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Q: Earlier we were talking about the biographical data. We talked about how many years you were in education so, as a teacher then, you were a teacher from 1949 until 1968 so that would be almost 20 years. When you were in the classroom, what grade levels or what kinds of subjects did you teach?
(Streamed audio file of interview for this question using RealPlayer)
A: When I first started teaching I taught fifth grade. I taught fifth grade from the time I started up until, I guess, 19#8. I taught fifth grade at Lincoln Elementary School then I moved to Elm Street and I taught fifth grade there also, but then I moved to sixth grade at Elm Street and I taught sixth grade there until I was appointed vice principal, which was about, I guess, three years that I taught sixth grade at Elm Street. And, quite naturally, being in elementary, the subject was all subjects in elementary.
Q: And you became the vice principal at South Frederick which was the school you had attended?
A: Right, right, the school I had attended as a student and I had also previously taught there.
Q: And then you became, of course, principal at South Frederick?
A: Correct. The difference was, though, when I taught there it was an all-black school. When I came back as vice principal, integration had taken over then, of course.
Q: Can we talk a little bit about the whole changes that occurred when you were a teacher through the day you left South Frederick in February of 1986? It must have been an incredible change that occurred.
A: When 1 taught there as a teacher. it was an all-black school. Integration had not come about as of then. lt was a dual system and a dual system then was a dual system, in words and everything else. However, the teachers then. I think, were as well qualified as they are now because they had more of a direction then, I think, than what they do now in that they knew that what they had to do. They had to do with what they had without a lot of gifts coming from the Central Office. The teachers then had to actually put together their program because the syllabuses that they had then were what we made almost on our own from our own workshops and that sort of thing and materials were almost nonexistent in some areas and then as we went through from the time I taught there and left there and then went to Elm Street, there was a big difference because at that time integration had come about and with integration, there was just a terrific change. A change in the amount of materials given, a change in curriculum, a change in everything. Some of the things that we had done at Lincoln, when it was an all-black school, we think were just as good, if not better, than what we were doing when it became integrated. However, what we did in the all-black school somehow was never accepted as having ever been done. We did the wheel all over again. For instance. we had then a full two years in moral and spiritual values. When we went into the other system. we went throu#h that whole system all over again and did almost the exact same thing that we did for a number of years ago under a principal then. and supervisor. a man by the name of Charles Henson.
A: It was a 'have' and a 'have not." It is just as simple as that. From my student days, I can recall the hand-me-down books and that sort of thing. Then, quite naturally, as we went into the integrated system that ceased. It ceased before we went into the integrated system but it ceased completely after we went into the integrated system. You really did not see a difference, at least I can't recall a great difference, until a man by the name of Duvall Sweadner became our supervisor. When he became our supervisor, some of the things and inequities and what not that were going along, I gave him credit for a lot of things that actually changed. He is still living, of course. Don't you know him? He was the first president of the Community College.
Q: How did the integration work in Frederick? Did they just bring more students over?
A: I think it was, if I remember correctly, 1954 was the heading of integration and then integration started, I guess, maybe two years after that, I imagine it was. They didn't startthe very same year as I recall. What they did, they took, they selected rather, one or two teachers from Lincoln, in the junior high as it was then, and went to West Frederick. There were no elementary teachers that moved out at that time but there were a few moved out to junior high. Then, I guess several years later, some moved out to other schools around the county. It wasn't until, I guess, four or five years later, maybe longer than that, that elementary teachers moved into other elementary schools around Frederick - now black teachers that is - moved into other elementary schools around Frederick County. One thing also that happened was that as black teachers were moved or left the county, they were replaced with white teachers. As black principals left or their schools were closed, well then, quite naturally, those were never filled with blacks. They were filled with white.
Q: How about the children? I understand that they moved the teachers around. Did they move any children around at that time?
