Interview with Eugene Peyton


This is October 2. 1989. and this is an interview with Mr. Eugene Pevton in the Iibrarv of Auburn High and Middle School on his experiences at an elementarv school principal.

| Back to "P" Interviews | Index of Interviews | Protocol | Home |

Q: Tell us about vour family background and vour childhood interests.

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

A: Back quite a wavs I was born in Albemarle Countv. I was the third cnild. mv father was a farmer ano this was aoout the time of the depression and I Iived on that farm for about 5 vears. Then because of the depression mv father lost the farm and we moved to Roanoke and I attended school in Roanoke and starting at Highland Park Elementary School . We had a couple moves between Roanoke and Charlottesville during the time tnat I was growing up and I was back in Roanoke for junior high and high school. When I completed high school I went to Roanoke college and I took a BA degree majoring in English.

Q: why did vou cnoose Education for a Career?

A: I suppose one of the factors that had a great bearing on my decision was the fact that during the time that I was in school I had some very outstanding teachers and I guess I tried to model mv Iife after theirs and I felt that Education was great fun for them and thev got a great deal of satisfaction out of working with vouth and so I decided during the time that I was in Roanoke College that I would pursue Education as a career.

Q: During vour Educational Career what are some of tne positions that you held? Explain.

A: I would like to go into a little detail here to tell you how I happen to fall into some of the positions because I'm sure that it was a Iittle different than the normal application and hiring procedures. As I said I majored in English and I applied for a teaching position in the counties around Roanoke feeling that mavbe it wasn't a qood idea to locate in one's own school . So, Mr GooobY was superintendent of schools in Montgomerv Countv at the time and he had also been a Roanoke College graduate and I think that attracted his attention as he looked over applications and he called me to come for an interview. There was an opening for Englisn at Blacksburg High School and he told me that position would be mine. It was in August of that vear just before school started tnat he called me again and I thought "oh he's had a change of heart." And yes. he had a change of heart. He offered me another position and made it sound very attractive to me. At that time the Prices Fork school communitv was a verv rural area and it .... Merrimac School was being consolidated into tne Prices Fork communitv. The Norris Run Communitv was being served bv Prices Fork. The upper grades from Long Shop and McCov were coming in the Prices Fork school communitv and there had been a tradition that teacners were onlv able to last one vear or two at the time at the position of head teacher and so he said one of the things he was interested in was a man, and it certainlv wasn't because I had a background in a lot of education courses because I didn't. When I came back to talk with him he told me that there was a new building program under wav and tne building was to be completed within two vears and if I was successful as the head teacher of the Prices Fork school I would be able to be principal of the school when the new building was compiete. It sounded verv challenging and I forgot about English for awhile and accepted the position of Principal of Prices Fork School . So that is how I got into administration. I had not planned for it. had not prepared mvself for it and all this came sort of after the fact. I spent mv summers taking graduate courses and learning something about administration after I was really thrust into it. The Prices Fork School at that time was a large two storv frame building witn outdoor toilets. one for the girls and one for the boys and a pump for the water and there were pot bellied stoves in each classroom. We had an addition to the main building. an old farm houde that set in front of where the present building sets at Prices Fork which had the lunchroom. First and decond Grades and Iiving quarters for tne Princioal. Often l laughed and said I had an apartment that had 3 rooms anf a Path--verv modern. And I guess it sort of unusual to think that was in 1951 and there were many schools in the state there were verv much as I described the school .

Q: What were some of the other positions that you held?

A: I, after the Prices Fork building was completed the new building was completed in '53 I remained at Prices Fork two vears for the length of time it took to pav for all the equipment when it came to the new school--tnere was no budget in tne countv to fund the lunchroom, auditorium, these kinds of things. When the school was debt free I accepted a position in Botetourt Countv as visiting teacher. There was someone in Montgomerv Countv who had complimented me on my abilitv to work with children with Problems and I thought I would enjov tnis work: however, after one Year, I realized I missed the elementarv principalship and went to Roanoke Countv as principal of Southview School which was a school of 750 students. I remained there for I think 3 yrs.,possiblv. Having received a telephone call from Grant McGee, Superintendent of Schools of Charlotte Countv. and he told me I had been recommended to him as a person who might be interested in supervision. I thought that I might be interested in supervision and went and talked with him about that and moved to Charlotte Countv where I was general supervisor for 5 vrs.

