This is an interview with Mrs. Eula M. Phillips of 112 Kirkwood Drive in Radford.
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Q: Mrs. Phillips would you begin by telling about your family background, your childhood interest and development before you became a teacher.
(Streamed audio file of interview for this question using RealPlayer)
A: Okay, I was one of twelve children, let me see what else, I lived on a farm, all of us had to work on a farm. Of course I had several older brothers and sisters that left home and got jobs and helped the rest of us through school you know and that's how come me to get to go. I was the middle child. Then let me see, I went to a two room school to three room school first in my community and then I had to go to another community to go to high school and what else? What else would you like to know.
Q: Okay, how about your high school education. How old were you when you finished and where did-
A: Oh, I was 16 years when I finished and now I must tell you this. When I finished high school, I was 16. You could to go to college on one year and then teach at that time and since I was from a big family and we didn't have too much I went to college one year and then went to this little two room school I told you about, there was only one room in use, and I got enough money that year, saved enough money to go back another year of college and I paid for it myself. That's how I got my education. I would teach a year and go to school . I would go to school in the summer time you see.
Q: Would you discuss your college education in preparation of entering the field of teaching. Where did you go to college.
A: I went to Radford College and I majored in elementary education and psychology and ,let me see, it has to come to me. What else did you ask me?
Q: Okay, you prepared for your field of teaching in elementary education. How many years did you serve as a teacher and as a principal?
A: I have tried to count, I was principal most everywhere I was or else I was assistant principal. For when I came from Carroll back into Pulaski County I applied for a school at Riverlawn, You know where Riverlawn is?
Q: Yes Mam,
A: By that time they had built a two room school and I was principal of that two room school when I came back to Pulaski County. Later on they built the big school at Riverlawn and I was assistant principal, they had a man principal and I was assistant principal for ten years there. Now thats fifteen years of my teaching. I had five years in Carroll County and when I came back to Pulaski County I was assistant principal for ten years and taught second grade, assistant principals then had to teach you know and when I left there, where did I go from there, oh, to Riverlawn the Superintendent sent me to Newbern, Va as principal of a six room school.
Q: Okay, lets back up just a moment.
A: I might have left out something.
Q: Lets describe the first school you were at in Carroll County, what did it look like?
A: Alright, it looked like a barn. It wasn't a very good looking building and of course it had no conveniences what so ever. It had outside toilets, we had to hire our wood cut, we had a potbellied stove that burnt the wood, well it wasn't potbellied there it was a flat top. For hot lunches everybody brought him a can of something that his mother had cooked the day before and we set it down in a dishpan of hot water and warmed our food for lunch, that's the way we did it. We had no library work at all, no library books, we had double seats, you know old timey double seats and no equipment, no playground equipment no library books or anything. Now I had to plan for all that you see, but the experience that I got there prepared me for everywhere else I went cause I had to be ingenious you see to invent these things and - I don't want you to catch this little cold I got. And let me see what else. We had the extra room there because they weren't using but one room and we used the extra room for all sorts of activities thats where I really learned to teach, using that extra room. Then I would only use it for extra groups to work in studying in you know, but we also used it for phys ed and things like that, that extra room it was great it was just great to have that one room. Now let me see.
Q: Now, how many months did you go to school then?
A: Seven, seven months.
Q: Alright, from there you went back to Pulaski what kind of school was that , that you returned back to in Pulaski?
A: Well that was the two room
A: I went to first and then they built the big school at Riverlawn. Wait a minute,let me see. Yes that is right. It was a big school eight or ten rooms. I learned a lot of things there only a different level of course with different types of people. The people I taught in Carroll County were all just farmers you know the people in Riverlawn school their parents worked at the Powder Plant and it was a different situation you see different type of people and we had more materials and best I remember we did have wood stoves there, I pretty sure we did.
Q: What do you think motivated you to want to be a principal?
A: I wasn't motivated to be a principal, I was motivated to be a teacher. I wanted- before I ever started to school I used to teach the neighborhood kids- teach school to neighborhood kids nearly every day. I was anxious for the teaching part and I never did get tired of teaching. There was so many ways I could ,let me see how to say this, that I could be ingenious, inventive, ways to do things you know and thats what I liked about teaching doing things different ways for different children and different groups of children.
Q: Okay, What do you picture as possibly your philosophy of teaching as you started and did it change as we came through your long career?
A: I don't know as it did. I don't think I changed my philosophy I was anxious for the children to learn and learn in the most interesting way that we could plan for it,that was my philosophy. Not just set down and study books necessarily all time , but any different way that I could teach children. If I took them out in the field, when I could, I did so many thing in those one-room schools that was interesting to children. They had always just gone to school and just set there and read their books and studied their books and I thought there were different ways to learn and there was and the kids loved it, just loved it. I used so many different processes with children in one-room and two-room schools. When I taught at Riverlawn in the two-room school before they built the big school there was another teacher there. She thought I was very extreme.
Q: Okay, So she was more traditional in her approach.
A: Yes, traditional.
Q: Okay, Now as you got into more of the principalship, what kind of philosophy did you use for basically managing people you had to manage?
A: Oh, now you have asked me a question. My philosophy was to be as frank with them as I could be parents and teachers too. I was anxious to give them suggestions for different ways to do things and I was anxious to explain, I had a lot of explaining to do because of my philosophy. I had a lot of explaining to do to parents as to why I was doing certain things you know, certain ways and same way with teachers. Teachers had been brought up to teach like they had been taught and I didn't believe in that, I thought they should be more inventive and ingenious and thats why I encouraged teachers to think differently from the way they had been taught to make it interesting to children, more interesting to children I would say.
Q: And I think maybe we are still working on that today.
A: Why you will continue to work on that as long as you live,t but my philosophy with teachers was that as long as they showed results and cooperated with the rest of us cooperation was important in the bigger schools I taught in and as well as being ingenious and inventive.
Q: What was some of the successful things you did to foster this climate in a building to get teachers to cooperate?
