The date is November 11, 1998 at Spratley Middle School in Hampton, Virginia. The topic is the principalship of Ivey Y. Hawkins. The interview is with Mrs. Ivey Hawkins who is a retired principal.

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Q: Thank you for joining me this afternoon and giving me a history of your principalship. I would like to ask you several questions related to principalship and many of them dealing with philosophies and different areas you have worked. But first of all, could you tell me a little bit about your interests and how you decided upon becoming a principal and go back to your college education, if you don't mind.

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

A: I'm a graduate of Hampton University and I'm in secondary education which was my major. Teaching drama was my minor. I began teaching in 1966. I started out in Matthews County as an English teacher. From there I went to York County and I taught there for four years before becoming assistant principal. In that time it was what they called intermediate school which was seventh and eighth grade. I was assistant principal in that school for approximately six years and then I became principal in 1980. I was there until about Ô86, I believe. And then I went to queen's Lake to become the principal there and that is also a York County School. From there, there were several of my friends who were able to retire. They had an early out and were retiring at 50. I was 50 but I did not have the number of years because I started teaching later than my classmates. I applied for a position in Hampton, Virginia and I became principal of Syms Middle School. I was there for six years before I retired.

Q: Good. Could you discuss or tell me a little bit about what influenced you to become a principal or what were the circumstances surrounding your becoming a principal?

A: Probably, it would be the circumstances because I was teaching at Tabb high School and at that time you had to take six hours before you could become certified and you could become certified for five mid-terms and there was a course there in administration. To tell you the truth, it was right after class, right in the building. So I took that course. And in the meantime, I had worked with difficult students and my superintendent thought I did a fine job and also my principal. When the position for assistant principalship became available I was told that you will be assistant principal at a certain school. So it's not that I had thought about being an assistant principal. It was my circumstances that led me into administration.

Q: Prior to becoming an administrator or principal what were your philosophies on education?

A: The same as it is now and will always be, that all children can learn.

Q: what's your instructional philosophy? How did you develop your general philosophy, and did you develop instructional programs that would help children?

A: I taught high school and I told you I had a knack of teaching students who were below average. In fact, when I received my masters from Hampton University, it was a fellowship, and it was teaching disadvantaged children. My philosophy , all children call learn, is to give them bits and pieces. I had seniors my first year at York high School and when the teachers saw my roll they said, You won't be here long. Because this set of students, they had run three teachers out already. It was a group of boys below average. But the curriculum for them was the same as any other curriculum. They weren't interested at all in school, they were interested in what they were doing. And the things that they were doing they could do well. They could fix cars, one was a tailor. They could do all kinds of things. So I started developing their reading around their interests. And I told them that we needed to get through Shakespeare. So what I did, I took short chunks of time and devoted it to Shakespeare and instead of using the curriculum as it stood 18 weeks of talking about whatever. We did it in 3 weeks and they thoroughly enjoyed that and at that time teachers at time who had children that they called disadvantaged ,or whatever the phrase was at that time, they never received a student teacher so I was getting a student teacher from William & Mary and we developed units around three weeks for these students and they finished just like the other students did. And they accomplished a lot and they were very happy. We sat and talked about different things, about life. Because that is what they were interested in.

Q: Is there a success story that stands out in your mind?

A: ... I had one parent who had, in fact she lives in York County now, they were Slades.. They had children who were going to college but they had one young man who did not want to go to college and his mother was very disturbed. She came to talk to me and I said, College is not for everyone. He knows right now that he wants to be a fisherman and that is what he did. And many times he has come to see me and thank me for talking to his mom. Money is not the important thing but he made much more money than his brother and sister and he was as satisfied. He loved what he was doing, and as far as I am concerned he was the most successful of all the children.

Q: There are various management styles and leadership styles. What do you see you style as being?

A: Well, when I started it was basically management. Leadership should have been there, but it did not come into play until much later. I was more interested on the high school level and middle school level of management at that time because that is what they were doing. Now it is much better now because you have the leadership as far as doing a lot of different things. But at that time it was the principal. What he said what he told you to do, you did. I did not follow that all the time because I always wanted to make sure that I could develop a style and make sure that we did things together. But many times, the principal was a male coach and I remember back in the 70s having to go to meetings and being one of five females in the whole groups of people. I remember when I was an assistant principal going to a meeting where coaches, you know basketball or whatever, and I remember walking into that meeting and I was the only female there. And of course, the person who was chairing the meeting said, Do you want to take notes for us? And so I was at that time very outspoken. I guess I still am. I said, Well, what were you doing before I got here? And they just thought they would die. And I knew I wasn't going to be the secretary because that is what they expected me to be. I came up being a manager with a lot of men. Going to the state conferences, I was by myself many times because there were no women during that time in administration. So it was more management. But of course, the leadership part and the instructional part I truly loved and I guess I was doing a lot of that before it became the thing to do.