A: In the very beginning, they moved children from Lincoln. It was called Lincoln High School then but it was the junior high school grades. They moved them then from the seventh - I don't know if it was the eighth or ninth or not - but they moved trom the seventh grade I know, out to West Frederick. Maybe the seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students, I guess. I know the seventh graders moved out there for the most part. Then, I don't remember how they did the high school, the tenth and eleventh graders, whether they moved also or whether they just went from the junior high school into high school. I don't remember that.
Q: What was the reaction in the community? Was that a real big issue or was it kind of just accepted?
A: It wasn't really a big issue like it was in some places because there were some who didn't resist and I'm trying to think who was superintendent at that time. I don't remember whether Mr. Pruitt was superintendent then when it first started or Dr. Sensenbaugh. Anyway, they let it be known that it was going to happen and it just happened. Now, there were some teachers I can't prove any of this though - but some teachers, I understand, rather than go into the integrated system, after retirement age they retired. But there weren't more than a handful, if that many. I say one or two maybe and then they may be even old tales at that. But the children in the county schools were moved into, for instance, schools like Doubs. It was shut down. It was a black school. It was shut down. They were moved into Adamstown.
Q: Children who went to Ebenezer and Hope Hill moved into Urbana.
A: Yes, they went into Urbana. Children from Liberty Elementary, they moved into Liberty.
Q: Where else were there black schools?
A: Horsey and Brunswick went into Brunswick.
Q: So those schools were just closed?
A: Those schools were just closed. The principals of those schools then became teachers, you see, the black ones I'm talking about became teachers in the already black school. What they did then with Washington Street School and Lincoln school was made it one school and called it South Frederick Elementary. Mr. Henson, who was the principal of Lincoln, went to Frederick High School as some type of vice principal. He was an administrative vice principal or something like that at Frederick High.
Q: Then, most of the black administrators became teachers but some became prin cipals?
A: Only one, Mr. Henson.
Q: Going back on just thinking about how you spent you day as a principal, could you just describe a typical day in terms of how you spent your time?
A: Most of my time as a principal, because I had two build Wednesday and then, as a rule, I stayed over there for the afternoon. That wasn't every week I would go because always something came up from the Central Office and whatnot but that's what we tried to do. Administrative work, as far as I was concerned, took a back seat because I did my administrative work that didn't have to be done right away after school, before school, and that sort of thing. I tried to do all of the supervisory work and working with children and that sort of thing during school as much as possible. There just are not enough hours in a day to get everything done that needs to be done and so there were a lot of times I just had to do it after school or before school.
Q: You were a principal for a good many years. Did you find that your time requirements were shifting and what kind of changes did you see as time went on?
A: Time requirements in the beginning, I could give much more time to children and to teachers in the beginning because there was less paperwork, fewer meetings to go to, and that sort of thing. But, I'd say for, I don't know how many, but for the last seven years, something like that, the load became greater of paper and also meetings. Especially, the special education part. Because that took up maybe, you see, because we didn't always have special education. Right after we had special education, the way it was supposed to have been, it was supposed to be so much assistance coming from someplace else that we never got that you had to them take over as the administrator. That took time. And then as they went into other things like the gifted and talented, then that took extra time but the other things had to be done too, of course, that you always did. As the paperwork grew, well, it took time for that, of course. So, it took time from supervision of children, super vision of teachers, and that sort of thing. It still had to be done and that's why the administration, a lot of times, had to wait until after school and before school and I found myself, sometimes 6:00, even 7:00 sometimes, doing administrative work and catching up with paperwork and that sort of thing.
Q: South Frederick, I think, was always considered like a community center because of, I guess, just the feeling for the school in the community and how it was created. What role do you think the school should play in the community and that type of setting?