Q: What were some of the responsibilities that you had?

A: Mv responsibilities were to the white schools--segregated scnools. I worked with elementarv. and secondarY teachers and provided inservice classes, visited classrooms. ordered materials, and same tvPe of things suPervisors do now. You might be interested in why I left that position. My wife and I enjoyed Charlotte Co. verv much. We felt that we were making an imPact on the schools and the communitv and there were several things we wanted to achieve that we could see that were being accomplished. The schools were in the process of being integrated. I had a verv dear friend wno was elementary. supervisor who worked with the black schools and her name was Erma Blackwell and after a board meeting our suPerintendent spoke with me brieflv and said that he wanted me to consider taking another position as he felt there would be problems in the integrating of the schools and that the white communitv would have difficultv working with Mrs. Blackwell and he felt that after a year of doing away with supervision that I would be reinstated as a supervisor and that my familv and I were established in Charlotte Co. We had a second son and had bought a new home and were really looking forward to finishing our career riqht there in Charlotte Co. That was a big shock to me and I asked for some time to think about it and l felt and told the superintendent so when I went back to him with the decision tnat we would be better off relocating. I told him that I felt like it was something tne board was very narrow minded on and were not going to meet the needs of the children. From there we went to Appomattox Co. which is an adjoining countv and I had/went tnere for the purpose of actually having time to dispose of two pieces of propertv I owned in Charlotte Co and with the hopes of relocating back to the Roanoke area. I was called on dav and was asked to recommend someone for an elementarv principalship in Appomattox and I sent them mv creoentials and told them that I knew someone who was verv anxious to work as an elementarY principal again. Consequentlv I meet with Earl Smith. the superintendent. ano was emploved as the principal of Appomattox Elementarv Scnool . It was a rather large scnool . It was beginning to make plans for integration, it was looking at its educational Program, meeting with teachers from both the black and white community to make the preparation and at the time I interviewed for the elementarv principalship he offered me the director of instructions position. However, I do reallv Iike the elementarv principalship and was anxious to get back into it. I had been sorta disencnanted with recent happenings in Charlotte Countv and I thought the best thing for me to do was be in elementarv administration again and I was for two vears. Then I joined with Mr. Smith as director of instruction and we worked together for several vears in moving the schools in the division forward.

Q: Do vou know the vear?

A: The vear would have been about 1950/53 . I'm not sure of the vear. During the time that I was principal I took some graduate work at the Universitv of Va and was accepted as a graduate student and began to work toward an endorsement as a superintendent with the state and I continued to be director of instruction until 1972. ln 1972 there were a couple things that were rather interesting to happen to me. In my career I was endorsed as a superintendent and was offered the position of superintendent in Charlotte Co. and mv wife and I went back to Charlotte Co. and looked the county over to make some decisions as to whether or not we would return there. My decision was to remain in Appomattox. I had a real strong working relation ship with the principal and the I mean the superintendent and principals in the schools there. It was onlv a few davs after telling him that I would remain as director of instruction at Appomattox that he was on a trip buving furniture for a new high school we were building that he died suddenlv of a heart attack. I filled in for a year as superintendent in Appomattnx and into that year around February I realized that instruction was mv first love and that I would not be interested in continuing as superintendent so I resigned the superintendency, the board asked me to remain on as director of instruction so I staved on as director of instruction in ApPomattox and a Iittle later in '74 because of the illness of my parents and mv wife's parents we returned to Montgomery Co. to be close to them. I was named principal at Riner Elementarv and I remained there until I retired in 1988.

