Interview with Lawrence L. Wile


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Q: You were the principal at Tannersville, and that was....

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

A: In 1948.

Q: What years (grades) was it, was it kindergarten through high school?

A: Right, kindergarten, just one to twelve.

Q: They didn't have kindergarten then? Did they start a kindergarten while you were there?

A: No, not until the Jointure was started?

Q: That was about what year...1963...when the jointure started?

A: I can't remember exactly when they started the kinder garten.

Q: So when you originally had it, it was first grade through high school.

A: One through twelve.

Q: How many students were in the school, do you remember?

A: About three hundred.

Q: Is that right, three hundred all together. When you started to be a principal, did you start as a principal or were you originally a teacher?

A: I started as a teacher at Barrett in 1930 as a teacher.

Q: Ok, 1930 as a teacher. What did you teach?

A: I was phys. ed. man, phys. ed and atheletics. I did all that, phys ed. in all grades, one to twelve.

Q: Boys and girls phys. ed? 2

A: Boys and girls phys. ed., all the sports,..when I first came, they had just basketball. After I got here a year...well actually we had no gym, and I talked them into building a gym..attached to the school, of course.

Q: This is at Tannersville?

A: No, this is at Barrett. I left Barrett after I came back from the war.. in 1945 and in '48 I left and went to Tannersville.

Q: So you were in the war and in 1945 came out of the war?

A: In '42 to '45 I was there.

Q: Did you go to school then, you were already prepared to be a teacher.

A: Yes, I was already prepared to be a teacher.

Q: What did you do in the war?

A: I was a gunnery officer in the Navy.

Q: '42 to '45, then you became a teacher at Tannersville?

A: In 1945 I came back to Barrett, I stayed there till '48, and went to Tannersville in August of '48.

Q: And you were still a P.E. teacher?

A: Not over there, I was the principal over there.

Q: Is that right, so you went right from the classroom to become a principal?

A: Right. 3

Q: What was the process to become a principal, for you to be hired, what did they do?

A: Well, how I happen to get all depended upon who you knew in those days...the president of the board in Tannersville had a plumbing business and he was doing plumbing work at Barrett and he watched me....he was there two or three weeks, too, to do the work, and he kept watching me all the time. Then when the job opened, he came to me and asked me if I wanted the job...first of all he wanted to know if I was qualified. I had received my masters degree from NYU.

Q: Is that right, so did you go to get your masters degree before you even became a teacher?

A: Not before I became a teacher, before I became a principal.

Q: When did you do this? When did you get your masters degree?

A: While I was teaching, I used to go down to New York University every Saturday.

Q: And this was about 1945, '48 then you got your principal's certificate?

A: No, I got that before the war. I was a teacher from 1930 until the war time, and during that time I traveled to NYU every Saturday morning.

Q: And how many miles was that for you to travel?

A: How many miles, one hundred miles...l used to go down mostly in the winter time, I went by train, I left 4 at five o'clock in the morning and would come home about six o'clock at night.

Q: And for how many years did you do that?

A: It took me three years.

Q: And your degree was in...

A: M.E. in Administration.

Q: That was for elementary and secondary, all the way through?

A: Right, general administration.

Q: Why did you decide to go into administration, when you were a teacher. What made you decide to do that?

A: Well, I hadn't given it much thought until this man spoke to me about it. And I like kids enough that I wanted to try something...well actually, I came over here for a few years just for experience (Barrett), then I got married and I decided I liked it up here so I stayed.

Q: You decided you liked administration so #uch that you travelled back and forth for three years on Saturdays. Did you feel that you were prepared to be an Administrator?

A: Well, there was something lacking, I think it was experience administering.........schedules and discipline and teachers, and so forth, you don't even have experience at it at all. I had a lot of trouble from the bottom up.

Q: So, you never came an assistant principal, you went right from the classroom to become a principal.

A: Right.

Q: That's interesting. So when you became a principal what school were you first the principal?

A: Tannersville.

Q: And, what year was that?

A: 1948.

Q: It was 1948 when you were the principal there. Again, it was first through twelve?

A: Right.

Q: How many teachers did you have then?

A: Sixteen.

Q: Sixteen teachers, and that included the Physical Ed. teacher and others?

