After 32 years as an educator in California, I retired during the summer of 2019. I miss it, sort of… but not really; retirement is great!
Most teachers find a school and job early in their career, and then work 20–30+ years at one school… That was not my path; for a variety of reasons —sometimes my choice, sometimes not— I have had 13 jobs in 8 districts in 3 counties (Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Monterey) in my 32 years in public education — plus the couple years at MPC. To clarify all these changes, and explain the jobs themselves a bit, I’ve added a few notes below each job…
- MA in Educational Leadership, San Jose State University, 2011
- M.Ed. in Secondary Science Education, University Massachusetts Amherst, 1987
- BA double major in Biology and Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz, 1984
- