: You became principal in 1954. You were principal for thirty years, that is great; that is a long time to be principal at that one school. I know that a lot of changes have taken place over the years, since being there for all of those years. Moving from one period to the next, the sixty's, seventies, and eighties a lot of change had taken place, and it has begun to change more since you have gotten out. Hopefully today in the interview we can talk about those things and really see how it has progressed over the years- things you liked about it, things you accomplished, and go from there. Briefly if you could describe your school for us you were there from the first day starting at Albemarle High School?
A: The first year, there were forty-four teachers and eight-hundred fifty students. Offerings were fairly good, it was a comprehensive high school, because of academic and vocational offerings. People. students mainly road the buses to the school. We could give them-- well the student mainly had to take advantage of what was offered during the day. A few of them could stay in the afternoons for activities and then we got to the point of providing buses. Parents provided the activity buses at first. And then we got the money from the school board later on to furnish the buses. We were at the time two schools in the county; Scottsville did not elect to go into the consolidation so they stayed down there in the southern end of the county, with a very small force. Although some elected to come to the school, but they provided their own transportation. Of course there was no integration at the time. Then Scottsville closed by approximately 1965. Then a year or two later the black high school closed, that was Burley. But, we had a few black students that elected to come before they closed, but they were small numbers. Maybe the first year we had five, second year nine, and after that the third year twenty-one, and after then they closed the black high school.
Q: What changes took place then as far as the time and period that blacks integrating with the whites and the social backgrounds came into play? How did they get along at first; was it a challenge?
A: Oh it was. we did a lot of planning at first. We took some of our student leaders. I and the assistant principal, we went over and worked with the principal of the black high school at first. Then we had their administrators come over to our place and work with some of our administrators. And then we took student leaders and went over and met with their student leaders, and then brought their student leaders over to our place. And I remember going over and speaking with their student body at large and we stayed around during the day to talk with different ones. I remember visiting all the classes and talking with the teachers. We had some teachers that we knew might be interested in coming Over to our place; so they came over and visited some of our faculty meetings and went into the various classrooms for observations. And then we had a visitation program of their students coming over, and we had an assembly with their students and some of our students; and so we did a lot of leg work ahead of time, and actually when integration actually occurred there were very few problems. We had very few, we tried to get some of their student leaders to have leadership in a few of our organizations. So they would feel they had the image to look up to.
Q: When that was all accomplished, and the big push towards science and math in high schools that came about in the sixties, how did this affect education? Did good benefits result from money coming into the programs?
A: Well, we didn't see much in the money department because the state would be the ones to put up the monies for these things. Although money was rewarded in the forms of scholarships; inducements for students to go into those various areas. But actually the school itself, these industries giving money to individual schools-- we didn't see that. The only things we saw were in the form of scholarships.
Q: How about the programs-- were the programs stepped up? Were there more Chemistry and Biology and things like that?
A: Oh yes. When we first had Albemarle High School we had the standard offering of sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. We had limited sections of those-- one man taught all the Chemistry and the Physics. And then when Sputnik came along--putting all the emphasis on that- we advanced many more sections in those fields of Physics and science. Then we got to the point because of that, that we had an advanced Biology course, and advanced Chemistry course. And then we put in Ecology, another science program. As far as math we had always had a few students that would finish up there math early at Albemarle High School and then they were allowed to go to the University during the day and maybe take one course. Then we got to the point of taking several courses at the University. Some may finish up in their Junior year, they may have taken math and perhaps physics or chemistry at the University.
Q: In the seventies, what would you say the biggest challenge for you was at your school? Was it enrollment going up or--
A: Yes, enrollment was going up. Expanding various programs, not only for your math and sciences, but business programs, likewise vocational programs. See your state has all along had certain standards that you have-- so many associations you had to join, so many academic offerings, and so many vocational offerings. Otherwise you would get a deficiency on your annual report. So you had to keep a balance of academic and vocational offerings.
Q: In the early seventies when I was in school in Albemarle County there was a lot of tension (say 1962-1963) with the blacks and the whites. To this day I am not sure why there was a lot of tension, just they didn't like each other or what did you see in that? It would start at the middle school and come right up to the high school.
