Q: Describe the environment in which you were raised? Including your family and area you lived?
Q: What factors or persons influenced you to pursue a career in education?
A: That's where the hard surfaced road stopped. So we had dirt roads and we commuted in an old automobile so we could get an education. It wasn't easy, if you had a flat tire you didn't make it. So I don't know that's uh, I suppose when you come back to the original question, I suppose our parents pushed us out to go, otherwise we wouldn't have gone.
Q: What helped strike up an interest actually getting into working in education?
A: Well, I guess uh, I guess our parents influence was pretty much and suppose we had our elementary teachers and high school teachers that were in education and at that time I guess that it looked like one of the pretty good things to get into at that time. Uh you're talking about depression years and there weren't many jobs. So you uh, it looked like a pretty good thing to get in to. My father and mother both taught school sometime in their early lives and I guess that was an influence. Teachers I guess, Aunts, and Uncles were in education some of them, some of them not. They got me in to that.
Q: What college did you attend?
Q: How did you choose Shepherd College?
A: Well, I guess it was near by, and it was the cheapest thing you could get. The only thing I know it was near by and the cheapest thing I know you can get to, so I went to Shepherd. I did some work at George Washington, and Mary Washington.
Q: How long was the program at Shepherd College? Was it a 4 year program? What degree did you get?
Q: (Nodded yes).
Q: Could you describe some of the education courses?
A: wouldn't have the least idea. (Laughter) You're talking about (Laughter.. Well, I'm sure, we had Methods of Teaching, Methods of Teaching Reading, we had some Administration courses, we had Test and Measurement courses. Of course literature and English ,Biology and Math. Generally, I don't know. Is that what your talking about?
Q: Yes.When you entered College, were you planning on becoming a teacher?
Q: Were all teachers required to take the Administrative courses also?
Q: Was your first job a teaching job?
Q: Yes I attended there.
Q: Could you describe the school for us?
A: Sure! you can too! Except it was bigger when I was there. There 7 rooms when I was there. There were no 7 rooms when you were there. There were 7 rooms in the building at that time was a 4 room structure, brick, nice building. No offices, just 4 rooms girl's bathroom one end, the boy's the other end. But at that time there were 3 temporary buildings, you get trailers now. These were temporary buildings that were moved from out on the Handley grounds. Before Handley was opened. These buildings were moved out there. They were pretty ramshackled. They were finally abandoned if not too soon. They were pretty much run down. We had 7 teachers there at that time.
Q: How many students did you have?
A: Oh I suppose it was in the 30's always. I would say always in 30's. Can you hear that--30's!
Q: What were the students like then?
Q: And how is that?
A: (laughter) How is that? I think the students, that is students were bused there. All of the students were bussed in on pretty ramshackled buses and I think the students were-- you got a wide variety of students in there. You got them from better class and the poor class and you got some kids who wanted to learn and uh kids who didn't want to be in school. And this was 8th grade group, that was the beginning of that's junior high school now. You know what junior high school people are, they don't want to be in school, they don't to conform. But I suppose as a whole it was-- they were good students. I see some of them downtown, they are business people, all of them have families. Pretty good, I don't know if we have any in a penitentiary or not, I guess they did. (Laughter).
Q: Who was in charge of the school? Was a teacher assigned Principal duty?
Q: So while you were the teacher you were also the Principal?
Q: Would you tell us about your job experiences after leaving Miller School?
A: Well then I went into the Service. The Navy for three and one half years. I was stationed in the Caribbean, Curacao, down thee. I was down there for a long time. Then I went to Charleston, SC. I was separated from the service for the job in S.C. So I was in the service. After I came back, I didn't go back to school business for three years. I worked on the farm. An then I couldn't make much money at that , so I went back to teaching. Then I went to Gore as Principal.
Q: Could you describe your duties as Principal when you were at Gore?
A: Yes. I did everything. I was also a teaching principal there. I guess I taught a class or so. I had an office on the corner of the stage and of course you have duties you have today. You took care of the buses, janitors, heard the teacher complaints, Put up with parents that's not, I shouldn't say that, you dealt with the parents and some of them you put up with. Tried to resolve the kid problems, bus problems, I guess they were the same problems you have today.
Q: Which leadership techniques do you think were most successful?
Q: More in relation to dealing with teachers' complaints.
A: Mostly you put them off till tomorrow is one of the best ways I know and hope it will resolve itself overnight. No that's not right. We tried to solve it, the problems with teachers by compromising, sometimes you had to say no. But I think as a whole, compromise, work out your problems, tried to get them back straightened on a even keel if you could.
Q: Which leadership techniques that you tried you would label not successful?
Q: What role did you play in public and community relations?