A: I had a Physical Ed. teacher who was a combination Physical Ed. teacher and science teacher. In those days you had to do everything.

Q: When you were a principal at Tannersville in your first year, what were some of your biggest concerns?

A: I noticed after I had been there a couple of months that there seemed to be a little favoritism, in otherwards, teachers would not discipline the so called upclass kids the same way they did the lower-classed kids. I found that out here, too, in Barrett when I was a teacher.

Q: So when you were in school, both as an administrator and as a teacher, you had all different kinds of children, not just one middle-class group.

A: A lot of general, in those days they didn't have them broken down into levels of education.

Q: So they were more than neighborhood kids? They came from big areas, then.

A: Of course, the neighborhood wasn't too big over there in those days.

Q: So you feel there was a lot of favoritism amoung the teachers?

A: I really do. I don't think they wanted it that way, I really don't think the teachers wanted it that way, but that's the way it was working. But we broke that down pretty much, the discipline problems that we had. In those days, we tried to treat everyone the same, that's what I wanted to do.

Q: What did you do to take care of that situation, you had a discipline program to treat people...

A: I wanted to treat everyone the same, regardless.

Q: Did you have a program that you used to evaluate teachers? What did you do as a principal?

A: Well, I had none when I went there. I had to develop something, by observation. From that I observed the teacher's ability to get along with the kids...and I felt if they could get along with them, they could teach 'em more. In those days, all the elementary teachers were usually women, but they were older younger ones at all, all older women, ones who had, oh.. anywheres from five to twenty years of experience. They were good teachers, they really were excellent teachers, but you had to try to change them around a little bit to suit my philosophy. Which they, I can't say gracefully did, but they did it. And after a couple years we were getting along fine.

Q: What was your philosophy, what did you want them to do to change?

A: I wanted them to go see, in those days,you had the very poor student in with the higher- level student..same grade. I wanted them to pay a little more attention to the poorer-graded kids, not so much to the other ones...let them help them selves, which some of them couldn't believe it could be done, but they did it. Course, the older women,you know,..teaching like that, they had it set in their mind what they wanted to do. Every year when they came back, they had the same program, the didn't vary it much, I finally got them to vary their program around a little bit. Course, then we hired a Physical Ed. teacher and he released those teachers from one period a day, usually, so they could plan a little bit on their own. They didn't have any time for planning...they had to teach right through...from the time school started in the morning until they were finished at night, which was wrong, so we developed a little time for them to the school.

Q: Do you think the parents had a lot of imput... these upper-class parents...why do you think the teachers were showing favoritism, were they more involved in the shcool?

A: They were more prominent in the community. I don't think the parents, in those days, took so much interest in the school itself...very little.

Q: So, you didn't have a parent-teacher organization?

A: Not until after about six or seven years, we got a PTA started?

Q: So this would have been somewhere in the 1950's?

A: I would say,yes. We developed a PTA which became quite active, quite good, you know, they did a lot for the school. It got more parents interested in the school and doing things. From that point, we were able to establish more.

Q: So you started the PTA program in your school?

A: Yes, in that school.

Q: There hadn't been one before that?

A: No.

Q: You really thought it was beneficial, it really helped the students?

A: At times I thought.....they were more harmful than they were good. Depending upon what was going on, depending on what program we wanted. In those days, people were very narrowminded as far as religion was concerned. They didn't want any Catholics in the school. I know I hired the first Catholic over there, a man. That created quite a disturbance, but it died down. He became quite popular within the community, which helped him out a lot.

Q: Was there a problem after that or was it just that one incident?

A: No it died right out.

Q: It died right out, so you had a good influence that time?

A: I think so, I think it helped a little bit. I interviewed this fellow, he was just right out of college,...and he went to Stroudsburg (Pennsylvania) and moved up here and lived here. He was active in the fire company and so activities and I think that really helped him out a lot...helped the school out, I know that.

Q: What did he teach, what grade?

A: He was a geography teacher. Geography and general science. -10-

Q: So he and the Physical Ed. teacher were the only two men you had?

A: I had one later on. By the way, the one that I hired (the catholic teacher) is still teaching over here..

Q: Is that right, at what school?

A: The high school.

Q: At the Jointure?

A: The middle school, the middle school.. he's still teaching geography.

Q: Is that right, and you hired him in the early fifties.