Q: What is your personal philosophy of education?

A: I think that there are so manY points to my philosopny that I'm going to forget some that I would Iike to recall . First of all I think that everv child is important and needs to feel that he is a citizen of worth. I think that the scnools have an obligation to identifv the needs of each child and realize that each child 's learning stvles are different and once having identified the child's needs thev have an obligation to meet those needs. I think that the schools belong to the people and that the parents need to be involved in education and we as educators need to listen to parents. I believe that the children should be evaluated on their abilitv to perform. I think that reallv think that each cnild can only feel good about himself if he is evaluated as an individual .

Q: That's verv good. I'm interested at this point - go ahead- you have something else-

A: - What would you Iike to ask.

Q: You're leading into my next question. It's basicallv in terms of your leadership style.

A: ln way of answering that I will probablv have to go back a little bit tn mv background. ln mv familv, we did a lot of talking and sharing of ideas and evervone's ideas were alwavs considered important. We didn't alwavs agree with each other but we alwavs heard eacn other anc often after hearing each other decisions were made tnat affected the familv unit. I think I applied that somewhat to my style of administrator. I also had some business background from working in a business in Roanoke when I was just out of college and I felt that the more democratic approach was the one I would take as a leader and I alwavs made an effort to let everyone's view be heard and I felt that it was important for me to mavbe in some instances in the final analvsis to make the decisions. But we usuallv, usuallv thev will be reached in a democratic way. I can think of some areas that some tnings were accomplisheo in some school situations where this philosophy was appiied where we got more accomolished. I mentioned Earl Smith as being a strong administrator and he was mv superintendent in Appomattox. He was verv democratic in his approach in dealing with me and others. One of the things that I remember so fondlv about the first years that I was in Appomattox was that he had a coffee hour everv morning at 10:00. Everv administrator who could leave their building was welcome to come and sit in the board room and have a cup of coffee and we discussed individual philosophies and techniques, ideas. goals and I think that in doing this we grew as a system and we all felt verv close to each other. I tried to copy this stvle that I had seen him use and use so successfullv and so even though I couldn't always do what other people suggested I always wanted to give them an ear and listen to what thev wanted to say and the decisions would be made based on the information that we had.

Q: that again sort of leads into another question that I alreadv have here prepared for vou. Was there anvone in vour Iife who inspired or mentored you toward a career in education?

A: Well I mentioned mv friend. Earl , who coincidentally was just a vear or two older tnan I was. He died verv young at the age of 46. When I was in high scnool I had some verv strong teachers thev -- one that I can remember-NancY Lucons who was an English teacher of mine and I would think that I probablv majored in English as a result of seeing the English classes come alive with the things tnat she did with the students. She alwavs had us participating, anxious to Plav roles. doing research for Nancv Lucons was fun and she was alwavs right in there with us. I think perhaps that sne was the teacher that influenced mv Iife.

Q: What are some your most important accomplishments in education?

A: One of the things that I look back on and feel was an accomplishment was some of the work that we did in Appomattox Co. in integrating two school svstems into one and being successful . We were in an area where we were right next door to Prince Edward Co who closed its doors rather tnan integrate. we lost twentv students ouring the vear that we integrated schools and I think the reason for our success had to do we carried the communitv with us and tnev felt that everything that we were doing was shared with them. tnev had some role in decision making. Our teachers traveled looking for wavs to improve education and we were forced bv the need for extra space to do some building renovation and at that time we were saying to everyone we want vou to know that vour children are going to oe successful and there will not be a period of loss and thev will move right on and we integrated in the scnools in the middle of the year and we closed for Christmas, moved the furniture and reorganized and opened as a new school svstem. Tne thing that we emphasized at that time which I think was fairlv popular was continuous progress or non graded education. We focused in on the individuals needs being met. We took one old school at Phamplin and renovated it. lt hao a sloPing auditorium and we leveleo the auditorium ano carpeted tne building. put in fluorescent Iighting and made it an oPen sPace school . This school was visited bv educators from throughout the state who were lonking for ways to improve instruction and I really think that the Appomattox teachers had done their homework. They were using centers effectively, they were using large and small grouping techniques and it was a delightful open space elementary school . The school board had asked when we ran into a situation at Appomattox in combining the Copper Price school and tne Appomattox school of space there also and one of the things there that thev asked me is there anvthing vou can do instructionally to make this/ the integration go smoother. What we actuallv did was focus evervthing in on instruction and we did a similar piece of work in the Appomattox eiementarv school in that we took the Auditorium there and made it into an open space area. We grouped the children according to tne level thev were reading on and we maoe it nongraded in the fact that children were able to move at their own rate. There were no more stop gaps based on qrades. Thev could move at their pace and all parents were happy to have their children progress at tneir own aoilitv. So I think that accounted for the fact that verv few cnildren left the svstem and that we took a different focus and the focus was on improving instruction in the countv and I think that would be one of the things that we accomplisned during the time that I was an administrator there that I am most proud.