A: You were Principal of the school and there were activities in the community, that were, at that time the school was pretty much the center of the community. All things took place at the school, I think then with the school and church together. If there were things going on at the school, you were expected to know about it and plan to have the building open, building closed and you uh talk with community people, you probably had to solve any of them, mostly you didn't have to solve them. I guess.
Q: Were you a member of organizations?
A: Yea, Frederick County Teachers Association, state association, member of Fire companies, I've always been a member of the fire company. (Typist can't understand
Q: Was there a PTA or a PTO?
A: Uh, we had one of those things. Want me to go on anymore?
Q: What was your relationship like with the PTO?
A: We had one of those things. (Laughter) (silence)
Q: After leaving Gore can you tell us the dates when you left Gore and where you went?
A: Uh, let's see, I left Gore, I went to Kline, I opened Kline as Principal in 60 or 61. That was a new building and they were still working on it when we, when school opened. I opened that building. That was a different environment, We had to get all new teachers, all new school, all new bus routes, all new bus drivers, all new custodians, all new everything and it was a task to get all that together and get it to work. And uh, I enjoyed it. I think we had a pretty good cooperation with the teachers, administration, Mr. Aylor and uh Mr. Hutton had an office in our school at that time. Supervision people always in and out. I stayed there until I came to Gainesboro. 1968? Don't hold me to those dates. I stayed there till I retired. It always helped in getting the school organized.
Q: What do you think teachers expect principals to be?
A: (Laughter) Uh, No. You don't want me to comment on that?
Q: Oh, Yes we do
Q: What did you expect of your teachers?
A: Well I expected them to do a good day's work. Be at school on time. Work with the kids. Be some sort of, know a little about their subject. Be some sort of a disciplinarian, be able to be a leader to the children certainly get them interested in learning. I think there is a lot of difference in teachers there. Some teachers certainly do a better job of interesting their children and getting them interested in the work. Some teachers do a much better job at that. You expect the teacher do it.
Q: How did you evaluate the teachers?
A: Well, maybe you didn't do a whole lot of evaluation. then. When I was at Kline you tried to get in the classroom some but you didn't have much help. We had an office, we had help in the office, that's about all. You just tried to get in the classroom for observation, uh you tried to look at teachers' lesson plans, once in a while you didn't get to it very often and I think general observation to see how they were doing, how the children perform in the classroom, in the halls, in the lunchroom,. I judged teachers that way. You couldn't do all that you wanted to get done. Also at that time at Kline we were getting more supervisory personnel and you had conferences with the supervisors. When they did observation, see what they decided the situations were. They did more of that than the principal.
Q: What kinds of things did you look for when you did actual in-class observations?
A: To see what the lesson plan was, to see the interest the children were showing and see what kind of discipline was in the room, what kind of room, were there decorations in the room. on the room, what did it look like, was it lived in or like a messy room.. General housekeeping along with children's interest.
Q: What techniques did you use to motivate your teachers?
Q: What do you feel it takes to be an effective principal?
A: Well, (chuckle) I guess a strong back. Needs a few cuss words once in a while. Well I guess a principal needs to be understanding of teachers. Sometimes you got to say no. Uh, tried to keep the teachers happy and some sort of motivation.
Q: What pressures did you face as a principal?
A: Pressures? Well I think, you got pressures from parents who think the program's not going right, you got pressure from the superintendent, from the supervisors. I guess those would be the pressures the people, maybe the job is not being done. They want you to do better reports. Well maybe from the main office.
Q: Can you remember any specific things that made you feel lot of pressure coming from the Central Office?
A: Been a long time.
Q: Could you discuss some of the issues that caused grievances for teachers?
A: Well, I would say uh, well there's always a question of materials. Teachers say they don't have the materials they need and they don't like the kids you assign them and uh they don't like the hours the bus arrives or the hour the bus leaves. So I would think she would have to work those things out and if they are unhappy with the children you've assigned them, then I guess you would have to explain well this is, this child needs you as her or his teacher and you'd be good for him so you have to convince them that's the reason the child's been assigned to that room rather than Mrs. A's room down the hall who doesn't have a personality with that child also you tried fit them in.
Q: Did you have a lot of discipline problems?
A: Sure, you had discipline problems. Well I hate to tell you a long time ago we solved couple of them with a whack from a strap. You solved a few of them that way. I'm not sure that was the way to do it but that's, you did it-- that's the way it had to be done at times. It took care of your problems sometimes, the strap. When I started in the business we used it. As I mellowed as I got older, I didn't use it as much. I used reasoning, tried to say what's the cause of this I don't have the answer to your discipline problem.
Q: Did you ever have to dismiss a teacher?
A: During the year or at the end?