Q: My third question is how did you emerge as an instructional leader? (100)

A: It is not like I emerged. It was a part of me and it was not difficult when that was a catch-all phrase, instructional leader. And I must say that during that time you had to emerge. You weren't trained and I think that students who are going into administration were not trained to do this. So a lot of it I had to pick up on my own, and I did.

Q: A word like empower, since it is popular now, how did that role relate to your role as an administrator and how you carried out your job?

A: It was very easy because that was my style to empower the teacher to be happy. If the teachers were happy, and doing things then the student would be happy. My thing was students first. And in order to make sure that the students got everything that they needed, I had to make sure that I let teachers make some of the decisions. So, it was easy.

Q: Looking at your school climate, how were you able to create a successful school climate for learning?

A: Before and now, we do it all the time. When I was principal of York County I coined the phrase We are Family at YIS. That was before I knew that everybody is family and that is what you have to be. So like I said, we are a family, so that is what I expected from my students that they would come to me and talk to me because we are family. Talk to me. I wasn't the type of principal to just sit in the office. I was always out there. They knew me. I was in the classes, in the halls, in the cafeteria. And across the building we are family at YIS and once you say that and people think about it, then they go about the business of being exactly that.

Q: What kinds of things did the teachers expect of you as a principal to do? What did they see your role as being? Please talk about it from the beginning of your principalship to the end. I know that you can't give me all of that information but generally from beginning to end what would it look like?

A: Well, like I said, I was principal and assistant principal in the same building. That is very difficult. It was not difficult for me but they saw my role as being entirely different. As assistant principal I knew everybody, knew something about their lives or why they were absent and all of these things they told me. Then when I became principal they put me on a pedestal. They stopped talking to me about certain things. That is why I coined the Phrase We are family because back in those days you did not have such a turnover with teachers. So I still needed them. I knew the teachers, but they were the ones to say, Oh she's principal now so we don't go to her about certain things. I was the buffer when I was the assistant principal, the buffer for the principal. I guess it was difficult because I wasn't seen with the same type of image. They had given me a different image but I was the same person. They were the ones that gave me that image. And I don't know, I mean everyone always said She doesn't act like a principal. They always said that to me and I have always wanted to know what did they meant by that. They were never able to tell me what they meant by that. But it was always She Doesn't act like a principal. I never changed as far as I know. I never changed. Maybe that is what it is. But I didn't see other principals as being anything other than themselves. But they would always say, She Doesn't act like a principal. So they always treated me that way.

Q: If you were to advise a person now considering an administrative job what advice would you give them?

A: Well, personally, who wants to be a principal I would tell them to really think about it very, very, hard and to plan their course so that they won't get burned out. If they want to become a principal and that is all they want to become, they don't want to go to central office, then they should plan it so that they do their last five or six years as a principal. That is what I would tell them to do because it is a very lonely position. It is a very very political position right now and it just takes up all of your time. Devote your younger years to your family, to your children. As a principal, don't ever leave them out because when you are a principal you have to devote a lot of time to your profession. So do it toward later years so you can enjoy your family and your friends in your early years. So that when you come out you don't have any regrets.

Q: There are those who argue that more often than not central office's policies hinder rather than help building level administrators in carrying out the responsibilities. Would you give some of your views on that issue, if in fact you do believe that. I f you don't believe that then, why do you think that they do not?

A: Some of them hinder but we have to remember that they have to do what somebody is telling them to do to. Everyone is caught in the middle. A lot of t___;he things that we hear from central office is not what they believe in either. But it is what the state tells them to do or the governing body tells them to do. So all of us do things that we don't believe. But if you are working for a system when you do it and you don't gripe about the system that you are working for. Many times when I went to meetings, I would say how in the world am I am going to do this. Because I do not believe in this. Then I would go home and pray about it and think of a way to tell my teachers that it was plausible for them to follow. One thing that I always tried to do in a meeting was make sure that we weed out the unnecessary things. And I tried to help my teachers because they are the hardest working people in that wheel. So try to make it easy for them to do just what is necessary and continue to work with their students. Because they can become so frustrated with paperwork and things that they have to do that they don't give to the students what they can.