Q: What are some of the things or events tnat vou enjoyed about education?

A: I can't think of many tnings that I haven't enjoved about education. I've alwavs been anxious to get to school , to get to work and be involved. I think one of the things that has been most enjovable to me while at Riner Elementarv our school was paired witn a school in San Diego, Chile and we hao tne opportunitv to have some teachers excnange to that school and that we worked with tnem international exchange program several vears and I tnink that was quite an accomplishment for us and it reallv did broaden the horizons for our students because there was a time at Riner Elementarv that every student could speak some spanish tnat thev have picked up through learning centers and working with the exchange teachers. They were also able to comPare cultures which was an accomplishment.

Q: WeII , speaking of another country. have you taught or been and administrator in another countrv?

A: No I haven't. I have served as a consultant in Chile two of the international schools. I haven't taught tnere. I did have an opportunity to go there as a head teacher or head master of one of the international scnools at a time I wasn't able to accept it. It was a challenge I would Iike to have had but unfortunately I wasn't able to.

Q: Coming up to contemporary times--Wnat is your ooinion of todav's student's conduct compared to students in the past?

A: That's a toughie--l'm not sure I can able to make a distinction..between the past conduct of students. Sav during the time that I began at Prices Fork and the time I completed my time at Riner Elementarv over a span of over 20 some years, I think that if children are shown that you care for them and your purpose in being is actually to help them and assist them vou have few problems. I have not had the ooPortunitv to work in the areas where there are severe discipline problems and for that I am grateful but I see a difference in cnildren no so much in discipline but I tn:nk cnildren are perhaps a little more independent now then thev were and thev perhaps need to be. During the time that I started most homemakers were there to see their children off in the morning and to receive them back in the afternoon and vou could usually make a home call during the day and I don't believe tnat is true now. Yet I. at Riner Elementarv I didn't run into discipline problems with children and I alwavs said that I felt like the reason we didn't have Proolems is that first of all we focused in on children's' needs. We had an instructional program to meet the children's needs and if you involve children in something that is beneficial to them then you aren't going to have as manv discipline problems. I think sometimes we have discipline problems wnen our educational program doe#n't trulv meet their needs and I think they rebel and I think if we have discipline problems I think we might ask ourselves if our instructional proqram is truly meeting the needs of the children.

Q: What are your views on student academics disparity and poor achievers? It kind of, sort of ties into that vou were saying.