A: I believe that South Frederick was a good example of a community center. However, I do believe also in some cases if you are not careful they will take, I won't say liberties, but there are things, timewise I might say, that they take from the school tha# the school could use for their own programs and whatnot. I know that you can close them down but then that makes very difficult with the community to be closed down to do a school program. In our case, the biggest trouble I found was the physical educa tion program. The gymnasium had to be set up every morning for physical education. It was very difficult to expect a physical education teacher to break down all of his apparatus every evening and set up every morning for a good physical education program. Because, the evening program came in every evening around #:80 - S:OO and they didn't break up until 9:00. Now, yes, they could have broken it down or they could have set it up, but for them to set it up, and not being physical education people or not being school people. the feeling just wasn't there. Sometimes they did do it for us but then we always had todosomething over again or something wasn't right. They just didn't have the right feel for doing, that's all.
Q: So, sometimes it interfered a little bit in the operation of the school?
A: Right, right, right. Other than that, I think the schools shouldn't be as idle as most of them are with as much money as schools cost and that sort of thing. South Frederick was a good example of being used for the community and good relationships with the community. One thing, too, before we had the school used like it was and like it is, we used to have breakings and enterings almost any time. After we started doing the school community programs, breakings and enterings almost stopped completely because they then began to feel that more of this being theirs. I know there was a burgular alarm system but even then they would find ways of somehow getting around it before the community program. Even just plain breaking windows, that's all. But, that all stopped.
Q: The vandalism stopped?
A: The vandalism stopped almost completely. I don't know of any vandalism at South Frederick as there still is in some other schools. I don't know of any.
Q: What do you think teachers expect principals to be?
A: Quite naturally, it depends upon what teacher we are talking about. But, I think most teachers expect principals to be almost at their beck and call when they have difficulty with a youngster or when they are having difficulty with a parent or whensomethingthey are trying to do isn't coming off like they would like for it to come off, some teaching program or whatever it is that they are doing, someone to be there to give them some assistance or they can say 'will you help me right away,' or those kinds of things. I also think that most teachers, younger teachers especially, get very frustrated when they give ultimatums to youngsters and then find that there is nobody there to back them up. They almost hope that they can reach out and bring the principal right in and let him take over. But, for the most part, I think most of them realize that the principal is there to assist and to help and to guide and togiveassistance, but not to always do. I think most of them come to realize that but not in the very beginning because in the very beginning I think they want something done almost with them and for them, but after a while they come around to find out that the more they do for themselves the better it is.
Q: How did you evaluate teachers? I know there is a standard system but like, personally, how did you feel about what was important to be a good teacher?
A: The biggest thing that I felt was important in evaluating teachers was the results that they got from what they were doing. I would much rather see a teacher have a difficulty and then work through that difficulty to correct it or to ease it or to make it better than to see one who had difficulty and tried to teach over the difficulty and keep going, or one that never had difficulty. Because one that never had difficulty, I wondered what was happening when you weren't there. Because, that must be the iron fist maybe, and then when you weren't there they might just fall apart and let things go. Buttheone who worked through and worked on whatever it was, that's one thing I looked for. Another thing I looked for was a teacher that, you could almost see, if you went in on a regular interval you could almost tell if the teacher planned whatever it was and worked through the plans to fruition. You could almost tell even if you went in and they were doing something different the second time you went in than what they were doing thevery first time you went in. You could almost tell how confident they were in what they were doing and how it was working out and that sort of thing. When we looked at the plan book, you could also tell then if theywerefollowing any kind of progression for whatever it was. I looked for that. I also looked for children to see how they responsed. Ifthey responded eagerly and were giving good responses, well then the questioning was one that was bringing forth that and the type of questions, if they included all of the Bloom's Taxonomy of Questions from the easy to the hard on down the line that way too, not just the questions where you could answer yes, no, or regurgitated back, but questions that made them think and dig deep and that sort of thing. I looked for those kinds of things. And then I also had teachers, sometimes, let me know what it or to ease it orto make it better than to see one who had difficulty and tried to teach over the difficulty and keep going, or one that never had difficulty. Because one that never had difficulty, I wondered what was happening when you weren't there. Because, that must be the iron fist maybe, and then when you weren't there they might just fall apart and let things go. Buttheone who worked through and worked on whatever it was, that's one thing I looked for. Another thing I looked for was a teacher that, you could almost see, if you went in on a regular interval you could almost tell if the teacher planned whatever it was and worked through the plans to fruition. You could almost tell even if you went in and they were doing something different the second time you went in than what they were doing the very first time you went in. You could almost tell how confident they were in what they were doing and how it was working out and that sort of thing. When we looked at the plan book, you could also tell then if theywerefollowing any kind of progression for whatever it was. I looked for that. I also looked for children to see how they responded. If they responded eagerly and were giving good responses, well then the questioning was one that was bringing forth that and the type of questions, if they included all of the Bloom's Taxonomy of Questions from the easy to the hard on down the line that way too, not just the questions where you could answer yes, no, or regurgitated back, but questions that made them think and dig deep and that sort of thing. I looked for those kinds of things. And then I also had teachers, sometimes, let me know what they were going todoor what they expected they were going to do and then you see if that is what they were doing.