A: You found more of that in your urban areas and then it began to spill over into your suburban areas because your urban areas had more of a chance for your social groups to get together. They felt neglected that they weren't getting a fair deal to what the whites were getting. So they began to feel uneasy, and we began to feel it from the city, but not as much. We would have student elections, and you would find that there were more whites than blacks in this particular area. Although it wasn't true in some other areas, it was just the reverse. And because of the popularity and everything the whites would get more of the recognition than the blacks. And they began to feel the uneasiness of the situation. We had to see to it that blacks were placed into positions of leadership, such as cheerleaders, and things to give them an image to aspire to and to feel applauded. Some of those could have been real problems. We had to do a lot of work in counseling, and individual conferencing during the day. We would have to have our black teachers in on certain things, along with white teachers to make sure that we had an equal percentage of representation. A lot of the blacks had trouble because they didn't have the preparation and the drive to get their academic standings up to the level of a lot of whites. Near the beginning of our integration we had a black student who was a co-valedictorian of the school, and that helped to give them an image that they could do and they could succeed. And we certainly had black students throughout the years that were outstanding; as a result they went on and won scholarships. One of them became Phi Beta Kappa and went on and did graduate work at Princeton. That helped their image.
Q: In the late 1970s, early 80s that was when I was away at college and I was away from Albemarle High School. I know that they were just splitting up the high school--they had opened up a new high school in late 1978. How did that affect your high school as far as academics. losing teachers, those kinds of things--as far as maybe the activities and-athletics as well?
A: We had a number of teachers that had been their for a number of years, and some of the teachers that lived in this area elected to go to the new high school which was convenient for them. The main core of the teachers elected to stay at Albemarle High School, and we have always had a certain percentage of turnover each year because of the type of county we are. A lot of university personnel are teaching at our place. They come in and stay a few years and then leave when their husband is finished his education. So. we have always had a fairly large turnover. That year when West came into being we had a much larger turnover than ever before; but, we still had a good nucleus to keep us going the way we had been doing--with a continuity we were still able to continue the school.
Q: How many administrators and teachers did you start out with and how many did you end up with when you retired?
A: We had only one assistant principal for a number of years. We continued with one administrator even when we had over 1800. students. Actually according to regulations we should have had one assistant principal for each 600 students. When Mr. King left (he and I had born the brunt of things as principal and assistant principal) and became principal in the city, then they put on two other assistant principals. They were catching up to what they should have done years and years ago. But, the county had always been conservative as far as spending, and they had always tried to keep things down to a low tee because of taxpayers.
Q: Yes, big land owners here.
A: Absentee land owners, that's right.
Q: About your teaching force, how many teachers in the early 1960's in Albemarle were you supervising?
A: When Albemarle first opened there were forty-four teachers, and when I left there were one-hundred and twenty-six. As for students we had 850 when we had forty-four teachers to 2100 students.
Q: And that was before the break-up in '78 of the school?
Q: And then it dropped back down? How many kids were there then?
A: About 1850 when the two schools came into being. Now, we started out as a five-year school back in 53'. Then when Scottsville and Burley came into being, and then increased enrollment, we became a three-year high school. Throughout the years, we reduced from five, then we became a four, then we became a three. We stayed a three year high school for several years. That is when they had the junior high schools in being. When Weston opened up, then we went back to the formation of a four-year high school which is how it stands now.
Q: Looking back now, having retired and being in the position you are in, what really made you decide to be an administrator? They asked you of course, but what was your motivating factor to only teach for two years, three years at the most, and then become an administrator?
A: Financial, at first. Teaching was my first love. I enjoyed the classroom.
Q: What were you teaching?
A: I was teaching math and Latin. They were my two mainstays, and I enjoyed them; eventually loved them. And even after I became the principal, back about '62, we had an overflow of Latin requests from students. We had one teacher that was filled up, and you can only give a teacher one-hundred and fifty pupils during the day. We had one class left over; so, I got permission from the superintendent to teach a Latin class of thirty-five students. He didn't want me to do it because he thought I had too much. But I hated to see those students go without Latin, and I took that class. I really enjoyed that class.
Q: They were giving you a break from the day-to-day headaches.