A: Oh, now thats another hard question. Well the main way I went about that was meeting with teachers often and suggesting that they plan among themselves how they were going to do things. I had at Riverlawn, at the big school, they redid my auditorium, we had a huge auditorium, we did team teaching there, at Riverlawn, and there was four or five teachers in that one big auditorium teaching children at one time, but they had to work together because if one was doing one thing and he was going to use something in the building, this teacher couldn't use it then they had to alternate and use it at different times and another thing we did we ungraded in that auditorium. If a child- the school board required that we take children through three or four readers during the year. Alright some children can go faster than others so whenever he finished a book he could go on up in the next group you see but some of them that was not as good had to stay back, see, and that did more for children than anything, they wanted to be up in that other group, they wanted to be put into that other group see so they would work harder to get up into that other group and we ungraded- in the whole school we ungraded- in the whole school we worked it out in that big auditorium. Now you know parents had always been taught grade by grade by grade by grade they didn't go too well with us on that ungraded bit because they wanted their children to finish a whole year in one year and some children were not able to do that and so if I held a child back in something, or teacher, parents didn't like that they wanted their child to make the same on all subjects and get out of that grade in and year and go up in the next grade but by team teaching we could do it the other way if he was poor in math we could hold him back for a while next year you see until he learned what he was supposed to learn.
Q: Now what was the time frame of this activity are we still in the 1930's or are we in the 40's?
A: No we are in the 40's now.
Q: We are in the 40's that you were doing this team teaching?
A: Now there was one school, I don't know if that was before the two room at Riverlawn, Outside of Pulaski about five or six, or seven miles there was a two room school they sent me to along about this time and lets see, they allowed me, with another teacher- I was principal of that school too- in fact I was principal or assistant principal of every school I worked in, principal most of the time and we did all sorts of things because the teacher that taught with me-see I taught, I was principal , but I taught too. Same way in the little two room over in Riverlawn and when I was assistant principal at the big school at Riverlawn I taught also. Now lets see, what did I start to tell you? Oh, the teacher that worked with me out side of Pulaski, about five miles outside of Pulaski in that two room school. We did all sorts of experimenting there. I had fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grades and she had the first three. At that time you didn't have kindergarten and we did some team teaching there. If a child finished her room ahead of the others why he could come on over in my room and work some see in fourth grade, she had third grade and I had all sorts of visitors. I had visitors that year from Radford College and from all over the county. They allowed visitors to come and watch us do this. Oh we did a lot more experimenting but thats one thing that we did. Everywhere I taught we had visitors, I can tell you that.
Q: That's good. Now what do you think that teachers expected principals to be able to do at this time what kind of model were they looking for.
A: That's a good question.They expected you to set the example, I tell you and help them- they needed help and they wanted help. They felt like the principal should be able to help them on things, methods of teaching and things like that. Provide them with materials so they could carry out some of these things they wanted to do. Things like that was my job. Of course the discipline part was mine most of the time. In those two room schools we didn't have a lot of discipline problems. We didn't have as many discipline problems that you have now, I can tell you that.
Q: How many students are we dealing with in the two room schools.
A: Oh, I'd say we had 50 or 60.
Q: Okay, Now when you moved on to the Newbern school,the six room school, ah- what was the size of this school?
A: Ah, let me see, what do you mean?
Q: In total size, you had six rooms so about how many students
A: We had an auditorium, and we served food of course. Now what's your question?
Q: About how many students did we have?
A: Well we had about 25 per room at that school.
Q: Okay. So the teacher ratio was about 25 to 1?
A: It might have been a little more than that in some rooms, but it was a pretty good ratio at that school and that was another interesting - that was a rural community too and most of the parents of that school had gone to the old timey school you know and they were expecting us to do everything just like they did in school, but we didn't do it that way. We had more materials in that school and we had better cooperation from parents I believe in that school.
Q: You say that I understand that your leadership was by example and by helping- can you think of an example in your career where you thought your leadership failed. Did you have a teacher that wasn't successful.
A: Oh yes, Let me think- Now I taught the seventh grade- I might have had seven rooms in that building- I believe I did have seven rooms because we had a grade in each room. Now wait just a minute. We had teachers in every building that was ridiculous when it came to discipline for one thing. That isn't what I wanted to tell you. I had one teacher in that building that was always testing children by giving them things to do, but never did check on them and parents would come to me and ask me, I would like to see some of his papers- he never gets them back. See that was one problem you always have somebody in every school that never follows up on what they do. That was the biggest problem I had there not following up on what they did to let parents know how their children was doing. Its been so long now I can get this straight. Another problem that I had at that school was teachers not teaching what was laid out for their grade. Some of them just didn't like some of the things they had to teach and they just didn't teach it and I had to get after several of them you know. It would come up at the end of the year with testing children and some of them would fall down on math and that just told me that teacher wasn't teaching math,you see.
Q: What kind of a testing program did we have going on at that time?
A: Not too good, it was all up to the teachers to test and you had to take the teacher's word for it.
Q: Okay, did you look at their grades that the teacher had or did you look at the test that the teacher had made?
A: I did both. But they didn't like for you to do that they didn't like for you to do that at all and we had to be so diplomatic to get a hold of those things, but you know what I would do once in a while I'd go in their rooms and teach the children and just to see what they was teaching. Now they didn't know what I was doing I just told them that I liked to teach and when I went to Newbern, but I just told them that I liked to teach and I'd like to go in the rooms and see so I would teach a class and just to see what level they were working on because I knew very well what level they ought to be working on. You have sorry teachers and you have good teachers and you have mediocre teachers. You could pretty well tell by what parents say to you whether Johnny was learning certain things that they learned in school, you know, and of course we didn't do it exactly the way they learned it but we had to teach the same thing. Ah, I had teachers that had difficulty, in several lines. Some of them were poor disciplinarians, poor disciplinarians, and you knew that there wasn't too much learning going on and I would go in the room and observe and when I would talk with the teacher afterwards you see about it. I had one teacher who got furious at me because I couldn't go in that room there wasn't a bit of discipline that you, to me there wasn't and I just told her that those children were just not learning what they were supposed to learn. You have to do things like that, that she would have to improve on her discipline. She would always blame the teacher behind her for the children not being.
Q: How would you go about advising a person you was considering being a administrator, what kind of advice would you give them now?
A: The greatest thing I can say is to mean what you say to children and teachers both. Mean what you say and carry through on it. If you say something, and don't see that its carried through that's your report. To me that's the strongest and weakest point I can have not to follow through on what I asked them to do and you can pretty well tell. When you are in the building with a bunch of teachers, you can pretty well tell whether they are working on appropriate level. I was a firm person, but I was not cruel or anything like that and kids knew that but I told them, I told kids that they were supposed to learn certain things and they would have to listen to the teacher in order to get it.
Q: Now what kind of discipline measures did you have to use when students were sent out of a class to see you as principal.