Q: You supervised lots and lots of teachers over the years. Did you see a change in the kind of preparation that teachers were doing and was it negative or positive?
A: Again, we are talking about different teachers because some teachers, I don't care how careful you were to let them know that what they were doing there might be another way, they would take offense because they wanted to do it their way but, for the main, most teachers that would show them that maybe this was another way of doing it, maybe won't change immediately but would or could see that they were doing something towards change because the program became better. I can think of one especially that was having a frightful time. The vice principal and I both worked with her and then you could see where she had sat down and rewritten her plans. Her plans were more organized. They went from the beginning to the end in an orderly fashion, and she, herself, could see where she was accomplishing more, easier than what she was at first. Those are the kinds of things, too, to look for, or that I looked for, and I could tell whether or not she was taking suggestions or not. I used to say 'my suggestions are just that; but, if what youaredoing does not give you what we are looking for then maybe you should use my suggestions. If what you are doing does get the same results all of the time, well then your suggestions of what you are doing are just as good as mine because mine is just another suggestion as what I think could be done.'
Q: What about stress and pressure? What things do you think were most stress ful as a principal?
A: Most people I knowdon't believe this, but I never felt stress and pressure until the later years ofmy teaching or principalship. When I first started as a teacher, I felt no pressure. I really enjoyed teaching. In fact, I think I enjoyed teaching more than I did being a principal. When I first became a principal - I'm trying #o think if I was vice principal or whether I was principal - I think it did ge# to me in the very beginning, in fact I served eight days inthe hospital, a near ulcer. The doctor said it wasn't an ulcer but it was a first cousin to one. When Icameout of that, from that time until I retired, pressure and anxiety and whatnot I didn't have. I learned, somehow,totake each day and that was it. I'm not saying that there weren't some days I wasn't frustrated and upset or became emotional or something of that nature, but as far as pressures and stresses from that time on, I didn't have. I really enjoyed being a principal. I really enjoyed working with the teachers, working with children, working with parents. The only thing I didn't enjoy was the paperwork and the other administrative work and going to the meetings day in and day out and that sort of thing. Those things I didn't enjoy but they weren't all that stressful either. I would have just much rather been there working with children and working with teachers.
Q: What do you think it takes to be an effective principal? I mean, you have worked with a lot of principals and colleagues and you, yourself, were a principal so long. What#kind of characteristics do you think one should have if you aspire to be a principal?