A: '49 or '50, somewhere around then. He's still there. That's all he teaches, geography. Well, they have so many kids now that they can have so many classes of keep him going, you know..

Q: Speaking of geography,what was going on when Kennedy was assasinated? Where were you at that time?

A: I was over here, over here.

Q: At the Jointure or Barrett?

A: I can distinctly remember when that happened. We were having a pep meeting, in the gym, and I was called to the telephone. Someone on the telephone told me what happened.

Q: Did you then tell the student population?

A: I told them right after that, and dismissed them -11- from the auditorium, not the auditorium, the gym... and,of course, it was near afternoon so it was so use sending them home. It happened on a Friday, I think, too, if I remember correctly, I'm not sure. There was no school the next day.

Q: Did you go to school they next receive calls?

A: I went to school, you know, there was always some thing going on over there. My wife says I spent my whole life over there.

Q: Well, that was a good part of your life, well, were you the principal during the summertime, too, or were you off in the summertime?

A: When I was in Tannersville, I was off in the summer time, but I was still responsible for making a new schedule, making all the preparations in the buying and so forth. I still had to do that, but I was supposedly off, I didn't get paid.

Q: So you had to have everything ready for the next school year?

A: I had to have everything ready for the next September when we started.

Q: When you were the principal, what comsumed the most amount of your time?

A: Most of the time, in the first years especially, it was discipline and trying to create a better feeling with the teachers..personal feeling with the visiting the teachers. I always told them when I was coming, I never popped in on them. A lot of principal do that, I never did that. A friend of mine,who was a principal at that time, told me never do that, let them know that you are coming. Course, sometimes, you let them know you are coming, they are prepared for you. Which is no harm in that, I guess.

Q: They felt comfortable that you were not.....

A: More comfortable that I would tell them that I was coming.

Q: Not like a surprise attack, like you were checking up on them.

A: That's right, that's right.

Q: Now they have evaluation systems, they come announced and unannounced. Have you paid attention to any information on that?

A: I've stayed away from that entirely. Since after the last couple of years after I retired, I substituted when they couldn't get anyone. Once in awhile, I went over to see some of the teachers.

Q: What areas did you realy like as a Principal?

A: 1 like kids so much...I like to see them progressing and what not. Ah, when I was visiting the class- rooms I observed, 1 knew every kid by name, in those days, I's see them in the hall and l'd talk to them about what they were doing in the class. I think it gave them a better feeling about me. With the students, sometimes, the principal isn't a real popular job, you know.

Q: So, the students usually stayed from first grade until they graduated as seniors.

A: When I was at Barrett...Tannersville, I knew every kid's name from grade school right to the high school.

Q: And they stayed with you right through, they didn't move in and out?

A: No, not in these two areas, but now they do on account of the depot up here. Now they move all the time, the're always changing, but in those days, they came back every year until they graduated. That's why you could know them all.

Q: Did you like it that way?

A: I did, I don't like the big-school business.

Q: As far as missing the job, are there certain aspects that you miss? Any areas, once you retired, that you miss?

A: Not really, I read about it in the paper, about the schools, but I really don't contribute anything. -14

Q: It seems as though you felt comfortable with the job you did that when you retired you were ready to retire.

A: I retired one year earlier than I had to. In those days, you had to retire when your were 65. I retired a year ahead of time because of a year prior to that the teachers went on a strike over there. They let my assistant and me, one week before school closed, they just walked out!

Q: What year was this?

A: 1971. They left the two of us then, we had to put all the kids' marks on and we had to get the teachers' record books and figure out all the marks for each teacher's kids. We had to make out all the report cards, of course, we had a couple of girls in the office, and mail out all the report cards home. Then we had to get in the lockers and pick up all the books and check them all out, oh boy, what a summer!

Q: What happened, they went on strike. How long did the strike last?

A: All summer long.

Q: Were you in part of the negotiations, did you have to work with the team to negotiate them back to school? -15-

A: Not too much, most of the time I contrubuted in formation for the school board. I stayed away from the teachers. I had five teachers that didn't go out, they stayed with us, but they wer sharp teachers, and they were Special Education teachers...they couldn't help us, they didn't know anything about what we were doing. But all the rest went out. But I must say that there were a lot of fine teachers. I didn't believe in strikes for anybody for anything and I certainly didn't believe in that one! Prior to that, I think in March or April, they went to Harrisburg, two bus loads of them, I even went with them, something about educations bills and so forth. I even went with them on the busses, I spent the day with them.