A: All kinds of things. It was according to who it was and what he did, I guess,you would say. Sometimes I would put them off to themselves to study, take them away from the group, if they were misbehaving and bothering the group, sometimes I would call their parents if I didn't think they were working up to their potential you know, sometimes I would- let me see- What was the question you asked?
Q: Discipline, did you use corporal punishment?
A: Occasionally, I don't believe too much in corporal punishment. Cruel punishment anyway. I've been known to use a little paddle when they did something bad, but after I went to Pulaski, I taught school across the tracks you might say and had a lot of problems because there was a good many colored people in the school and the children were the poor white people and I had a lot of discipline problems there. I'll tell you about that later. Let me tell you and example of discipline. I had a rule - we had so many buses at that school, high school buses came there and the new school buses came and picked up kids and I had a rule that if you were walking to school you had to leave as soon as the bell rang in the afternoon. The children that walked to school lived close enough to walk; and one day this little black boy decided he would stay and play ball with the bus kids; sometimes the bus kids had to wait a good long time for their bus and he wanted to stay and play ball- baseball- and they got in to a fight a whole bunch of them- all those bus children that were waiting go in a fight and then when these buses drove up they had high school and middle school children on them you know, they saw what was happening and they got off and took sides the whole bunch of them, a whole slew of them. So I had about eleven buses there that afternoon they had stopped there you know and they all got into it. The high school, middle school and my kids and what did I do? I called the police to separate them. The next morning I called this little boy in- it may have been that afternoon, I don't remember- I paddled him because he knew the rule and I felt like he needed it. I don't believe in paddling children unmercifully. I paddled him, but the next day I got a visit from his grandmother and his mother. Oh boy did they bless me out for paddling him. I told them he had to abide by the same rules that everybody else did and if he broke the rules he would be punished. I had to stand my ground with the colored people Oh Boy, do I. They hadn't been going in with us too long at that time so I had to stand my ground and they wanted to accuse me of punishing black children and not punishing the white and that wasn't true and when this old grandmother left that morning "Well I know one other thing I can do, I can call the governor". I told her to go right ahead, that's your privilege. I never heard any more about it.
Q: Okay, now there are those who say should be an instructional leader and a good manager. What courses should someone take to be a principal?
A: To be a leader and a manager. Well, what courses in school?
Q: Yes, and college. What kind of preparation in college should you have to be a principal?
A: Some of the courses I took had a lot to do with that they-let me see, what courses was it I took that taught you to manage people it had to do with working with other people.
Q: What were the certification requirements for you to be a principal, in other words we know you started out in a one room school and a two room school and you were the principal there, when did we come about with them putting it on a certificate or things of that nature that you could be a principal?
A: I guess that was around the beginning of the 50's or maybe even earlier than that. You had to have certain subjects, they demanded certain subjects in college for you to take if you were planning to be a principal; and did you ask what courses? You had to have certain subjects they demanded certain subjects in college you could if you planned to be a principal and. You asked what courses you took?
Q: What courses you had to take to be a principal and-
A: You had to have a BS Degree at that time and you had to take classes in Psychology and you had to take classes in math and you had to take classes in English and I took all those thinking that some day I would be a principal. I wasn't working too much toward that as I was to be a teacher you know. But those were things they required us to take on that BS to be a principal. I bet I'll think of a million things after you are gone. Its been a good while since I, but I know we had to have a BS Degree.
Q: Alright, moving along in your career after we went through the Newbern school, where did you become a principal next?
A: Pulaski, a big elementary school in Pulaski. I also had- that was about the time they said the negroes could go into the schools with the whites.
Q: About what year was this?
A: I would say it was in the late 40's.(should be early 60's)
A: The next school that you went into after the big school at Pulaski.Now what was the question?
Q: We were going to describe this particular school, how large was it?
A: Oh, it was about eighteen rooms(counting) about twenty rooms there and I also had- I was going to tell you- it was about that time they told the negroes that they could go with the whites so we had to take the negroes and they vacated the negro school in Pulaski (eight rooms) and they made a kindergarten school out of it and I was principal of that school and the other school too. I had about 750 students.
A: You talk about something interesting its eight rooms of kindergarten. Thats the most interesting thing in the world. It just killed my soul when they built - they began to build schools then and every community could take its own kindergarten kids , it just killed me when they took that kindergarten away from me.
Q: So that first kindergarten there was just a kindergarten, was it an all day kindergarten?
Q: And the students were bussed into it?
A: Uh Huh.
Q: And then they decided to move them back out?
A: Yea, they had to add on to some buildings and build new buildings and then they took these children back to their own schools, but I had some of the finest teachers in that kindergarten building and that was one of the most interesting thing in the world to see- to watch. Well that school I had was and interesting thing to watch too. The first four grades I had that in the big school, you see, and I had eight rooms of kindergarten.
Q: Okay, so there was grades one to four in the big twenty room school.
Q: Did this school have a name or was it just Pulaski Elementary?
A: No it was Jefferson.
Q: The name of the school was Jefferson School.
A: Yes. Good school. Because the children were from such poor families and I don't think they had been much attention paid to them as should have been, but we got together - the way I worked with teachers was we just got together and said we are going to do so and so. what can you do to improve your math scores thats the way we worked.
Q: Now, in dealing with schools later in your career we progressed up into the 50's and 60's to the larger school did teacher management become more of a problem after we got more teachers?
A: No. No it wasn't. Now you had to make a tighter schedule to get it all to work out, but if you made the right kind of a schedule and alternated the recesses and lunch hours and things like that those were the things you had to deal with in that big school, but it was a big job. If you managed that, you had it made. If everybody knew where he was supposed to be at a certain time that was the jist of that and if anybody broke over well it didn't work and you had to see that it did work. The scheduling was the biggest job in the big schools, but I didn't have a big problem with that.
Q: During this time, how did parents interact with the school system? Did you have active PTA's or did they come later?