A: Well, they did. I had to make sure that I didn't let a lot of other things interrupt that class because the students might suffer.
Q: Still have to balance being administrator and all those situations and coming back and setting aside that time to prepare your lessons.
A: It is not a bad idea those students go without Latin, and I took that class. I really enjoyed that class.
Q: They were giving you a break from the day-to-day headaches.
A: Well, they did. I had to make sure that I didn't let a lot of other things interrupt that class because the students might suffer.
Q: Still have to balance being administrator and all those situations and coming back and setting aside that time to prepare your lessons.
A: It is not a bad idea for an administrator to teach a class. It makes him aware of the classroom situation, and the problems teachers might have. So in some respects it was a good thing for me to make me aware of the students and teachers.
Q: And over the years, how did your philosophy develop, and did it change as the years grew?
A: I found that during the years you were getting so many demands for students to be out of classes for this thing and that thing, and special programs. I had to literally fight at times, in a sense, virtually with people. So that we would not take the students out of the classroom too much. And we would get request after request from people in the community wanting to do this thing or that thing. I had to be very conservative and very strict about that.
Q: Athletics had a lot to do with taking kids out of classes because of the athletic events. Now days that has changed, they have to go to school all day long. I know it is going to be beneficial to them. Is that how you feel that they need to be there the six periods of the day?
A: Yes, I surely do. It used to bother us, but at the time because of transportation and other things affecting it we didn't have much choice.
Q: Now, your philosophy is saying that you want the kids their all the time. What are some other things that go along with that which you feel are important?
A: Well, of course, you can take that too far because everything is not gotten out of a book. There are other experiences that can go toward the education of a student too. You just have to use some judgement on that. I think you have got to let the students know that you care, and that you are interested in them, and that they are not just any person. You need to take a personal interest in them to let them know that they have the possibility of developing into something.
Q: That just starts with the ground work--developing that caring relationship that you care about the kids, and that you are an educator first. You want to make sure the kids are getting everything they deserve and staying out of trouble by it too. How did you help the teacher's create that climate for learning, in the classroom, around the school itself?
A: In your planning sessions, your conferences with them, faculty meetings. You have to bring that up and let them know what you expect of them. Then you try to see that it is carried out. I tried to be in the classrooms as much as I could to let the teachers know that you are interested in what they are doing and also their students. And outside the classroom, maybe when you are in a faculty meeting or on a trip or something like that, or in a lunch period in some way. I always made it a point to eat with the teachers; sometimes I would eat in the cafeteria too. I would eat with teachers, and as we were eating I would talk with them about some of their students. Maybe I would give the teacher something about the background of their student so they could be helpful to them.
Q: What type of leadership techniques did you use? I am in a class right now, and we're talking about different styles and different techniques.
A: I am not an authoritarian. I don't believe in that. I believe in first setting an example. Some people say you can say certain things, and you can accomplish something. But, you can accomplish much more by what you do. You may say some things; but, if you are carrying what you say out that is much more effective.
Q: So, that was your most successful technique. Carrying out. setting a good example, making sure that you were seen, and that you got to know the kids' names. I know that was one of your big things that you wanted to know every kid that went through the school- know their name and at least know a little about them--so that when you saw them down the road you could say something good to them. What type of role did you play as far as public and community relations? People always demanding these things and those. How did you handle those situations when their was a big demand or a big group coming in deciding that they want this sport in or they want to do this for the kids, or send the kids on this field trip. How did you handle the public?
A: Well usually they would have a representative or a committee to come in and I would hear their side. And, then I would try to be frank with them; I didn't try to put up a false front. After they had given their side, I would give our side, and then I would try to tell them that we would try to honor their request as much as we could and within reason.
Q: I am in the boat now where I'm not really sure what the administrator is doing. What do you think that teachers expect out of a principal?
A: I think of being fair. Treating people for not who they are but what they are.
Q: Now we are looking at different kinds of evaluations coming about, and I know it has changed. My last year at Albemarle before I left and you retired they brought in the " increasing teachers' effectiveness." In Prince William County we also have a type of program like that. How did you go about evaluating teachers at first, and then how did it develop into what it is now? Why was there such a demand to give the teachers a "this is how you are suppose to teach?"