A: I think one, in the very beginning, is not to take yourself too seriously. Because the job of being a principal is, I don't know how many faces you might say there is. Because one day when you meet your faculty they may be different than what they are the next day, the same as children and parents and also your administrators that you have to work with. And you are not the only one because they also have the different difficulties to work through also. One of the biggest things I think is not totakeyourself too seriously and also to have a sense of humor. And, if you are wrong or don't know, just say you are wrong or don't know, even to children. Now a lot of people say I know that as a principal you should never say you are wrong to a youngster but if you make a mistake to a youngster, you made a mistake, that's all. Let them know that you don't know, that you are going to work through it, or that you will get back to rhem, or you are going to help them do a better job with whatever it is, or you are going to do a better job yourself, or whatever it might be. Because if you don't, it's going to find you out, and then you are going to have egg on your face for real. So, those are the things, again, that I think a principal must have. Now, quite naturally, he has to know his trade. He has to know the skills of the trade. He has to know whatever the policies and procedures and that short of thing. He has to know those, of course, and be able to make decisions almost before they happen. Those things go withou# saying, of course. But, even with all of those, if you're not able to work with people, all of those things become just something that is automatic and after while you find out that you are almost pushing but:ons and that's it. And, so for the most part, you just have to be able to work with people. That goes a long way, I think, in helping you to become and get the things done. The program has to be a firm program, of course. You can't just sit back and let the program go by itself. You have to be there. That's the reason I said I like to go through every day and talk to teachers and talk to teams, individually and in small groups and that sort of thing, to keep up with what's going on and let them know that I am also interested in what's going on. Every principal must do that, too, I think.
Q: Did you ever have a situation, I'm sure you did over the years, where you had a teacher who was unsatisfactory and you had to let them go? Could you just discuss your feelings about that whole situation?
A: Again, that - I guess when I said about no pressures and whatnot - I guess that particular situation or those situations, I guess, were the ones that did give me the greatest concern because I knew that every teacher almost wanted to be successful. And so the few that I came across in my years of working with teachers, they had put so many years into their preparation. Yet, in most cases, they just weren't suited for teaching. And, so what I tried to do was to let them know directly that, in my estimation, they just weren't teaching material or the level that they were working and let them know that there was something else out there that they could do, I'm almost sure, better than what they were doing there. Not that they were failures, but they were failures as far as what they were doing but they weren't failures as individuals and then we would go through just what they were doing or how they were doing. They, themselves, could actually see because most people know when you are doing right and when you're doing wrong and when you are doing well and when you,re not doing well and you don't really havetohit them over the head with it. Quite naturally, you do have to bring it to their attention because that's one of the policies and procedures that has to be done in education - to make sure that they know whatever it is that you are saying that they are not doing and whether they agree to it or not, most of them know. As you talk to th# they come around and understand what you are talking about. But, it is stressful, I must say, when you have to tell one that you are not going to recommend that they be renewed. It is just stressful, that's all, because they, themselves, have put a lot of work into it, I know, only to find out that they are not doing well. But, they know before that time comes.
Q: How about teacher unions and teacher associations? 1 guess there has been a change over the years when you entered the profession to what the state of existence of these associations is no#. What do you think about the positives and negatives?
A: I guess, technically speaking, I have never been a union person although I know therearegood reasons for unions and I know our Teachers' Association are not unions, per se, but I guess,quas#they are unions, I guess. When I first started, quite naturally, the only union we had was our principal or our supervisor and what he said was it. And, as far as your last question, if a teacher in his estimationwasn't doing a good job there was nothing that you could go to except him and he said yea or nay and that was it. You either were hired or not hired or you were let go on his say-so, or the supervisor who was the same person in this case, and that was it. As we went along in later years, quite naturally, when the unions came into being, the unions took over a lot of that and unions, I think, have done a lot of good as far as teachers are concerned. I think salary wise, if it had not been for a union, it may not have gotten the salaries that they are getting. Materials and that sort of thing they may not have, still be getting what they are getting now. The unions pushed for that. I sometimes wonder, though, if unions aren't working themselves out of business by continually wanting more, more, more. I'm not saying that they shouldn't stress for better things, but there is only so much money out there and I realize everybody wants to make as much money as they possibly can. But I sometimes wonder if unions and teacher's unions are no different. After you go to a certain limit, I am wondering if there is enough money out there to actually take care of all of the things that we expect to be taken care of. Now I know that is a whole philosophical question but I sometimes wonder. I know Dr. Carnochan spoke to that a number of years ago. But I guess it does seem like, regardless of what the salaries go to, they always make it and the money is there. Now whether it's a negative feeling sometimes later on, that I don't know. But unions, I think, are necessary today because manage ment, I think, would run wild if unions weren't there to keep them under control. So, I think unions are necessary.