Q: What was the issue?

A: Money, they wanted more money then they were getting.

Q: And how was it resolved?

A: They gave them more money, they gave them what they wanted. I was very surprised being they had a lot of bull-headed school board directors, in those days, but they gave them more money.

Q: So, you were not really involved in any of the negotiations? You were an advisor and they worked with the school committee, school board...and negotiated with them? -16-

A: Oh yes, a lot of negotiation.

Q: It went on the whole summer?

A: Oh yes, and then the community got involved in it and it became very bitter. It really did.

Q: Against the teachers?

A: Against the teachers, most of it was against them.

Q: How did they reach negotiations. Did the teachers give up anything?

A: They gave up nothing! Nothing!

Q: They got more pay out of if?

A: They did, they all got more pay, that's all. In those days, they didn't have any medical plan and all. In those days, they didn't get that. But since I left they developed all that, they've got it made over there now. Provisions were made for these people and their families.

Q: When you were talking before you mentioned an assistant, so you had an assistant principal with you at the Jointure? You had to hire this assistant?

A: That's right, he was a former teacher of mine at Tannersville. I felt that he understood children very well, he was very fair, very hard-nosed disciplin arian....and he really did a wonderful job. As a mat ter of fact, he just retired,over there,a few days ago.

Q: As a principal?

A: No, he went as a personnel man, became the personnel man for the system.

Q: What characteristics do you feel are needed for an assistant principal?

A: Good discipline, understands children, should have a lot of psychology courses, I think that helps but he was very strict. He kept the attend ance and then anything I might ask him to do, he was a wonderful guy. But I had one before him, oh boy, kept me in hot water all the time!

Q: Did you hire this person or was he sent to you?

A: No, he was sent to me because he was a principal in another school and they automatically hired him. Boy oh boy, what........

Q: It didn't work out.

A: No, it wasn't...I know of three jobs he's had since he left over there. It was just because of his personality. Couldn't trust him, he was always cooking up some kind of a deal where he could make money for his family. Like, his kid was a girl scout, she'd sell girl scout cookies and he's selling girl scout cookies, too, to the teachers and the kids at the school. All kinds of deeds like that and I had to get rid of him.

Q: So he transferred to another school?

A: He transferred to another system...Carlisle or someplace. -18-

Q: So with the next one you had more of a voice in the hiring?

A: Yes, and he was a good man and he turned out to be a good man.

Q: He was with you the whole time you were there?

A: Yes, that's right.

Q: He was prepared with a master's degree, also, in administration?

A: He had a master's degree in guidance from Leigh High. That's another reason I took him, they had a good course in guidance from Leigh High and he was a very conscientious fellow. He had a couple, three children of his own and I think that helped a little bit.

Q: With the teachers, did you have a say with whom you could hire? Could you hire and interview them yourself?

A: Sometimes they beat me down. I know of one teacher they hired,even the Superintendent, who was above me, he didn't want him either but they hired him any way. He had enough influence from the outside.

Q: Mostly you could hire the teacher you wanted, you had the final say?

A: Well, I had a recommendation to the Superintendent and he usually , he took my recommendations.

Q: You would interview the teachers?

A: Yes, I would interview the teachers, and some of them I didn't want. In those days, they had long hair, you know, and all that kind of stuff. lf a guy walked into my office looking for a job with long hair, he was dead right from the beginning. Did you still interview him?

A: No, I always interviewed. lf we had an appointment I always kept it.

Q: But it was hard to hire him

A: 1 couldn't do it because I didn't want the kids to be that way. 1 felt that they would have too much of an influence on the kids.

Q: So most of your students were clean cut?

A: Most of the time until the last few years. They started to wear long hair and the girls started to wear short skirts. I had a mother come to me one day, she wanted to measure the length of the skirt of a teacher, from the floor to the bottom of the skirt. I wouldn't let her and neither would the teacher, I sure of that.

Q: So she thought the teacher wasn't setting a good model? The teacher had the short skirt?