A: I /vou've heard me speak recentlv planning for children based on their abilitv. I can give vou an examole too and I mentioned this to you some time ago. I'lI give it as an example to illustrate mv point. I think that children need to be provided for based on their abilities and I've said that a couole of times. I feel verv stronglv about it. I feel that we make a mistake sometime bv having all children do the same assignment. I don't think the same assignment is necessarilv appropriate for all children and when we are experiencing difficulty that we haven't designed the program that will meet the children's needs. And the example that I remember referring to--the class of students that were taking brick masonry in Appomattox. High School-that was a three hour block in the morning and in the afternoon they were required to take a couple basic classes and one of them was English and as director of ingtruction I had an opportunity to visit and observe the successes the cnildren were having in their morning class. Also. as director of instruction I had the opportunitv to visit them in the afternoon and I thought that we recognized tne fact that thev needed something that they could accomplish something with their hands and we #ave them an #Pportunitv to be successful with brick masonry and yet we were asking them in the afternoon to studv "Spencer's 'Fairv Queen'" wnich was the same as Greek probably would be for me and thev were having great difficulty and if thev were problems in the classroom I think the oroblems that we were experiencing were some we had created and that thev were not the problems the children were creating but the fact that the instructional program wasn't realistic for them and we designed some mini courses for those students that would tie in to their need and for some of tnem it was a simple write-learning to write a simple business letter or studying thee manual that would help them get a driving permit but thev were things that were real to them and I don't think Spencer's Fairv Queen would ever be real to the students to which I'm speaking.

Q: You know in working with students Iike that it nad to bring about a tremendous amount of stress knowing tnat mavbe there was sometning you wanted to do. What were some of the techniques that you used to deal with stress throughout your career?

A: And vou're speaking of personal stress. Frustration more than stress. Earlv in my career I was able to make some changes. I was in a position where I could make some suggestions and we could alter some things that we were doing. We make ourselves available to some of the professionals of the day and we also were close enough to Richmond to invite some of the leaders of the State Deoartment into our schools frequently. We just didn't relv on our experiences but we nad kev people alwavs ready and willing to work with us and I reallv dion't feel stress. I felt frustrated and I felt usually that there were wavs to resolve our frustrations and I think the reason I keep going back to Apoomattox. right now is that I'm thinking we were able to make a difference and because we were I feel that it a successful experience.

Q: Well in terms of, let's stav on instruction just a bit. What do vou consider vour strongest and weakest areas in instruction?

A: As an administrator??

Q: As an administrator or director of instruction or even as superintendent. Sounds like a good news/bad news situation.

A: I would think that if I had a strength that it might be that I encourage people to participate at all levels of decision making and that I mav the people in tne communitv realize that the school was theirs and thev were welcome tnere and that hadn't always been the case and I think we stressed that education was important and thev knew that we were doing something about it and that we reallv tnought it was important enough to make some changes and wnen we made changes we took the people with us and told them what we were doing.

Q: What do vou consider... sorrv, go ahead

A: Weakness--areas of weakness as relates to instruction. I think that particularly in the latter vears that I always felt handicapped by having the time to do everything that was needed. I felt continuallv needed to be involved in class work and course work. I needed to involve my staff in inservice. I needed to keep up with new trends and always felt there just wasn't enough time to accomplish everything we wanted to do.

Q: You mentioned somethinq about the community and taking the community with vou when vou made certain changes. Did you work and communicate effectively with manv different community agencies within the communitv?

A: I Iike to think so.

Q: Such as. . .

A: Well , there were times like at one of the elementarv schools where mv main focus was through the PTA and communitv agencies that had a bearing on helping the children in health and well fair types of improvements. Our call as a superintendent that some of the agencies that I worked with. Iike the local civic groups. school board itself and board of supervisors, with agents of the news media and I tnink that it is verv important to communicate and is important for an educator to make the first steps in reaching all agencies and that evervone is informed. I don't tnink vou need to sit back and wait for snmeone to come and ask you what is going on. You need to oe aware that vour role is to communicate tne instructional role to the community.

Q: In terms of mavbe in the communitv or communities where vou worked before have you had an opportunity to meet some famous educators or some interesting people. You have mentioned a person before, have you met anvone before that is interesting or famous?