Q: How about an assistant principal or vice principal? You had, I guess for all of the years you were a principal, a vice principal?
Q: How did you handle a vice principal and what did you see?
A: I treated my vice principals just like I wanted to be treated as a principal-- as an equal. Because I felt that if I couldn't trust them as a vice principal, I didn't need them. I gave them as much authority and as much opportunity to grow, I guess, asIfelt necessary. Anything that they said or did, I didn't second guess them or anything like that. We sat down and talked about it if it did something or said something or acted in some ways I didn't approve. We got together later and actually worked through, I guess I might say. But as far as the authority was concerned, even though they were subordinate to me, that subordination to me was only in areas like the administration. That was directly something that the principal had to do. But as far as observing teachers and as far as working with youngster's discipline, as far as meeting with a parent, we both did that almost as equals. The only time I got into the picture was when something came up that had to be resolved, which was very seldom, because we worked so closely together that we almost knew how each one of us worked and how each one of us thought and felt that sort of thing. It was very few times that we had to get together to work out things like that. There were no clashes. I can't remember any clashes that I ever had with any of my vice principals. We didn't always agree, of course, and there were #imes where we had to get together to work out things like that but I think my vice principals had to be given as much opportunity to do things because if they were ever going to be a principal or any kind of administrator later on they had to have the help then.
Q: What do you think about merit pay for teachers?
A: Merit pay to me goes way back to my graduate days at Temple. I remember writing a paper on merit pay. I don't think I've changed much since then. My research then was that merit pay, on paper, sounds good. And merit pay, I guess, can work but it is left with the individual doing the supervision as to how the money is going to be given out. Of course, most merit pay is money. Sometimes it is release time and that sort of thing but, so oft times, there is only a little bit of money and there is always some people a little better than others and how are you going to not give it to that person every year. If you do that then, quite naturally, that defeats it because then there is no reason for the other person to work towards it if they know they never get it. Merit pay to me just has a lot of pitfalls in it, as I understand it, that have not been worked out.
Q: When you think back on Frederick and all of the changes in the system that have occurred over the years since you've known it, and that's a lot of years, what do you think are two of the greatest things and two of the worst things that ever happened in education in this system?
A: I don't know about two but I think one of the greatest things that happened in the system was integration#and the acceptance of the youngsters into the whole system. Also, forthe most part, I think that teachers and administra tors were accepted of all youngsters, both black and white. And in later years the foreigners who came to our county I feel that the system met their needs somewhat, not 100 percent, but maybe as they could and should. But, I think there is a lot of work to be done as far as there being needs of some segments of our population. The worst thing that happened, I really can't say that any worst thing that has happened. I think there are some things that could have been done maybe a little better and that is, I think, when integration first came into being a lot of the black principals lost jobs and became teachers and a lot of them could have gone into principalships, vice principalships, etc. I think even now, although there is a greater number of black administrators at the board level as well as at the school level, there still could be more. I wouldn't say that is all that bad but I think that there could be something done in that area more than what is being done. I don't know whether that is two or not but I can't really think of anything that's been done here that's really bad. I think most that has been done has been done, hopefully, in a positive manner. One of the things I thought that was done very well here was when we went through all of that on humanism and something else (situation and ethic values). I thought that was a very good program that we had then and I think it did a lot of good to cleartheair as to what the differences were and I thought that was very well done.
Q: Are you talking about the time when it became very clear that certain activities were not to occur in the classroom because of values and like that, like in maybe the 60's?
A: Right. And you know, situation ethics and that sort of thing. Was it Mr. Manwiller, I think he was - he or Dick Lewis or one I think - were the ones that wrote the program. It was very clearly stated as to what you should do, should not do, and what would be considered humanism and that sort of thing. I thought that program was one of the highlights.