Q: How do you motivate your teachers. What sort of things do you do.

A: I always let them know how important they are. I always at the end of the nine weeks have something in their boxes to show my appreciation. My first year I did not change anything because I was still learning the system myself. I had to learn the system. But I went in there talking about change and that was my focal point. I remember after one nine weeks putting change, four quarters, in their boxes and that was some change for them to buy something for themselves. Ever now and then I always like to give them something. When I have to go the school___<l you have to have perfect attendance. When the student has perfect attendance, they get a certificate. They have an assembly. When any of my teachers had perfect attendance I would always give them something. I always acknowledged them on my bulletins. I always gave them a birthday card. The ones in the summer got it in the end of the school year. I always did things for them because I wanted them to know how much I appreciated them. Just little things. I used to have a bulletin that I called Report Card, Standards and Faculty Meeting. It would deal with the report card and we would have our goals and objectives at the beginning of the year. And sometimes when you are working you see so many things and are doing so many things that you forget that you have done some of the things that you have set out to ___8do. So in my report card I would always call on people and let others know what the other person is doing, what the person next door to you is doing. (200) Everybody in that faculty knew somehow about what they were doing and how they fit into that goal. And okay, we say this is how much we are going to do and this is how much we did. They were always astonished that I remembered those things and always astonished at how we have done more than we thought we had towards the goal. And one thing I found out about goal is that you don't change them every year. You don't change things every year. You set out for what you want to do for a period of time. What I have done was things that I had envisioned for 2000. We are going to be this in 2000. So every year we added some things about what we wanted to accomplish by 2000. That was the way that you didn't have to change so much. If you have very good goals, you always use those and know how to add some things to it.

Q: You know as principal, one always has to be active in the community. What were some of the community pieces that you did related to school and outside of school?

A: Well, you always have to speak at the churches and when I am asked to do it, I always make an effort to do so. I work with the Boys Club, I work with the Girls Incorporated, I also did a lot of things with the church. I always worked with the charities and if the school had something like selling cookies at Wal-Mart or something I would always make an appearance and was always there. So in my newsletter I would always let the parents know that we were involved in things and usually it was very seldom that I used. I usually used we because that is important too because I couldn't do anything without the help of others.

Q: How did you close the gap between home and school, your parental involvement?

A: That is why I am able to tell people now to go into administration, especially principalship, after you have done that. Not knowing, being drafted into an assistant principalship at the age of 33, I believe, I really did kind of, I'm not really sure that I balanced the children, my children with what I was doing. And that is why I'm saying that that is something that everyone should do. I'm not sure that I did that but it is hard to do when you have children. And during that period of time I was divorced and then became a single parent at the same time. So I really understand being a single parent and the things that they have to go through. And that is why I'm saying devote your time to your children and put your family first and always make family first before your job. It's that important.

Q: Would you describe your approach to teacher evaluation and what were your thoughts about it as you went through that process over the years .

A: That was always difficult because you really observe them according to the way the form read or the checks or the squares or whatever they had for evaluation. Sometimes you can't just put what you saw into those little blocks. When you wrote it up it had to fit in there. So teachers instead of saying I am being observed they always say I am being evaluated. And many times, no matter how many times they are observed they always seem to be a little bit fearful of someone coming into the classroom. Some teachers always had that apprehension and that would have that checklist or that square or that box and they always tried to get all of it in and you can't do it every time. The observer is not looking for it every time and sometimes teachers miss the boat of what they are teaching trying to do what is expected of them. So that I never did like the evaluations or observations or what ever you want to call it. It is a major part of a principal's job but it was something that I always thought that something else could have been done.

Q: Were you ever involved in a grievance procedure or process because of teachers' dissatisfaction? How did you feel it was handled as far as the grievance process is concerned and what would you have changed about that? And if not, what is it about the grievance process that you would change if you had an opportunity to do so?

A: The thing about the grievance process is that it changes a lot. After five years, somebody comes in and says let's change this process. I was very fortunate because I never had to go through a grievance. But I have had teachers who wouldn't sign the observation. I had that but I never did have to go through a grievance process.

Q: What about teacher dismissal or placing teachers on an improvement plan and knowing that a teacher will not be successful with your children?