A: I believe at first, and it still is to a certain degree-- so much of the evaluation is too subjective. You didn't have the definite things to evaluate a person on. Sometimes people doing the evaluating were too far removed from the scene. You can go in and observe for one day in the classroom and some teachers can really make a show. If you put down an evaluation for that day some teachers would get a higher mark. But, there are some people who are not explosive in a sense of their personalty and everything. I call some of those teachers genuine because they go along, they are homeworkers, they want to do what's right, and they may not have that effervescence of personality. But, it is true genuine work that they are doing; and after a time you can see what is going on.
Q: What techniques did you use to make the teacher feel important?
A: Always when a job is well-done, let them know. Always let them know. You got to take an interest in them. If something is out of place or missing in some way, do not. embarrass them in front of others. Not to be critical, I think it takes a good person to give criticism in a constructive way. I don't think you can lambaste a person and get a lot of results. I think you have got to be very good in your approach to something. I think you can get far more accomplished with a good feeling.
Q: So, you feel the evaluation process we are using now is more...
A: I think it is more objective than what it use to be, but there ar still some subjective features in it that will always be hard to overcome.
Q: Is it going to interfere with the style of teaching more? Some teachers teach in different ways-- they really get a good rapport with their kids, and then they are saying if you don't follow these steps of the learning process we are going to have problems with our system. Is that fair now?
A: That might be some, Clyde, because some teachers can be more effective in certain styles of teaching than in other styles of teaching. We are just built differently. Some of us can do better in one way of teaching than in another.
Q: How has your philosophy of education changed over the years as far as in the general direction of education? Have you seen a lot of good developments or do you think there are some other things that should be added into it ?
A: I think that education has changed a lot because of the status symbol. It used to be that teachers were put up on a pedestal. They were unquestioned in a lot of the things that they did, and now it is to the point to were everything is questioned by almost everyone beginning with the home, with the teacher and the pupil.
Q: So, it is more of a total relationship now. Starting with not just what you learn in school but what are you getting at home to create what you are doing as a whole.
A: And some of that is good. It can be taken too far.
Q: What do you think it takes to be an effective principal--to really do the things you have to do?
A: You have to get along with people. Be capable, secondly. Having an educational background for a principal. Showing people that you care, that you're interested; well, I could name a number of things; patience, getting involved with students as far as their education is concerned, teachers and community too. There are some people who just isolate themselves from the community--school is out and they don't participate in other things. But, I was very involved in church work; I was very involved in the community to get to know the people, and to find out what they thought of the schools in turn and show them that you are interested in them likewise.
Q: That's one thing I noticed about the smaller community--the county--it has more of a community relationship. I noticed where I am now in Prince William that the teachers are all spread out. They are gone here, there; they live thirty, forty miles away from the school so it really isn't that type of commitment that I found in Albemarle County, the closeness of the faculty and things like that. I'm sure that was one of your big pushes was to make sure that the faculty got along together, did a lot of things, and felt it important to be around the different events. Some of the pressures you were under--what is one that really stood out, and did you go about handling it? It may not have been exactly a problem, but it may have been something that had to be done and you had to make big decisions about.
A: Well, I think one of the things was concerning news such as your Daily Progress. They would always want to latch onto something that was insignificant, negative in a way. We got to the point were we asked the Progress to give us a special news person so we could report positive things to them so that the public would not see the negative side all together, and would see some of the positive things of the school. You have to keep involved I think with (especially just before you came into high school with student organizations to make sure they were having some say so in affairs. Years ago we did not have too much parents in affairs. In fact I never had a lot of parent interruption, but you'd get to know parents and give them some place in school so that they would feel a part of it too. For years and years we didn't have a PTA at Albemarle High School. It started off, and then because the county was so widespread with seven high schools it was hard to get them entwined and in the working. As a result they became defunct, didn't exist. Then you would have to get certain groups to come in and get involved in certain ways--to support our library fair or something like that, or for your athletic organizations to get some help. Your parent groups are important, and you had to deal with them so they would feel important in the school.
Q: How did you feel when you found a kid in the wrong, and the parents came in and really pushed to change what you thought had to be done to the student? What kind of problems did you have there?