Q: Did you find that beforethatteachers were kind of confused and were doing a lot of things that were wrong?
A: There was some, I think. There was some, I believe. Especially in setting up situations and then children worked through them. They weren't all that bad. I don't think we ever had anything like saving him in the lifeboat. I don't think we ever had anything like that but similar things like that may have been going on especially in the high school.
Q: In terms of the issues in society today and what's going on generally in society, and the schools really reflect the problems of society, what do you feel are the major differences or the major situations that are going to create a lot of impact on the school system in the future?
A: School systems, I think ever since I can remember, have taken on a lot of the work of society and I guess rightfully so because, in some instances, those people in the#school system probably have the training to meet those needs of youngsters and especially some of the needs that are not going to be met if they are not met through the school system-social undertakings like the one that we are going through now that seems to crop up every once in a while and that's human development because everybody likes to use the word 'sex education' butitis not sex education as much as it is growth and human development. If you look at it in that standpoint, I think they could get much more done. And it's not sugar coating either. Some people think that you must call a spade a spade but this is not that. It is downright the growth of children, human development of children, the getting along of children and/or human beings. That is the way it is right down the line. It is not necessarily sex education. That's only a small part. When the school is taking over large segments of that sort of thing - religion and politics - all that creeps into school even from the primary grades. Quite naturally that influences on the children and the one of the biggest things, quite naturally, still has not been resolved and that is prayers in the school. That is one ofthethings that has come along - a social something that some still have not accepted. So, putting all of those things together, they put a strain on education, that's all. But I think education appears to work through them. Homes are not going to do it. Homes aren't going to do it. #Rather, in later years they haven't done it. Prior years they may have but some of the things we are talking about know weren't even known then.
Q: How do you account for your successes in administration?
A: Whatever successes I may have had, I counted as I said a few minutes ago, number one was knowing my trade, knowing what was expected of my position, knowing the subject matter, but even with all of that, knowing how to use it with people. Knowing how to use it with youngsters and knowing how to use it with teachers, knowing how to use it with the Central Office, knowing how to use it with parents. I think that's what I got through mostly because even when parents came - and there were some who came really, really irate there is a way of meeting them. If you meet them irate there is going to be a big confrontation. You had to learn if they came that way you could not meet them that way. You could never get that way as far as that is concerned. That is one of the successes that I had was being able to work with all seg- ments of the educational system or the whole population from the community and otherwise.
Q: What caused you to choose retirement when you did?
A: When I was at Elm Street, a fellow by the name of Frank Prosey and I were talking a long time ago, Ibelieve it was, about retirement and I said then when I reached 62 that's it. That was my magic number that I set for myself. Somehow or another, though, when I got to South Frederick 62 went by and I didn't retire at 62. That's the only thing that I can say that actually kept retirement in front of me was it's getting near that time and then it went by the time. But, I really can't give you anything that triggered it as to when I said February except that I just figured that was as good a time as any to get out rather than waiting through until June. That would give somebody else an opportunity to come in and take over until June, to get their feet wet sotospeak. I;had hoped that it would have been the vice principal to follow through the rest of that year. It was easier then than somebody coming in in July and starting over then. Then they would be given a few months to actually meet the teachers,to know who they had to work with, who they could work with, and that sort of thing. So, I just felt that was as good a time as any. It was two years after I said I was going to retire and I just said that's it.
Q: I asked you a lot of things and I wonder if there is anything else that you feel I should have asked you or anything else you would like to say about your career, on education, or about anything at all?
A: I can't think of any except that I think that, I know rather, that teaching has been very rewarding as far as I'm concerned. It wasn't what I wanted to actually do and wanted to be. I wanted to be an undertaker. That's what I wanted to be and how I got sidetracked into teaching, I really don't know. And My father said that he wanted me to be an architect. But, somehow or another, he never pressed that question. But, after I got into teaching, I've never felt I was in the wrong business. Somehow or another it was just something that I fell into that I enjoyed doing and never had any back thoughts about it.
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