A: Well , all along tne way there were peoPle that were outstanding at the time and known in education. I remember one person in particular, there were several . The lad was one that Charles Gallawav, the one that I remember. that having a message for me and some of the peoole that worked with me, probably oack in the earlv 70s when his focus was on verbal and nonverbal communication and the tning that we realized about the time that we were opening up that school I told vou about that was the time that we were so aware of the fact that often we, often what we did spoke louder than wnat we did. We were aware that we needed to be alert to the fact that children read us just tne same as thev might read words on a page and that sometimes our own actions might turn children off to learning.

Q: In the light of that you're beginning to talk about some of the characteristics of children. Let's talk about administrators. What are some of the characteristics that you feel go into making an effective administrator?

A: I think that an aoministrator must be a sensitive person. I think that an administrator must be nave an open door policv. be able to communicate with evervone he comes in contact with, parents, teachers. students. I feel that he must be alert to what the educational trends are and he must be able to influence his staff and communitv as he helps them find wavs to resolve their problems, to identify them, then resolve them. Gosh tnere is so much, I feel that I'm just touching the surface. The leader should be able to assess the needs of his building. He should look at all the information available to him and assess it and determine wnat needs to be done to improve the instruction program within his building. ls tnat sort of what vou had in mind?

Q: Well , what about in terms of skills? The cnaracteristics are certainlv there what you've mentioned. What do you feel Iike are the most imoortant skills that a principal, as an example, should possess.

A: l feel that a principal in addition of being able to assess tne needs of his building needs to work with nis staff in developing tne ohilosopny of the school and setting the goals for the schonl that allows the improvement to take place. He also needs to be able to provide types of inservices. Maybe he doesn't provide it himself but he needs to see that the opportunities are tnere for the growth of the staff that will allow the transition or the advancement of skills to take place. He of course is the nne of the kev evaluators, perhaps the kev evaluator of the instructional program within the building and he works with the sta+f in helping them grow professionally and he also is tne person or one of the people who stuoies the records testing information that is available and must be studied, and decisions made to, as to what changes need to be made within the program so that the children can receive tnat instructional program which is most beneficial to them. I've mentioned communication and that is a skill . I think not all people are skilled in good communication and if you don't possess it as an administrator then you need someone else to assist but you certainly need to communicate to the public and to vour communitv and vou need to communicate most all to the students that this is their schools. Their Iives are important and what vou do within the school is for them and should have an impact on their lives not onlv now but in the future.

Q: There is a lot of talk here recently, let's say witnin the last 5 , 6 , 7 years about effective school research and the schools of the future and reform. What are your predictions for of education in the 21st century?

A: I feel Iike that as we were almost 40 years ago we will be in the future, looking closely at individuals and trying to identifv their needs, we will be looking at our instructional program to see what makes it effective. I was interested as I sat through some classes on the effective schools and participated in several worksnops that a lot of the things that were being discussed were not new. Thev were things that we have been concerned with over the vears and I think that it is very important that we not don't lose sight of the fact that we're dealing with human oeings. and that we're trying to make Iives better and the instructional materials that we present are a means of doing this. If we alwavs focus in on human needs rather than science. math, and engIish necessarily that if we always look at what is needed to improve then we probab)v won't be worrving about whether Japan has the higher scores as compareo to the United States. One of the things that I found and this is aside from your question, but one of the tnings that I feel that has changed over the vears is that we used to provide instructional material to the cnildren and when they couldn't absorb it or when it wasn't appropriate then we lost the students and now our efforts are to meet the needs of all children, but I think in order to it we have to realize that the needs are different

Q: What did you enjoy in education the most? And a follow up to this question which did you enjoy the least in the different positions that you held over you long career?

A: I don't think it is a matter whicn one I enjoved the most or the least because I enjoved them all. Thev were all different. Thev/ after spending time in the central office I alwavs looked forward to the opPortunitv of getting back closer to the children and I guess from that stand point the elementary principalship was the most rewaroing and vet wnen I was director of instruction, though I often had the opportunity to be close to the children and was there, it wasn't quite the same as being the classroom teacner or the principal . It was a Iittle bit removed and yet at the same time I enjoyed working with the staff ano always got a lot of satisfaction from the accomplishments that we were able to make.