A: Well, you would run into problems at times that the student was right. Generally, most of the time the teacher was correct. I would try to work with related sources that would have some bearing on them. .I would try to keep those in confidence so that I would not give the confidence of that person away. Once in awhile we would change, but not unless it had been proven that we were in the wrong.
Q: I think right before you went out there were some grievances; maybe even after you retired there were some teacher grievances and there was some question about firing of teachers. Did you ever have to go through any of that while you were an administrator? Did you have to ask someone to step down or have to dismiss someone on your own?
A: Yes, there were cases where we had to dismiss through the years. But, before it got to that point I would try to have the definite situations to point out to a teacher that that person was doing a poor job. Most of the time, in fact, I don't know of any grievance that I can outright remember I had charged as filed against me. You had to be specific if you didn't recommend a teacher. You had to have definite grounds to dismiss a teacher. I have worked with a number of teachers through the years that I did not recommend in coming back. I think the teacher knowing how I felt, and that I could point out specific things-- often times that teacher just decided that he or she didn't want to come back and they would make other plans.
Q: How can we now improve education? I know that it is growing in leaps and bounds, and we've done some really good things, but how can young educators continue to make it better?
A: In the field of special education. Through my experiences I think that many of those special education students can do more than what special education teachers expect. I don't think they have set their goals high enough. When they put a lot of them in special education they think that is a way of getting an education but a cut-down version of it. Now that is just one thing. Also with schools becoming so large that often times students are forgotten, and they are not challenged enough.
Q: So, as teachers we need to bring back that challenge.
A: Yes, and that personal interest in a lot of them.
Q: Now dating back a little; some of these questions are maybe a little out of sequence. How did you handle the Civil Rights Actions back when segregation was starting to end,:and those types of things, and busing. We talked a little bit just briefly about the years and how they went on, but how did the Civil Rights Movement affect Albemarle County? I know the black kids were really looking for something: would that push them more?
A: I think that they were generally interested at first. Although the black families in Albemarle County were not as pushy as in a lot of the urban areas. They were very understanding when we first began. You did have a few leaders, and these were mainly black leaders from the city who tried to irritate the situation. We had administrators from the school board office that worked with them at times and were able to keep the lid on things. As times developed they wanted equal rights for blacks as well as whites. You had to understand their background-- where they were coming from to try to help. We worked with blacks. They were generally understanding. You would explain your side of things. I remember meeting with a group of parents from Esmond concerning the busing situation, and we were listening to their complaints. Then we would give our reasons for doing things. They would talk about the bus driver in a certain situation or the making of certain stops. Then after we had heard their complaints we would tell our side of things and the reason for it, and we would try to rectify some of the things that could be done to accommodate them.
Q: But, overall in Albemarle County desegregation went pretty smooth?
A: Oh yes, I was really surprised.
Q: At first you were assistant principal for one year and then had one assistant principal for a number of years. Then when the school enrollment increased you had more assistant principals. How did you go about handling what their responsibilities were and delegating their authority for what they needed to do?
A: I would get them together, and we would list the things that had to be done. Some of them had a better background and training in certain areas than others. I would often times let them volunteer for what they would like to do until I could see where the balance was. Then sometimes I would have to step in and say so and so I think you need to do this situation here because another one has more of a load here. In the long run I would have to make the decisions, but, I give them some preference in that they could volunteer for certain things. If I had to go back and re-do my situation again I would give the assistant principals more of a load than what I had done in the past. I often times did things myself so that I would not put to much of a burden on them. I think maybe that is wrong because they are in the field to get training, and there is no better way to get that training than to give them something to do. I would want to be doing as much as they would to show them that I could do and that I wasn't too superior to be doing something. In someways that can be detrimental both to the principal and to the assistant principal because he is there to get the training. Someday he will have to be doing some of those things when he gets to be a principal.
Q: What were some of your greatest concerns along the lines of your being a principal and along with your assistant principals?
A: I wanted to let the teachers and the students know that I cared, that I was involved and that I knew what was going on. I wanted them to feel that I was fair and truthful. I didn't want people who were well-off getting better treatment than the poor deprived kid--that use to worry me a lot.
Q: What were some of your biggest headaches as a principal--that you really took home and thought about and they kept on driving at you day after day until they were really resolved?