A: Yes. Yes I have.
Q: What would be some reasons for dismissal?
Q: Racial Tensions?
A: No, they integrated, no problems as far as I know.
Q: As a Principal what was your biggest concern?
A: Well to see if the building was heated every morning. I think that was it, see if the building was open, see if the buses are running fine, see if the teachers are there. We always had them check in, so when a teacher came in, we could look at the board, we could look up there to see if the teachers were in. To know whether there was somebody in that room that morning. If not you would go down, if a teacher didn't show, you would have a room full of kids, you know, Concern about keeping the lunch people happy and that type of thing. Now I forgot the question.
Q: Biggest concern.
Q: What was the toughest decision you had to make as a principal?
A: Well, I don't know what the toughest decision was. But you had to make decisions on uh, on room assignments, students' assignments, so the student would fit with the group, you had make assignments on extra duties for teachers, bus duties and lunch duties and that type of thing. You had to make those decisions. You had to make decisions to get your cafeteria personnel in there, hire personnel, hire custodians keep those going. I guess that's generally what I did.
Q: But there's no one big problem throughout your career?
Q: Are there any more duties other than the ones you have mentioned which were not directly related to your principalship?
A: Well, outside school community responsibilities? I didn't live in the city. No I don't think I did.
Q: As far as within the school, other than the decisions you had to make helping with the cafeteria, Making sure the different groups of people were happy to do their job, were there extra duties that you don't fee a Principal perhaps should have performed?
A: I can't think of any right now. (Pause) Well, I don't know.
Q: Did you ever have to take a class yourself?
A: Uh, I have yes, but usually for a short period, if a teacher doesn't show-- that what you mean?
A: We always had a pretty good substitute list at Kline and Gore and at Gainesboro. Gore there was a substitute, a woman who would come, who lived across the street, so if someone didn't show, Thelma came. At Winchester, of course we always had somebody near by. Yes, I have taken a classroom from time to time not for all day. I can't remember taking one for all day. But until the substitute gets in.
Q: What duties did you have as Principal that were directly involved with instructional things?
A: Instructional, well we tried I guess through faculty meetings and uh books selection. we had committees for book selections. I don't know. Is that instructional? And uh we always tried to get the number of books we could get. Get the books in the rooms. There was one time you know when kids bought their books. Long time ago, all the students bought their own books. Of course they carried their own books. Later you came up to book rentals, which I think was a very good thing. It got then so everybody had a book. When you had to buy books, you had students that it was very hard for them to get books, they didn't have any money. You did the best you could, to get them.
Q: What was your code of ethics as a Principal?
Q: What do you feel took up a majority of your time as Principal?
Q: What kinds of discipline problems from the classroom did you handle?
Q: How do you feel that education can be improved?
Q: Let's base it on when you were Principal rather then now.
Q: Do you have any thoughts on how teacher education can be improved based on your experience?
A: Yea, I think that one thing that teacher education of our time is that looking at teachers now was that didn't have enough work in your subject. The teacher who was going to teach Virginia History, never had a course in VA History and I think some, at that time when I came in I think there was too much method courses and not enough courses on the field you were teaching or going in. If you were going into Biology, you need to get enough courses so you know how to teach Biology. At that time, I thought that was a problem. Could have had more courses, rather than a methods course--have course in subject.
Q: Would you discuss some of the most unpleasant principalship activities you had to be involved in?
Q: Can you tell us about any specific other than the day to day things you thought were pleasant? Any specific incidents that you recall were pleasant feelings?
Q: What did you find to be most beneficial in helping you maintain a "Sane" attitude when you were a principal?
Q: Any on the job things.
Q: No. Was your office separate from the other office personnel? Could you close the door and not see other people?
Q: Was your retirement because of administrative burnout, age or going into another profession?
Q: Did you have to leave because of the age or you chose to?
Q: What have I not asked you that you would like to talk about?
A: Well, let me see what haven't you asked me about. You did a pretty good cover job, I believe. You haven't asked me how I like retirement! I love that! I've gotten real used to it. Uh in the school uh I don't know if I have anything to add to it. I've been, I've been, I've enjoyed not working in the school system. I work some while I'm home. I putter around, I've done some construction since I've gotten out of the school. Built this house, couple of other houses that I've sold and uh, I work with Ed some, he's building the Lizer building downtown. I get out and help them, to keep active. And uh we uh spend our Winters in Florida. We try to spend 3 months in Florida every year and while I'm there I don't do anything. It's uh, there's a recreation hall where we are and usually there are some things going on at the rec hall every night. They have a heated swimming pool. (Plane going across couldn't hear) But it usually stays right nice. So that's what we do.
Q: Thank you very much.
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