A: No, I had a pretty active PTA in that big school because the parents, being the type of parents they were, you would not think of them as being interested but we had a PTA and some of the parents were very interested in everything that was going on and we had visitation and visitation in the home if we needed to, if we had a problem we visited in the homes and we were treated very well. I think of some of the things I did while I was there as principal that I would not do now. I wouldn't. I have gone home with children to explain to parents what they were doing maybe or what they hadn't done. I'll never forget in one building, where they had a lot of kids living,in apartments and I had to take this child home one day, he was sick and I had to take him home and take him up on the third floor and when I got up to the top of the steps some men were in the hall working on ladders in the hall I got hollered at pretty keen and I didn't know whether to go under those ladders and take him on down to his room or to go back to school. I wouldn't do it again. I wouldn't go under a ladder because they hollered at me when I came back by, but I had a lot of experiences like that and I'll tell another experience I had as principal. People were always breaking in the school and stealing things. Stealing good equipment.TV's and things like that you know, typewriters. Every little bit the police would call me at home no matter what hour of the night and tell me that I had to go in the building with them, in that school building, I didn't like that a little bit, going through that building. They would say they had seen lights in there maybe, somebody had called and said there were lights in the building and there I had to go down those halls with those policemen why anybody could have shot us and not half tried.I tell you I wouldn't do it again. I wouldn't do it in this bad time, but I had been in very dangerous places from time to time very dangerous, very dangerous. I took a sick child home one time and everybody home was drunk. You just had to use good judgment in things like that, now I'm not sure I used good judgment a few times on that, but anyway I was interested in the child doing the right thing for the child. If he was sick or if he had a discipline problem or whatever it was.
Q: Okay, over your entire career we have gone out to the bigger school. Did you have evaluation forms for the teacher or did you write narratives about how they were performing?
A: NO, we had forms and that was a very, very particular thing. We met with every teacher and would go every item on that paper, three or four sheets of it evaluating them every year; everyone of them and I think that helped my school more than anything was that evaluation of teachers. That was interesting. If I knew something they had been doing that was wrong that was a good place for me to tell them, you see, because they had nearly everything on those evaluation sheets that teachers could do wrong or could do right, you know, and I didn't hesitate to tell them if they had a weakness in a certain area. Next year they would try to overcome that weakness. Let me tell you another thing: One of the best things you can do for a school is to ask the School Board to dismiss certain teachers, maybe one every ten years two that makes the others know that you mean what you say.
Q: Okay, coming to that, would you discuss teacher dismissal and an example of your involvement with one as you think about that.
A: Well that one that I told you a while ago that had such poor discipline that I couldn't go in that room and see anything going on valuable, I knew it was time for her certificate to run out and she was upt in years and I didn't want her back so I talked to the superintendent and the school board about it and told them not to encourage her to go back and renew her certificate so that's the way they approached her when it came time to appoint teachers, you see. They approached her as if, you don't have but two more years or three more years to teach, why don't you just take your retirement and do not try to go back to school because it would be hard for you. That was one example. Let me see if I can think of another one. I can think of several. I had one teacher that lied to me all of the time. She lied all the time. Anytime I would ask her about certain things that parents had complained about she would say I never do, I don't do that; I never do that. I knew she did cause you can't be in a building with a whole bunch of teachers and not know what they are doing. You might not know what page of math they or on or something like that, but you know whether they're working or not and you can tell by the children's reaction whether they're working or not and you can't fool a principal if they are any kind of principal at all.
Q: So in you career can you give me an estimate probably how many teachers you had to dismiss.
A: Oh, I wish I had my credentials here. One, two, I would say four.
A: But I tell you it was nothing that made my school perk up as much as dismissing a teacher.
Q: Now, did you have a grievance policy in existence.
A: We sure did.
Q: Could you tell us kind of how it worked, if a teacher disagreed with a decision or wanted to complain.
A: Well the principal wrote out the grievance and it was passed on the the superintendent and the school board. It was several ways that we handled it too. That was the main way. I wrote out in long hand the proposition. The reason I would to prefer to move a teacher or dismiss a teacher sometimes it pays just to move them in to another situation and I would write that grievance out. Sometimes I would give the teacher a chance to write back too, you know thats only fair.
Q: Okay, What methods did you utilize for teachers within your building that were bothered by the way things were going. What avenue did they have to voice their feelings and complaints?
A: Well, now those things came in our teacher's meetings which we had once or twice a month, you see, we all met together and I would ask them to bring in their grievances and it was something that covered the whole school it may have been in the schedule if they think they could improve the schedule I would ask them to bring in their notes on that and then we would present them in the meeting, the teacher's meeting, and then I would think about it and there were other ways we did it too. Sometimes the teacher would just come to me and they would have a grievance against another teacher and I would have them to write it out and then I would go over it with the other teacher and the other teacher wouldn't always know where it came from, you see. If I could keep her from knowing, if it was the teacher next door, I did. We had good written records of things that happened. I kept a file on the teachers and anybody that brought a grievance to me about a teacher I would have them to write it out and I would put it in the file and then start working on it, you see, but I kept it in that file a long time. I destroyed a lot of them when I left.
Q: Okay, Now did you use individual conferences to alleviate some of these problems?
A: Yes, that's the best to do it. Where a teacher brings up a grievance against another teacher the best way to handle that is just with the teacher alone. The biggest job I had there was discipline. If one room disturbed another, or the children from one room were allowed to go out in the hall and maybe tease the other children going down the hall I could to that teacher, you see, that allowing those things to happen and tell them that was not what we planned on. I didn't mind telling teachers and I did not tell them in a hateful way; I didn't fuss at them or anything like that, but I just told them that I felt it would be better if these kids were not out here when these other kids are or something like that, you see, and I wish you would keep them in there until these get back to their rooms.
Q: Did you ever have teachers disagree with you?
A: Oh yes, I have had teachers disagree with me and I allowed that. Then we would try both ways see. I would say okay, lets try it if you think that can be worked out we will try it that way. Sometimes it would and sometimes it wouldn't and then we would have to change it back. Yes, thats what teachers liked too, they liked for me to - to allow them to experiment a little bit.
Q: Now, as you worked through your principalship did you ever have an assistant principal that worked with you?
A: Oh yes, yes all the time. Thats a great asset. Of course she didn't have the same duties that I did. She dealt more with the, well she dealt with about everything I did I guess, but not on as large a scale she dealt more with the instruction the assistant principal did. She would help teachers plan how they were going to do certain things and things like that where I had the overall discipline of the school. She had discipline too, they were a great help.
Q: Now when was the first school that you had an assistant principal in?
A: I guess Jefferson was. I didn't at Newbern that had seven rooms. I don't think I had as assistant then, no it was when I went to the bigger school.
Q: Now what became of your assistant principal? Did they last a long time or did they move on to other jobs?