A: Well, I have placed teachers on improvement plans. And I know that in some places the first year you're supposed to get rid of a teacher, but I never did. I never got rid of a teacher the first year mainly because it was my job to tell them some things they could do to improve themselves. So, they knew that I was going to give them that first year, and that the second year I was going to look at them on a plan and the third year I would let them go. But I did not think it was right to do it on the first year because I hadn't worked with them. I hadn't told them anything as far as how to improve themselves. So yes , I have dismissed teachers but it was never the first year.

Q: What do you see the role of assistant principal as being, or the role of your assistant principals over the years? And of course that changed.

A: When I was in York County, I had one assistant principal and I never wanted that assistant principal to say What is the principal doing? You don't know until you become a principal. Sometimes you can't tell anybody what you are doing because you are doing so much. So it is kind of hard for you to even say. Sometimes you ask yourself What am I doing? if you are truthful to yourself. When I was in Hampton, I wanted to make sure that my assistant principals were going to become principals so I gave each one of them a grade level, and they were the principal of that grade level and because of that many of my assistant principals did become principals because I wanted to make sure they saw the whole gamut. (300)

Q: Can you think of one assistant principal that you truly thought was outstanding and that you were truly proud of?

A: Yes

Q: And why? You don't have to give a name.

A: I'm not. The energy, she had the energy. She had the knowledge and she had the know how. And sometimes that is not something you learn. That is just a part of you and I knew in the beginning that she was going to be a success. It was like she just walked in trying to do her very best and just doing it because it was just part of that person.

Q: What do you see as some of the characteristics of a very successful school being?

A: Can you ask that question again?

Q: What characteristics are associated with the most effective school? What makes a school good?

A: Well, students- number one. If they feel good about the school then they are the ones that make the school good. Communication with the parents too. It is how they feel about the school and what they say when they walk into the community. And sometimes a school is as good as people think it is . It is because of the type of people that attend the school. You can make one mistake in a school or they can hear about one mistake and it can be embellished and it is not true about what happened in the school and it becomes a bad school according to the community. When actually, it can be the best school in that locale by the things that they are doing and the things that the principal stands for and types of students sometimes. If you have disadvantaged students then people look at the school as not being a good school. But sometimes that is the best school as far as what teachers and the principals are doing.

Q: What do you see the ideal size of a school being?

A: It all depends on middle...

Q: let's think about the school where you have been principal and what were the numbers, if you remember, in each of those school.

A: Like 600 when I had two grades. When I had three it went over 1300 and that is too many in a middle school. I think in a middle school the numbers should be a little less. I think the ideal middle school would be about 900 or less.

Q: I know that over the years special programs have evolved and many of them we had to adjust in our buildings. What were some of the special programs or groups that you had to work with over the years? Do you feel that they were successful programs for those students?

A: Do you mean programs I established?

Q: You established or the ones that we had to work with.

A: Well, I think the most successful ones are the ones that the teacher and the principal established. There are programs that the district says that you have to do. Well that is something that you just have to do. But when you go above and beyond an established program, I think they are the ones that are most successful. Just like when I came into your school, I read the sign that there is tutoring on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-4:30. Well , you have to have somebody to tutor those students. I was thinking about how does Mildred get these teachers to stay an hour after school to do this because that is something that is unheard of in some places. And I know you don't give money because the money is not there. So you have been doing something great yourself or they have to see the need or you have made them see the need or the importance of tutoring after school for an hour. And I think the most important ones are the ones that you establish as the principal- not the ones that the system says you must do.

Q: Did you see a wide range of change in salary as a principal from the time you started until the time you retired?

A: Yes. But I was caught in the middle all the time. Well, salary did improve and I think that before it is over teaching is going to become a lucrative field. I do think that they are going to see the necessity of paying teachers more money. When I started , in fact, I guess that is why they chose when I looked at it for working eleven months. I had been teaching summer school and I was making less than as an administrator than I was making as a teacher. Because a teacher can add increments, they can add money. If you're a principal you get that salary and nothing is added no matter what you do. But I did see that it was getting better.

Q: I know that over the years the major part of your work was time consumed with the amount of paper work you had to do and the bureaucratic complexity of it all. How did you work through all that paperwork and what were your feelings as the years went by as far as your job as a principal and secretarial or administrative paperwork that went along with that?