A: No, the teacher didn't have a short skirt, it was her kid that did. You see, she was ahotel owner, see, she thought she'd have some influence over me but she didn't have any. Oh boy, did she take me over the coals.

Q: Parents would come in to talk with you about any situations?

A: Yeah, I never got into it very much unless I had the -20- the teacher there with me. I wanted the teacher to hear what was going on.

Q: To hear both sides.

A: That's right.

Q: So they could make an appointment with you or the assistant principal?

A: That's right.

Q: All the time you were principal, you had the one assistant?

A: In Tannersville, I had no assistant, only when they formed the jointure, then I got an assistant.

Q: What would you say would be the five worst aspects of being a principal? What several things did you dis- like?

A: One of the toughest jobs was disciplining the students.. Trying to get all the teachers to get them to look at things the way you looked on them. Maybe that was wrong because I could have been wrong, too, you know? I tried to get them to look at it the way you looked at it, oh, you always had one or two,you know? I went from 15 teachers to 55 teachers and that's a lot of difference.

Q: That is a lot of difference, 15 to 55?

A: That's what I had over there, of course, it's a middle school over there, now. Before it was a junior, senior high school.

Q: Did you open the school? -21-

A: I did, I washed windows right up until the last day, oh boy, we did everything in those days. Everything! I, well I,didn't have to do it. But it worked nights, Saturdays and Sundays, see, we had a school date of September and were were still working on the place in the summertime. In August,we still didn't have a desk in the school. We had to uncrate all the desks and everything. Oh, we had to work hard.

Q: So you worked right alongside the custodians?

A: Everybody worked, the assistant and I worked with them, the business manager, we worked like dogs, I'll tell you, to try to get that school opened.

Q: Did it open on time?

A: We opened on time, yeah, it wasn't exactly the way it should have been but we opened it anyway. We had enough seats and so forth, for the kids, we didn't have all the equipment that was necessary, like the mimeograph and things like that. We didn't have that in but we had a good portion of it in.

Q: Talking about history, was civil rights ever a problem for you?

A: No, not at all. No civil rights problems in those days, not at all.

Q: Most of your population was all white?

A: In Tannersville, no black. In the junior/senior high school we had three or four blacks but their parents worked at the depot and they were all good people. We had no problems. As a matter of fact, I think, about the fifth year we hired one of their women, -22- black women as a teacher, in the Coolbaugh school and she had a son and a daughter in the school where I was. No,we had no problems.

Q: And that didn't cause a problem then?

A: No, in fact, the problem we had was Catholics, remember I told you about..Tannersville...but the're just interwoven like that now, the Catholic people get along with them wonderful. It wasn't bitter, they were still friends with these people but they didn't want Catholics in their school. They didn't even have a Catholic church in Tannersville when I was there. I don't know where they used to go to church, I guess to Stroudsbury or Mt. Pocono. Now they have a bit church over there.

Q: It's not an issue anymore? Were there any other issues beside religion and teacher strikes?

A: No, we got along quite well.

Q: When you retired, you retired from the Jointure?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: Did you ever work as a superintendent, I thought Mr. Ryan mentioned you were called a superintendent at one time?

A: We were called supervising principals at that time. They kept supervising principals there because if they wanted to fire you they could. That was a state philosophy. But then if you became a superintendent -23- they hired you for four years and couldn't fi -23- they hired you for four years and couldn't fire you for four years. Now they have a superintendent here now.

Q: Did you have an evaluation system for your school? Did they look at your school and evaluate for test scores?

A: Oh yes, the Secondary Association of Middle Atlantic States, they came in the school and evaluated the school and the physical plant, the teachers, and the curriculum. They sent a team in, the team stayed about four days and then at the end of the fourth day they met with the teachers to tell them what they thought. They interviewed the teachers and sat in the classrooms...checked up on the equipment. They were able to give you a good evaluation and in that way you were able to become a member of the Middle Atlantic States.....a lot of schools in college wouldn't accept the students from a school that wasn't a member of the Middle Atlantic States.

Q: So this was an accreditation team and they evaluated every four years or so? Did they have to re-evaluate?

A: Right, they were teachers and principals from other schools. They came together as a team. They had a chief clerk and he'd devise a schedule.for these people to ge from one room to another and so forth Some would evaluate the curriculum, some teachers, physical plant, some would evaluate the principal and -24- and his assistant, and they still do that.