A: Sometimes they were sent to other schools as principal. I could think of two right now and they are still principals of those schools. Sometimes they took the principals place if she quit or retired. When I left Jefferson I has an assistant principal she wanted me to train her, she wanted to be in on everything I was doing before- she knew when I was going to retire and I took her in on everything I did nearly- she would go with me or she would watch me be a witness to the discipline and things like that, you see and then she became principal in my place so there are several things they did. Sometimes they would- maybe if they didn't have the grade they wanted to teach in that school then there was a grade in another school they would like to teach they would send them on to that. But most of them either became principal of that school or were sent to another school as principal. I've got two people there now as principal.
Q: Would you describe the most effective assistant principal that you ever had. What were some of the characteristics of the best that you ever worked with.
A: Well the last one I had was the best one. She was excellent. She could carry on the school just as well as I could. She got along well with teachers, she got along well with parents, she got along well with children. Assistant principal ought to be able to get along with children. The same as a principal. She was good as planning, helping teachers plan their work. Its been a long time you know its been since 1975 since I was in school.
Q: Alright, did you finish up your career at the Jefferson School.
Q: How long were you principal at the Jefferson School.
A: I think I went there in 60 or 6l it was about 13 or 14 years maybe 15.
Q: Now as you view all of the schools that you were associated with, what do you think was the most effective school? You dealt with the one room, the two room, the seven room, and the large school.
A: I think the large school was. I really do. You would think I would say these two room schools, but no I had better success at the big school. I don't know we just did better planning we had to, you were forced to when you have four or five hundred kids you've got to plan well and I had teachers that were well trained and teachers that were anxious to go on and do things in that school; even though we had the children across the tracks and we had more of the colored people and the poor white, we were very successful, very successful. Rated with the rest of them in the county, the rest of the schools somewhere; the rest of the schools had all the upity children. There was a school across the town from mine, my school, after we got started at it, our scores were as good as theirs. It wasn't because the kids couldn't learn you know if we fixed it so they wanted to learn well they would do it as well as somebody else at some other school.
Q: What do you view as the ideal size of schools. During the last years since you retired we have just been steadily growing.
A: I know it. I don't believe it should be any bigger than that school at Newbern or Jefferson. I really don't. Jefferson was not a bad school to handle and I think you are able too- in a bigger school you are able to get more supplies, you know, thats one thing and you can just plan better because you have got every type of child and you have better materials and I had an excellent library at the last school. I had that big auditorium that we did team teaching in and I had a playground that was hardtopped all over and I had an excellent lunchroom; oh by the way, the lunchroom was in the second building from the main building; they bought an old store building right beside the school and fixed it up. I just had better equipment and better arrangements at that school maybe thats the reason I'm saying what I am saying. We had more room, more materials, and you can imagine in a school that size that you are going to have some parents that are eager to help. We had many parents in that school even though the school was across the tracks. We had some upity parents too in fact school board members had children in the school. When you have some of the better class of people they are able to help you more financially you see.
Q: Now, as you dealt with some of these later schools that had more programs for special groups of students we've got labels for them now: gifted, LD, Special Education, Non English Speaking, what has been your experience with special populations in school?
A: Oh great, good, I had five room in this last school; I had five rooms of special education. I had the -I can't think of their names now,
Q: The EMR's, the LD, did you have any emotionally disturbed?
A: Oh yes,and what do you call that class where their IQ's are below 50? Trainable.
Q: The trainable, yes.
A: I had the trainable too, I sure did. I had five rooms of special ed at that school. And that made the job of the regular teachers so much easier because we had all these kids in different rooms not in their rooms so they were able to teach more on the same level all the time rather than to have to teach these children that were so much lower, you see, that was excellent. Now lets see did we have any other kind, I don't believe we had any other kind.
Q: Okay. Now shifting to another area as we look at teaching, salaries and other compensations have changed a great deal since you entered the profession, would you discuss your recollections as to how people were paid.
A: My first check was $68. My first check, $68. Then I got $68 for the whole year we didn't go but nine months. Of course it improved after I came to Pulaski County it improved some and as time went on we got raises, we got some raises. Of course as principal and then too principals were paid according to the number of teachers they had, you know and with all those children, I had a good many teachers. There was one year I had 64 people on the payroll; counting the lunchroom people and janitors I had two schools you see and I had lunchroom people in both of them; I had janitors in both of them; I had secretaries in both of them and- what were we talking about?
Q: The salaries.
A: Oh, the salaries. Well when I first started out salaries were poor of course and they improved as time went on and the more teachers I had more pay I had. More teachers meant more pupils teachers represented pupils in that respect. Even though I made a fairly good salary in 1975. You know my daughter. She teaches in high school, she is the department chairman over special ed. at Pulaski County High school and she makes more than twice what I made when I quit. By the way she said she knows you. Do you know her?
Q: Yes Mam.
A: She is ready to start her thesis now.
Q: Would you give us a dollar figure of what the salary was for a principal in 1975 when you retired?
A: Oh I don't know whether I can give you that or not. It was less than 20,000.
Q: Less than 20,000?
A: When I first started teaching at Riverlawn I had forty-five second graders, forty five, now you talk about a job that's a job and we didn't get an overly amount of money. Later on they passed a law that you couldn't have that many pupils and it made it easier. Even though you got the same amount of money, it made it easier.
Q: When do you think you came in contact with tenure? Did you have tenure when you first started teaching?
A: No. No I didn't. I don't remember tenure until I got to Newbern I believe. Wait a minute now, wait a minute, I was trying to think if I had tenure at Riverlawn in the big school. I believe I did, yes I believe I did.
Q: Now how do you view tenure now that you have been an administrator and a teacher?
A: Well I think it is a good way to ( what is the work I want to use ) it's a good way to evaluate teachers. If they know that after three years they're not going to be hired back unless they do a good job I think they learn to be better teachers from tenure. You see after so many years we principals had to suggest whether they were under tenure or not, you see, and they could become sorry teachers after tenure you know, I could tell you that. Some of them did, but they did work hard for three or four years to get under tenure more than likely they continued working you see. I think it was a real good thing tenure was.
Q: Okay, Now just a thought on education in general, what do you think of the concept of free public education?
A: What do you mean by free public education?
Q: Well is our country committed and do we really have free public education?
A: Well I think we try to have and I think we have been fairly successful at it. Look at the kids that wouldn't have any education if we didn't have it. Free education. An now we are stressing education more than ever and a lot of those kids wouldn't have gone to school at all because their parents wouldn't have made them especially the parents that didn't have much education themselves.