A: That teachers were doing a tip-top job in the classroom. I use to worry about that. If you had good teachers, and they were doing a good job, a lot of your problems would never come about. Sometimes teachers would be too easy on students, such as a day before a holiday giving assignments and not doing anything in the classroom--come and have free time and kill time that way. I thought that was a waste of time. Of course you always wanted to have good classroom discipline. You wanted that to be one of your goals.
Q: Do you feel that the students took advantage of the teachers too much and spend more time in your office than in the classroom? For example, students who were usually just trouble, makers and you knew you had to do something about them, but for different . policies and things like that you had to keep them in school- they weren't really going out there and maybe shooting a firearm, but they were causing a lot of disturbances and always in a lot of trouble and ended up being suspended X number of days.
A: You found a small percentage of that. It got to the point where the school board was taking a stand that after so many suspensions and everything you could expel them. Although you didn't want to see a student get expelled to be deprived. Years ago when I started in education, students who were big trouble makers, when girls would become pregnant in school, you would get rid of them. People who were handicapped--the school just didn't handle them. What would happen they would stay isolated in their homes. They would never be out in public. I think special education has done a lot to get these people into school, and a lot of them are now making there own way in life, and not dependent on families and social agencies to make a living for them. It used to be a girl would get pregnant, and hush up, take her out of school. You'd look at it and she would be the very one who needed the education. I think schools have come a long way in that respect.
Q: What do you think about career ladders for teachers? I know Albemarle County is pushing right now for more teacher's pay. Could you reflect a little bit on teacher's pay and on merit pay? Is it going in the right direction?
A: I believe in incentive pay; I don't believe in merit pay. Merit pay is too subjective. Incentive pay is good--extra duties and pay them for that, compensation for various degrees.
Q: So, the more time they actually put into the program that the school board can see should be the way..they get their pay. Do you think education will ever get to the point of business where one person is an accountant and the other person is just a secretary? Do you see education going towards where one person is a math or computer teacher and another person is just a health teacher, and there is a difference in pay there?
A: No, I don't. I think that is going to create a feeling among teachers that some of them are superior to others just because of the field that they are in. I don't think that is good.
Q: Incentive pay is the pay that teachers ought to look for. If they are going to put in more time, they deserve more money. What are some of the characteristics that you see associated with effective schools? You've talked about your philosophy and making sure that the kids know you care. What are some of the other things that tie into effective schools?
A: Good planning is one. Time to allow for teachers to plan. A well-coordinated program .both from the teacher's standpoint and the student's standpoint. Time for students should be designated all the time during the day. That is a program planned for a student. That's not just free time. but if they have time left over from a lesson then it ought to be specified as to what they are to be doing during that time. A lot of free time is just wasted.
Q: There are different testing procedures that have been used for years. Eleventh graders take the S.R.A. Test; now, to get into colleges they are requiring the S.A.T. and the other achievement tests. Are those good or do you feel that some of them are valid most of the time but depending on the kid it could be a little different?
A: I think they are valid most of the time; however, there are some students that are test anxious. You call it test anxiety; some students do not test well when sitting down to a test. I don't think you ought to use that one-hundred percent. It gives you some indication, but there are other factors involved.
Q: The student's character, the things he does, extra-curricular activities.
A: Sometimes a teacher recommendation, but then you got to be careful because just because a person likes a person you can't give that full credit.
Q: What has been your toughest decision in your career besides retirement?
A: Well, one of the toughest ones at times is teacher recommendations. You worry a lot about teachers; you hope you are doing justice to them. And then times when you have to make a recommendation for an expulsion; that's always hard.
Q: What do you feel was your key to success?
A: I think I had a lot of good people to work for us. I like people; I like to work with people, and let people know that you care about them.
Q: You were asked when you first were in education to become a principal. What responsibilities do you think an administrator has as far as being a principal and trying to identify and maybe produce future administrators?