Q: So you would be with the team when they came here? You got to talk with them and tell you side of the important issues?

A: I would imagine it would be that way, they were very good that way.

Q: You got a report?

A: We got a report, the school board got a report and so did the superintendent. The principal got a report of the evaluation and they told you where they thought there were weak spots. You had a year to correct the situation if they didn't approve of something. I assume that's what they do today.

Q: Yes, they do similar things today. How large was your biggest class at the Jointure the last year?

A: I would imagine 175 or 200 in the graduating class. Now they have 300-400.

Q: How old were you when you retired.

A: I was 64, at that time they had the law you had to retire at 65, but I couldn't take that strike business and I wasn't about to face the teachers again,so I just quit.

Q: When you retired you didn't take another position?

A: I had enough years in, 41 years, that I could take full retirement. See, I had 41 years in but I never had taken that time off, so I got a year's sabatical with pay and then they let me drop out afterward. -25-

Q: Did you have to continue your education once you were a principal?

A: I didn't have to but I went to school. I went to Leigh High and took some courses at Leigh High... some seminars but I wasn't about to go on for a doctorate at that time.

Q: There was so much for you to do in the school, you were so busy.

A: I was too busy, I was supposed to have a month off, but I only took a few weeks because there was too much to do.

Q: You were supposed to have amonth off in the summer, but you still went in?

A: When I was at the Jointure, yeah, I couldn't stay away. I really liked school. I liked getting up in the morning to go to school until the last couple of years. I didn't enjoy it, that's why I left.

Q: You felt very happy about leaving when you did?

A: I really did..I really did.

Q: To be in it for 41 years, that's a long time in one area.

A: .to do all the different things from when I started...

Q: Well, that's a lot of growth, from those years there were a lot of changes and trends.

A: Well, we went from 300 in the first to 12 grades to 1330 the first year at the Junior Senior High School...from all four school...Pocono Lakes, Tannersville, Barrett and Coolbaugh. -26-

Q: What would you suggest for people aspiring to be principals today?

A: I think before they want to be a principal they should be an assistant for awhile...get in the dif- ferent fields ask the superintendent to assign you to certain areas that you like to study and go forward with. To jump into it like me is a bit step, no way...too much. Like in one of the problems I had when going up to the high school was making a schedule for all these kids. I never had any experience with that, of course, now it's all done by computer.

Q: Specialize in the disciplines, go on to something else...manage the paperwork.

A: It's like doing the jobs in the factories, start at the bottom and work your way up. I think that's the way you should do it here. There are a lot of people today that get their degree and get their master's degree and jump right into a big job. I don't thing that's right. I think they should work up, they need this experience working from the bottom up.

Q: So you think classroom teacher, assistant principal and principal are good steps to take?

A: Right, I really do. That's the way I personally feel about it...just judging from what I went through.

Q: It's so hard to train, you come with the theory, but the experience is so important.

A: That's right, the experience.

Q: Do you think, if you hadn't talked to this man (plumbing contractor) you might not have gone in this direction? -27-

A: I don't know, Judy. The opportunity was there. The man I replaced became the Assistant County Superintendent I knew him and he suggested that I take the job and coming from him, I figured he must have thought I could handle it. He was very kind to me. He helped me with my job when he could, but , of course, with his new job, he was being broken in,too, with the Assistant County Superintendent job. Things were different in those days, than they are now.

Q: Did you ever have to fire any teacher?

A: Yeah, 1 fired one.

Q: Just one in all those years?

A: Yeah, it was w woman, 1 asked her to leave. She was a good teacher, she knew her business, but she couldn't handle those kids. If you can't handle those kids in the classroom, forget it.

Q: So the discipline...

A: I told her, you can't handle them, I had warned her before, after she was there a half a year, I warned her about that. I felt sorry for her because she really knew her business.

Q: She was younger?

A: She was younger but she just couldn't handle those children. There's a new woman principal over there now, she's getting $55,000 a year now. When I left I got $18,000.

Q: Is that right, in just a seven or eight year time span from the time you retired. Well, I guess we are about ready to rap it up, do you 1 -28- any advice for the universities training students to become principals?

A: Part of their program before they graduate, send them out to a school...stay there for two to three months to see how it works. Give them different levels of population. I think the experience they get would be better than the classroom

Q: Like a teacher intern, a principal intern?