Q: Alright, In light of public education, how long should we require students to go to school?
A: I think students should finish high school- I really do. If he doesn't finish high school he's not going to branch out into any other kind of school. Now this new superintendent we've got is wanting to bring kids back that didn't finish high school and have them to finish He's going to work out a schedule where and if they are working, he is going to have night classes and I think that is a good thing, make them finish high school. They are a lot more liable to get a good job or go on to school if they go on to high school. After a kid drops out of high school and stays out a few years he doesn't want to go back because he knows he is going to be older than the kids in there, you see, and he doesn't want that stigma that he is an older one and in high school that's the reason I think they should be made to finish school.
Q: Now we are coming up with a new concept called "Passport to Literacy" which is going to require students in elementary school to reach a certain skill level before they can advance to high school. How do you view that?
A: I think that is a good thing. If they are capable of doing it. I think that is the draw back there. I don't think you should expect more of children than they are able to do, but as long as you can work toward that end I think it should be done.
Q: Do you think we have an age level where a student should not be in elementary any more?
A: I think they should finish high school; it is a stigma for them to be in high school if they are older and bigger than the other kids - you said high school didn't you?
Q: Well in elementary school.
A: Oh, in elementary school.
Q: How old should they be or at what age should we move them from the elementary to the high school?
A: I don't think we should move them until they finish all their work regardless. If they are capable or doing it I mean.
Q: Now we get back to the administrative role just a moment administrators have always complained about paper work. Did you find paper work to be a problem when you were in administration?
A: Yes, I understand there is more paper work now than there was when I was in there. My daughter has an awful lot of paper work. Yes, there was a lot of paper work. There is all kind of records that you have to keep on kids. You can't come in and set down and talk with a parent unless you have some records on that child and there's where the most important part of it is with parents of children who are doing or not doing as well as other areas.
Q: Okay, Administration has become very complex, dealing with parents, dealing with students, keeping records, what do you think we could do to improve our effectiveness or our efficiency as far as dealing with the complexity?
A: Well of course now they have computers that help them out a lot, but they won't hire other people to do it, can't afford to hire other people I guess. When I was at Jefferson we had a lot of aides, Federal aides and that was a blessing. If they could have things like that if actual teachers could have help I think it would be a good thing. I had an aide in nearly every room. Of course they have cut back on that now, but if they can't afford with that. Teachers need help to do a good job they have so much book work to do and so many papers to grade.
Q: Alright, next we want to look at curriculum. We know that as you dealt with one and two room schools you were basically responsible for all of the curriculum; how did you deal with curriculum in the larger elementary school?
A: Well, you know we had- the curriculums were laid out for us most of the time I don't remember how we arrived at those?
Q: Did you have personnel from the school board office that visited to check on your curriculum?
A: Yes, we had supervisors that checked on our curriculum and- what happened - lot of time the state had a lot of say in the curriculum, you know, they would give us these books that covered certain areas and certain levels or certain grades and if you changed that at all you've got to change it according to the set up of your school and a lot of times we made our own based on a certain level we would say they should be able to do this before they go on see. We would take the state's curriculum and fit it to our needs. We couldn't always do what the state required because our children were not that high up in intelligence we sort of had to make our own curriculum as we went along, but we would be together in groups and do that.
Q: As you look back now what do you think you would change if you had the authority to change about schools.
A: Oh, I don't know how to answer. What would I change? One t thing I would change, I had one school that it was necessary to change. I would think the curriculum for each school I would have a curriculum for each school rather than a curriculum just from the state based on the type of child you have; type of children you have. However, there's something about that that's not good. When they go on to high school they are supposed to have the same background and you can't always do that it ought to follow through to the high school. Children ought to be grouped according to the level they are working on. I might do better after I think about it a while.
Q: Now, would you describe your relationship with superintendents over the years.
A: Yes, I'm glad to do that. Excellent, excellent. The first superintendent that I had when I taught in the one room and two room schools. He was super, I tell you he was. He gave you credit for everything good you did, and he knew what you did. There was one thing about it he knew exactly what you were doing or what you were not doing. I have often wondered how he found out unless the supervisors told him, but he nearly always, he had the best mind you ever saw. He was the best judge of teachers of any man I ever say in my life. He promoted me one time right after the other. I don't how he knew that I was doing a good job unless like I say the supervisors told him. Now the second one I had , did I have more than two? No I don't think I did. The second superintendent- you're talking about superintendents. The second superintendent I had he was good when it came to the big things, the overall big things, but he wasn't as good at instruction as the first one was the first one was good in all of it. This one was not as good in instruction. He was better at high school instruction than he was elementary. He didn't know much about elementary school and what they should be doing, but he was a fine fellow and one thing I held against him was he didn't give us enough material, the first one did. If you asked him for anything. You know every year he sent money back to the state or the school board the second one did. I just didn't think he knew enough about instruction.If he would have given us more of the things we asked for I think our schools would have been better. Don't you tell anybody I said that.
Q: Now, what was your relationship with the school board, did you have contact with them.
A: Yes. When I first started to school in Pulaski County now I didn't have any contact when I was employed (Carroll I mean) When I came to Pulaski County I knew some of the board members and it was easy for me to work with them because I knew them. In fact one of them was the one that gave me the first school I had in Pulaski County. In later years I had a good rapport with the school board because I lived in Pulaski where most of them lived and they visited the schools right often, well not often, they visited the schools more I say and I was able to talk with them personally about things I think that helps. If we contact school board members through other people I don't think it is as effective as if we can contact them ourselves. The chairman of the school board of Pulaski was one of my best friends. She was my patron while I was a Jefferson. She had a son there when I was at Jefferson. It wasn't any trouble at all for me to talk to her.
Q: Okay, when it comes to the employment of teachers what was your role as a principal in selection or interviewing of teachers.
A: Usually the superintendent, when people made application for a job he would have the credentials, have the information, he would bring it to me and ask me what I thought about it if I would like to try this teacher. The raport between the superintendent and myself- he would ask me if this would solve my problem, would this be the type of teacher in that particular room to keep those certain particular children or something like that you see, it was a cooperation between the superintendent, school board and myself. If I would say I would like to try that person and when I read her credentials maybe she came from another county and she had brought her credentials with her, you know, well he would bring them to me and let me read them before I made up my mind. If I said I didn't want that teacher well he wouldn't give her to me sometimes I would know the teacher myself and I didn't want her. Not too many instances like that though.