A: It can consume you if you let it. It depends on the___Î type of principal that you are. If you are the type of principal to be out in the building all the time, you have less time to do your work. So what do you do when everybody leaves the building? You start doing your work. So that means that you are putting in 16 hours a day sometimes, I hate to say that, but that is the type of principal that I was. But I would say, I would tell the new people not to be that way. You have you have a life. And I was the type of principal who didn't have much of a life other than being a good principal.

Q: As far as the problems over the years with the change in society, how do you see society change over a period of time and what types of problems did children bring with them as society changed. (400)

A: As society changed there were many many more complexities. There were needs for additional support. I think support was added. Special education. When special education started booming, a lot of the support went in that direction and the middle child, the child that wasn't gifted and wasn't special Ed missed a lot. But I feel that the complexities of society just added more for us because we were then, according to the public, supposed to take care of all of that and there was no way that we could do that. Programs were added. Guidance and guidance counselors became more important. Then you had the psychologists and the social worker, and the social worker inside and outside. It was just a lot of things you had to deal with as the years progressed. That means when I started as principal, the principal was just flat and everybody this was the daughter of the son of Mr. & Mrs. Jones and then after that you could not say that just because that child's name was Jones that his parent's name was going to Jones. So you had step-parents and foster parents and so many other things to deal with and parents were more - I don't know what happened. But at a certain time parents blamed the school for their failures and for their students' failures.

Q: Out of your entire career, what made you most uncomfortable about your job as principal?

A: Being responsible for a child from the time that child steps on the bus until that child got home. That was the hardest thing for me because many times after school some parent would call and say my child has not gotten home and that would tear my heart apart. The first thing I would do, of course, was look on the absentee bulletin. Sometimes they would forget that a child was absent and that is one thing that I would always tell them to do. Make sure your records are straight. And I think that is the thing that would tear my heart apart if a child doesn't get home and to me that was my responsibility and I took it to heart.

Q: What was the pleasant thing that happened?

A: Seeing a child receive a certificate for being the most improved or for learning something . If you can see that step when they were having problems or having trouble understanding and all of a sudden the teacher would say something and the child understood and it was like oh boy, I have this, - just that look on the child's face.

Q: What was your relationship with your superintendent as far as the general relationship?

A: Most of the time it was very pleasant. I didn't have any problems with him. I was never reprimanded or anything like that. So, I did my job. I did what they wanted so I didn't have any problems with them.

Q: What about your school board members?

A: I never really had much dealings with them anyway. I had a few school board members who had students that went to my school but other than that that's it.

Q: You know as the years went on, there is this diversity issue. How did you handle that in the years that you were in York County vs. when you moved to the Hampton division?

A: Well, when I first became principal, assistant principal, in York County, there wasn't much diversity and I don't know, I never saw it as a problem. When I came to Hampton, of course, I saw more minorities than I had ever seen in York County. I just deal with people, and as far as I was concerned that was it and I wanted to make sure that I was fair to all. So I didn't have a problem with diversity.

Q: Were you caught up at some point during the times of Civil right's Movement and the change in the schools and integrating the schools?

A: Yes. When I started teaching it was all blacks and that was in Matthews County. When I came to York County it was just integrating but there were still not many black students in the school system. At that time and one of the things that I saw that went on was all of the schools, if it was a high school like Harbor High School, all of them became the names of middle schools. Many of the black schools did not keep the names of the high schools. When I went to York County there were very few black teachers and that was just something. I looked at it as a ratio of black students with black teachers. Other than that, I didn't have a problem with that.

Q: Now you are working with SOLs, and I think you rode out on the shoulders of SOLs when they were becoming a reality to us. What do you see as the result of the implementation of SOLs and the cut-off score being given? How do you see it playing a major role as principal during the time that you were principal?

A: Well as usual, when you have to do these things, you don't have any educators making decisions about these things. I was looking just recently and I attended a PTA meeting and I have a granddaughter who is in the third grade and it is technology. (500) And I was looking at the SOLs for technology, fifth grade. it's really telling me that every home must have a computer in the home because there is no way that a child can go to school and just learn it from being at school, they are going to have to practice these things at home. I see the computer and technology as being another bridge between the races because there are many black families who still are not be able to afford the computers and even if they have a computer they may not be able to afford the internet and all these other things that go with a computer. And so I do see it as being a real bridge between the races.

Q: Do you see an importance in standardized testing and what do you see its true relationship to education as being?