A: That's right. Stay there awhile, live in the community for a culd of months. See what the community is like, what the administration is like. 1 think that is the best experience.

Q: Do you think they should get paid during that time? Should there be a budget to pay for this?

A: I think is should be part of the university program, not many school budgets would pay for that. I still think that's better experience than being in the classroom listening to some guy up front or reading it from a book. Do it!

Q: Do you think you learned more in the job than you did in the classroom?

A: Let the principal evaluate this guy to see how he is doing, whether he is going to be any good or not. Send him out to some of the meeting of the faculty and so forth.

Q: So the principal should give the grade?

A: That's right. For a particular period during a semester maybe he could go to three different schools through different levels for a population...rural or -29- city, all different kinds of schools. 1 personally feel that would be a great help.

Q: Is there anything else that you might want to say that I haven't asked you? 1 think we have talked about so many things. What about the school boards? Do they have much influence on the principal?

A: School board today, when 1 was there the school boards didn't work to spend a nickel for anything. We had to fight to get a package of they give them money for everything.

Q: The principal and the schools.

A: The school board..the superintendent evaluates what they want to buy...back in those days, they wouldn't even talk to you about it. To get a mimeograph machine and so forth, now they have computers and electric typewriters. One time I remember 1 asked for an electric typewriter and 1 thought they were going to shoot me. Now the room is full of them. That's all they got.

Q: So it seems the school boards are spending more money?

A: I think the school boards are more lenient. They, for instance...over here's budget is 21 million dollars.. per year.

Q: Do you think the money is well spent?

A: As far as I know, it is.

Q: I mean do you think it is going in the right places.. for computers, for equipment...? -30-

A: 1 don't think there's any crooked business going on over there.

Q: Do you think it's important for student to get computers and to keep up with those...

A: 0 yes, they have to modernize more, business demands it today.

Q: What about drugs? Were they ever an issue?

A: Not for me. The last couple of years, I was there, we had a could of kinds smoking marajuana. We caught them and bounced them right out of the school.

Q: Were they expelled?

A: Right, they were expelled. I heard they have a few problems over there now. I don't know, 1 can't say.

Q: Smoking was more of a problem?

A: Smoking in school was a problem, that was a problem..!

Q: At games?

A: They used to have to go outside not in the lobby at the games. We used to catch kids smoking between classes and so forth. The girls were the worst offenders. They really were. We had more problems with the girls. It got so we had to put teachers by the door. They stood outside so they could smell it. No drugs were not a problem.

Q: Since you had an interest in athletics from the beginning. You must have had a good program in athletics at the Jointure?

A: We had a good program. They have a really good program over there now. Holy catfish, if the boys were over there now they wouldn't know what to do.

Q: Well, you didn't have a football team over there.

A: We started it, we started the football.

Q: They had basketball?

A: We always had basketball and baseball. Now they have basketball, field hockey, two levels of it, for girls, track for boys and girls. They have a stadium with lights to play at night.

Q: So you really started a lot of the athletics there?

A: Yes.

Q: The community supported them.

A: Yes, the community is very athletically minded in this area, very much so. We had our share of good teams, especially when the boys were there.

Q: You feel there's not a lot you missed about being a principal?

A: Yes, I do. I feel comfortable. I don't follow too much, oh every now and then, I get a thrill when I see a school bus go by.

Q: Has anyone else in your family wanted to go into education?

A: No, my daughter has four boys...none are interested in it. Nobody wants the job.

Q: There's a lot of stress involved with being a principal and the pay doesn't go with it.

A: I think it didn't then but it does now. They get pretty good money.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?

A: Having been out so long, Judy, and not taking any part in it, I can't think of anything.

Q: Well , you have given me such a good perspective a kind of, grassroots type of perspective. I think what we are learning now is that you have to be an instructional leader, a manager, etc.

A: You have to be a custodian, too.

Q: A guidance counselor, they now have the principal and so many people...

A: Branches, it's like the business leader. He surrounds himself with good people and they run the place. It's like the key in the Navy is the chiefs. If it weren't for the chiefs, forget it..

Q: That's what Norb says...hire good people. Well, I really appreciate your time...I'll run back a copy of this tape for you...

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