Q: Now you were principal at a time when integration took place could you give us a little description of some of your first activities with bringing the black population into the white school system.
A: I'll never forget the first day that they said they could come. I dreaded that more than anything else in the world except - that was at Jefferson I accepted my first; or was it or not? Yes, I guess it was. Let me see how I'm going to tell you this. We were all very apprehensive about it knowing whether it was going to work or not, you know, and some of the colored came to me before school opened and talked to me about it but not nearly as many of them as I would have liked for it to be. They had all been going to purely colored schools and it wasn't such a good one some of the teachers should have been taken out of those schools. So the colored children were behind our children, the white children, because the teachers were just sorry teachers. I can think of two of them now that I got and I had just set down on those two because I knew that in the colored school they just did not do their duty. Now what was the question again?
Q: Some of your experiences in dealing with integration as it happened.
A: Some of it wasn't pleasant, some of it wasn't I'll say it that way. The colored people they were on edge so afraid we would not treat the colored children as we did the whites, you know, and it created a problem. If we did the least - we tried to treat them just like the white children and we did there wasn't many teachers that didn't treat them right. Parents were - the colored parents were ready to jump at any little thing they thought you were making a difference between the white and colored. I'll never forget the first day they brought a little colored kids to my school. They parked out front in the car, there were two or three different parents in the car and I don't know they must have thought that I didn't know that they were supposed to enter at that time and they were expecting me to say no absolutely they told me later that they couldn't enter, well I couldn't say that when the whole state were supposed to take children, you know. They were very much on the defensive the colored parents were they were for several years.
Q: When did you take black teachers in the school, about the same time?
A: No. Not until years later. The colored teachers that taught at that colored school they didn't; they didn't come into the system until several years later I don't know why I didn't have any of them for several years. But they were hired , they were hired with the black and white children too and most of them were good teachers. There were some school they didn't like to teach. Some of us got more of them and others did.
Q: Going back to curriculum again, do you think we are trying to get too broad in our elementary school curriculums now, maybe gone away from basic skills of math and English to very complex subjects of higher science, what's your feeling on that?
A: I know that through my grandchildren; I have two grandchildren. I think if we don't watch we're going to go far beyond what we are supposed to. Judging by my grand daughter she's come up through the years it's right much more than we taught, right much more and it makes it hard for them, but if they have good teachers I guess they can make.
Q: Okay, in light of all this we are doing a lot of standardized testing-
A: I know it. -
Q: of students now, do you think this improves instruction?
A: Yes I do, I think it improves. It lets the teachers know if they are doing a good job or not. I wouldn't want us to do without it now because you're known not only in your own school as to whether your kids make good scores, but you're known in the county and in the state, you know, and another thing from state to state you are comparing scores. I hate to see it in a way, but I really do think it is a help its not a help to the children its a help to the teachers to know whether they are teaching what they are supposed to teach or not.
Q: Alright, back to the job of being a principal, during the year before you retired how did you spend your day at school? Would you describe your daily activities from morning to afternoon.
A: The year before I retired I don't remember that I did anything as different from any other year, I didn't observe as much; the teachers as much.
Q: How did your day start and how did it progress? What did you do first? A kind of scenario of what went on in a normal principal's day during 1974.
A: Oh let me see if I can think. I had regular duties just like some days just like anybody else, just like a teacher, just like anybody else. In 1974 maybe I wasn't quite as rampunk with everything as I was the other years because I knew I was leaving but I still held on to the standards that we had lived up to through the years. I didn't let it drop.
Q: What time did you start your day?
A: Eight O'Clock.
Q: And finish?
A: Ah. 3:34. and I stuck to that too that last year. Sometimes I would be there longer than that. There would be things to come up that I needed to attend to. People would come in to talk to me. Agents would come in. There are a lot of things you do after school and a good many things you do before school. One job I had- we so many buses. All the middle school and high school buses stopped at my school and let the elementary children off, you know. I would observe those buses every morning because I was so afraid those kids would get hurt and then they would accuse us of being careless, you know. We never did get one hurt because I observed that.
Q: Did you have other teachers on bus duty also?
A: Yes. We took turn about being on bus duty, teachers did. They had a schedule and everybody knew which week was his.
Q: After the buses came what did you deal with next to get the day started off did you have a particular schedule or did you just take care of thing as they came up?
A: Most of the time I just took care of things as they came up. Routine things too. Most of the time I had discussions with the janitors and the cooks and people like that before school, you know. And you know I have forgotten a lot of this.
Q: What was some of the pressures you feel you faced each day? Any pressures of being a administrator?
A: I didn't think it was pressures. I knew that I was supposed to be on the job and know what was supposed to be going on throughout the building all day long; I knew that and you tend to be where you are supposed to be when you are principal. You don't dally off somewhere; I didn't.
Q: What would you say were some of the headaches of the job? What didn't you like to do?
A: Send in reports was one thing. I had to send in reports at the end of the month. Secretary did most of that work though, but I was responsible for having it right. That was one of the bigger jobs. Paying the bills and I had to sign all the checks. Secretary tended to most of that, I had an excellent secretary, at Jefferson. Routine things more or less. Checking on supplies was a big job and talking with parents; parents would bring their children to school there would be some there every morning and want to talk with me. Checking to see who was absent was a part of the job too. When you have that many people working for you want to know who is absent.
Q: How did you deal with teachers that were going to be absent? Did they call you?
A: Yes, they called me. Because I had to get the substitute, I had to call the substitute.
Q: Continuing with our discussion of daily activities.
A: Can you see there?
Q: Yes. How would you describe your code of ethics? How did you view yourself and teachers? What did you expect them to be?
A: To be or to do or what?
A: Well I expected them to be on time always and I didn't always get that. And I expected them to have plans for the day , I expected them to keep a schedule because we would run into each other if we didn't. Thats three things.
Q: Did you have a dress code?
A: Yes we did. We were not allowed to wear pants for a long time; teachers were not. There was a dress code. The school board set that up.
Q: Did you find that changing as you went through your career?
A: Oh yes, yes. I remember the first the first pants the teachers wore. It was really unusual to me and that wasn't too far back. If you wore pants you got a bad eye from other teachers and superintendent, and school board until more of them started wearing them.
Q: How were teachers to conduct themselves as far as community activities were concerned? Their reputation, their conduct?