A: There is a certain program at the university and they write to you at certain times wanting you to recommend people to be in an intern program. Getting back to the good workers, one of the hardest things to do in the beginning when I first became principal was the mental strain of making decisions that you never had to make before. You find this after the end of the day not physically draining but mentally draining. You'd worry about have you made the right decision in dealing with this teacher or this problem. You can take a lot of education classes and you don't feel the relevance of those classes just after you've had them, but as the years pass you find a lot of it being effective for you in your work. It is hard for a lot of teachers to see that when they are taking education courses. There are some things that you can only get through the experience.
Q: Do you find more classroom teachers going toward administration or do you find more people who are involved in other activities in the school, like sports, getting their masters towards administration supervision? I know that Mr. Helvin for a long time was a football coach at Jewitt and then he was an assistant principal there; now, he is the principal still at Jack Jewitt. Do you feel that more of those people who are in those leadership roles tend to keep on moving towards those bigger leadership goals?
A: I think you will find teachers that are generally involved in things and in leadership roles even in the classroom. Those taking on additional duties--they're the ones that are inclined to go on and become administrators.
Q: Looking back, describe your typical workday in your latter years.
A: I got up at six-thirty and leave home about seven-thirty in the morning. Get to school a few minutes before eight. I would usually plan my day out the night before as to what I hoped to accomplish. Then, after seeing to things around the office and checking around school, answering the telephone, looking into a few details,'work with the custodian a little bit if the assistant principal is not around who works with him, you would greet people as they would come to the school, get set for announcements during the day, and try to make yourself visible around school even at the beginning of it so that teachers and students would see that you were in place and that you cared. Then there would be some mail or reports you would have to look into. Try to visit some classrooms during the day. Talk with administrators about things that needed to be done and problems of which to be careful. Then you may work with some department heads or guidance in some way. Telephone calls you would have to make. You may have to go over to the superintendents office for certain matters or a meeting. That would take you well up into the day. You would try to make yourself visible during the lunch periods at school for orderliness and discipline reasons too. Make yourself available for teachers. Then in the afternoons you might have a meeting. In fact, most afternoons you were having a committee meeting, a meeting at the superintendent's office with some group, a faculty meeting or planning with certain ones about certain events. One of the biggest things I've noticed is that nights are not taken up the way they used to be. I used to be gone three and four nights a week and that would take you out to maybe nine or ten o'clock at night.
Q: It's really tiring I know as a football coach and things like that I do you can spend a lot of time at school. Being an administrator you spend time at the different activities after school. You may have a band concert, or you may have a play. A basketball game with Charlottesville--you would definitely have to be there in case all havoc broke out.
A: But, one of the big helps was to plan before you go to school. Plan the night before the things you hope to accomplish or have to be done by such and such of time. Then at the end of the day you look over that list and cross out those things that have been done. Put down again on a sheet of paper those things that that had not been done that needed to be done. Now, that's a big help; unless you have got some plan lots of times your day can be wasted.
Q: I know you were in education in Albemarle County for a great number of years. Age may have caused you to choose retirement, but are there any other factors that may have caused you to choose retirement when you did?
A: No, I had always said that when I got to be sixty-five that I would retire and that's what happened. It just so happened that I put in forty years; and of course, I had my four war years in between that. I had always set as my goal, sixty-five.
Q: Do you feel like you could have went on longer?
A: Oh. I feel like I could have, but I don't know if I'd be as fair to the people. I had several groups that came to me and pleaded with me in tears wanting me to continue, but I didn't think that was the right thing to do.
Q: Do you go back a lot now and visit?
A: At first I thought I was going to go back a lot, but after I got to thinking I decided it wouldn't be fair. If I'd go back there and try to see this group or that group, I can see where the present administration might think that I was trying to interfere. So, I have only been back a few times each year. and I do that purposely because I don't want them to think that I am still trying to hang on and run things. I enjoyed my work, I really did, and if I had to do it again I'd probably be a high school principal at Albemarle County.
Q: Is there anything that I haven't asked you that you feel is important?
A: Mr. Keale, our former superintendent, taught me years ago when I was at Greenwood the three B's that he had always tried to use in anything he did (working with the people, or problems). Be fair, Be firm, and be friendly. But, be friendly to a certain extent that you are not overdoing it because as that old saying goes, "you can be too friendly and breed contempt." But, he had the three B's: Be firm, Be fair, and Be friendly to a certain extent.
Q: Well, I thank you very much.
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