Q: in terms of your personal life, I would just Iike to know what were some of your hobbies and interest outside of education?

A: I've had a hobby that I've enjoyed for manv years wnich is collecting antiques, refinishing furniture. and I have picked this up as sort of a job in my retirement. I'm working some with antiques, I have a Iittle snop. It is something mv wife and I have enjoyed through the years and it gives me something to do when I'm not substituting which I also enjov in my retirement .

Q: What are some of Places vou and vour familv nave traveled?

A: We have not traveled as much as I hope we will be able to. We traveled rather extensivelv on the East Coast. We traveled a good bit in Virginia. I remember when mv children were growing up we thought it important to oet to the places of interest in their historv books ahead of them taking the classes so thev would have some background knowledge so we haven't as a familv haven't traveled outsioe the United States.

Q: What are some of vour favorite booxs, films. movies. or people?

A: I tnink perhaps the tvPe of books I've read most during the time that I was in education were educational books that would give me some insight into things that we might need to do. During the last couple of vears of mv work. I was reading everything I could get mY hands on tne effective school movement. Since I've retired I have been reading several historical novels and I have enjoved that verv much. A lot deal with the area of Virginia that I'm familiar with.

Q: Would vou discuss the circumstances leading up to your decision to retire at the time vou did and mavbe give vour reasons and the mental process you exercised in reaching the conclusion to retire or step down.

A: Well , I, retirement was verv, verv difficult for me. iou mentioned earlier, you asked me about some stress, if I ever felt stress. I think in education it had to do with retirement. I had planned to continue until I was 65 and when tney Passed the new ruling wnich would allow me to retire with 30 years experience at 55 I fell into that categorv and I began to think about it but I alwavs said that if I ever get to the point of not that I don't enjoy going to school , if I don't get up in the morning excited aoout going to school then I'II know it's time for me to quit. I reallv never reached that Point and I think that's whv it was agonizing to me to realize that I was old enough to retire yet I was enjoving what I was doing. I think the reason I retired earlv was the position of elementarv principal is rather demanding at the time, manv courses to be taxen to keeP up and I began to feel that someone younger might be able to accomplish all that was required and I needed to step aside for them. Probably, the fact that the Virginia SuoPlemental retirement Svstem is as strong as it is had something to do with my abilitv to sav yes, I can retire and in retirement I have enjoyed subing. I subbed for a principal who was out for a month Iast vear. I subbed in the classroom. I never want to get to the point that I'm not involved. I still attend the state conferences, I'm verv much interested in wnat you guys are doing without children.

Q: Mr. PeYton, despite mv best efforts to be comprenensive in my questioning there is probablv something left out. What have I not asked vou that I should have asked?

A: I don't know that there isn't anything you haven't asked me. I'm not sure I'm the candidate vou needed to interview but if I have had any successes in education, thev certainlv were because of the fine people that I've been associated with, not only here in Montgomerv County but in ail areas of eoucation. I can think if I need to sav tnank vou to the parents. I left so suddenlv. that I orobablv didn't adequatelv tell them how I appreciate their work tnat thev had done in making the Riner Elementarv School a fine school and teachers I worked with have oeen reallv outstanding. The administrators, I think we have very good people in education and I'm just blesseo to have the opportunitv to work in it for 30 some years.

Q: I would like to thank you for giving me and of course mv class, Theories of Educational Administration, the opportunitv to interview you. This is an oral historv project which I am very happy to have the opportunity to interview you and I hope that anvone that hears this tape will understand that I am interviewing a man that has really successfully put in his time in education and we certainlv appreciate all the comments. statements, and your follow through, your integrity, vou dignity you have given education. I certainly appreciate it and thank you very much.

A: #ou're very kind. Thank you.

Q: Much luck in the future in vour retirement.

A: Thank you.

Q: And keep on going.

A: I will.

Q: Ok-thank you.

| Back to "P" Interviews | Index of Interviews | Protocol | Home |