A: Well, most all of them had their own set of rules for that and nothing was too much said about it unless something was on the extreme, you know, ah- if anybody went off the beaten track it was about the only time that we interfered with anything like that. Most of them had their own neighborhood chores and things and people they associated with and so forth. There were times when teachers did things that made us all look bad and thats what we fought against. We needed a code of behavior and there wasn't much said about each teacher or each principal, each school board member unless they broke over that code, you see, everybody knew what was expected of him in the way of dress, associates and things like that, but they chose their own.
Q: Did we have any rules about places people should or should not go?
A: Yes, Yes. But we couldn't enforce that. We could talk about it, but we couldn't enforce it. I had parents mention to me that they say teachers do so and so and be at a place so and so. I don't know I never did know how much authority I had to tell them that they better watch their behavior out of school, you know, that's personal, but if it got too far off you had to tell them. Mr. Dobson, our last superintendent, was sort of keen on that. He would say, "Did you know so and so did so and so"? A lot of time he would talk to them himself if he thought they went out of line.
Q: As we look back over your many years as principal, what do you think the real key to the successes you had were? What made you successful?
A: Well I took an interest in every angle of the school every bit of it was one thing. I allowed them to have variety. I praised them when they did an extra good piece of work and I tried to keep us all together, thinking the same thing, our goals the same. I think that was one of the secrets of my success was having everybody know what we were all supposed to do and everybody do it. I wasn't a harsh boss.
Q: So you would not characterize yourself as authoritarian?
Q: Saying you go do it and do it now.
A: No. I would just talk to them how well somebody did so an so it turned out alright and things like that. I think I believe the secret of my success was keeping everybody thinking on the same line you know, what our goals were.
Q: Now what would you recommend that universities do now to prepare people to be administrators?
A: That's a hard one. I think it takes more that just book learning and I think they should have experiences outside of the classroom to see what's going on and how its done and things like that.
Q: What would suggest as far as doing that?
A: Now you've asked me the hard question. Well, when I went back for my Masters I talked with a great many principals in the classes I was in and I would talk to them. We would meet together and talk about our experiences as principals, you know, I think that was a big thing for me talking to other principals from other counties and other states too even.
Q: How would you view a mentoring program of placing a person designed to be an administrator with a good administrator in an internship type of program?
A: OH, I would go for that, yes I would. I think thats the secret of it now I had one principal in Pulaski County that she was one of my best teachers. But let me tell you something, not always are your good teachers the best principals. And she was the best teacher I ever saw, but she is not a good principal. Then I had this one that took my place when I left. This other one was put in another school as principal, but this one that took my place when I left I trained her for a year two and I know it worked and she was a good principal. I let her have responsibilities that I had and let her make judgments.
Q: Was there someone like this to mentor you or did you get most of it on your own?
A: I got most of it on my own. I just had so many years of teaching that it didn't come hard for me and I just liked the work too. I think you have to like it.
Q: Now with all of this administrative and teaching work, we find teachers and administrators have a hard time maintaining their sanity or not burning out. What did you do to prevent this for yourself?
A: For myself?
Q: For yourself, first of all.
A: I tried to, well I enjoyed the work for one thing and to begin with I enjoyed the work even as principal. A lot of people think that is a awful job. You can make it a pleasant job if you want to and I didn't have a lot of things to worry about after I - the secret of a principal is planning for everybody, planning for everybody. Now what was the question?
Q: Okay, how did you relieve your stresses, did you take up hobbies or was teaching your and principalship your total life?
A: I tried not to make it my total life it was a good part of but not the total. I had a family. My husband was living through the first years and I had two children and I had other interests. I worked in the church a lot and still do. Where do you go to church?
Q: I go to church in Christiansburg. Now did you become a member of any civic organizations while you were principal or community based organizations around your school systems besides the PTA?
A: No, I can't think of any that could be school related.
Q: Woman's Club, any service organizations.
A: Well, I did belong to a few of those. Delta Kappa Gamma, Retired Teachers, its now Retired Teachers. Delta Kappa Gamma and - I can't think- most of mine was through church groups and civic groups that I belonged to.
Q: Now as we look back over your career, what do you visualize as a weakness- something that you would have liked to have done better?
A: Closer to the time of my retiring I could have answered this better for you. I would have had more parent conferences for one thing. Of course I taught at the school where it was hard most of the people worked and it was hard to get a conference with parents. I would have more parent conferences and I feel like I was weak in that area. I would have more contact with parents. It was such a big school, with two schools, it was almost impossible to have- I would have spent my whole time like that, but I really I would try now to have more contact with parents. I think their children would have done better if I had; of course I didn't have the time either, but I would make the time if I went back.
Q: What circumstances led up to your deciding to retire?
A: They made me retire. At that time you had to retire when you were 65 I could have taught on ten more years I could have been in there ten more years, but they made it now you don't have to. I would have stayed in there. However, I made more social security than I did teaching, but I would have stayed on a while longer. I would have stayed on five more years anyway.
Q: So you feel like 65 is too early for people to retire?
A: Yes, for some people it is and I would have liked to stay on five more years cause I had things going good. Another thing, we had meetings ourselves. Once a month or once or once every two weeks or something like that. Once a month I believe it was most of the time. All teachers met together and a lot of time we would have speakers to come to us, you know. Even if it was from our own county we would ask someone to come and listen to us.
Q: So you sent the teachers to conferences for in-service education?
A: Some. Not a lot because they had to pay their own way. That wasn't much of that going on as it should have been. I remember before -when he wanted me to open that kindergarten school at of eight rooms; and you see that was the first kindergarten school we had in the county and of course the superintendent and the school board wanted to send me somewhere. They sent me to Richmond, they had a conference on kindergarten, in Richmond, the State Board did. You talk about an eye opener that was it for me. We had speakers from all over the United States, you see, and that was what opened my eyes to a lot of things maybe that I would have had to learn another way after I started, you see. They told their experiences and they told what they had seen, some of them did and so forth.
Q: Now did you do in-service education with your faculty along with your faculty meetings or did you have days you worked on in-service?
A: I did it with the faculty and with the supervisors and people like that.
Q: Elementary supervisors.
Q: Did you ever go through a state or Southern Association evaluation while you were principal?
A: Evaluation of myself.
Q: Of the whole school.
A: Oh no. No I didn't. They've just gone through that at Dublin recently. You talk about-
Q: Did you do ever do anything like a self-study of the whole school system?
A: No. No we didn't.
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