A: Well, I know that you have to have something to let you know whether a student has really learned. Standardized testing, I think is just one way. I know there are a lot of people that I went to school with who are, who I consider, well educated people who have a hard time passing standardized tests. I think there are several different ways of figuring out whether a child really knows his subject matter or whether he really knows what he is doing. I think that standardized tests are necessary but I think that there should be other ways that a student can show that they have mastered a subject or mastered an objective.

Q: What was one of your biggest headaches as principal or the toughest decision that you ever had to make?

A: Right now I can't think of my toughest decisions right now. But I know that I was always a risk taker and I always did some things that had not been done before. I have people say to me, Ivy, I don't think you should do this. and I knew it was right. I believe that we should do what is right. Sometimes what was right for the student wasn't right for the system.

Q: If you could go back and do your principalships all over again, what one thing would you change as far as the actually running of the building is concerned.

A: I can't think of anything I would change.

Q: What things would you change as far as your training from the universities.

A: Really getting the training, the hands on and going to workshops and going to seminars and really finding out how to do these things and not just having to stumble upon it. Not just to be blessed with common sense to know how to do things. We need to be trained how to.

Q: Mentorships. Did you participate in any mentoring programs during that time. What kind of mentorships did you provide for students and faculty?

A: Well, for faculty I always, with a new teacher, I know how very hard it is for a new teacher to come in and be successful. So, I always had a successful teacher to be a new teacher's mentor. We always had mentors for students who could not succeed in certain things. I had mentors from the community as well as in the school. As principal, I thought that if you were a new principal and I don't mean a new principal as far as just beginning, but a new principal in the system, I always felt that they should have mentors also. The mentoring programs were basically the ones in the community and the ones that I have in school.

Q: You have done quite a bit a reflecting this afternoon. Looking back, what do you see your strengths as being during your time as a principal?

A: I never thought that I was that strong. I was always told that I was but you know I never saw it. And many of the things that I did just came natural. But one thing was just being honest and being fair and sometimes that is kind of hard. One of the things I wanted to do was make sure that I was looked upon as being a fair person.

Q: What did you see you weaknesses as being?

A: I think taking to long to do the job because I would be out there with the people and then have to do the pick up work later. So I saw my weakness as time. Time was my weakness. Having enough time to do the things that I wanted to do and just not using time management. I read books, saw videos, (600) I did everything they told me about time management but until the end I was still running late. Not running late as far as passing things in, but as far as I'm concerned spending more hours than I should have at school.

Q: This is a direct question that is to the point. What lead to your retirement at such a young age?

A: I retired 29 years. It just hit me now, Ivey. I guess from being in administration those years I was just burned out. I was that type that thought if I wasn't doing the best that I can do then it was time to give it up and move to something else. I had planned to retire in the year 2000, but in 1997 I just said this is it. I don't think I can be any more productive. Every year you try to be more and more productive but I just felt that I had had it all especially some of the things that I was hearing coming down the pipe. And I think you have to asked this question about whether I can do it. I really didn't believe it was good for students. So when I felt that it was not good for students then it wasn't good for me. Because that is why I was working. I was working for my students. I wanted to go while I still had a good reputation and while I had not told everybody how I felt about what was coming down the pipe. So I just gracefully bowed out three years before my goal. I did not reach my goal of the year 2000.

Q: Do you mind sharing just a little bit about what you've been doing since your retirement and how long has it been since you retired?

A: A year in September. For the first year, I had a nice time. I hadn't watched a television. I didn't know anything about soap operas and all the things that women used to talk about when I played my pinochle. And so, I, for the first time looked at a little bit of Jerry Springer and said, What is this? I went on trips. I went to meetings and helped out in the community and went to the home for homeless people. I just did a lot of things. I taught one semester at Hampton University and then that summer I taught poetry at ECPI. This September, I now have children to take care of. I am taking care of four of my grandchildren and that is the hardest job that I have ever had.

Q: As far as the questions are concerned, I know I have asked you many things and I know there are some questions that I probably have not asked you. But is there anything that you would like to add to our discussion this afternoon, just as a closure.

A: Mildred, I can't think of a thing.

Q: Well thank you so much for being so gracious and answering. It seemed as if you enjoyed it thoroughly. I wish you much success in the future.

A: Well, I always enjoy talking to you Mildred.

Q: Okay, thank you very much. I have just interviewed with Ivey Hawkins who retired from Hampton City Schools in 1997.

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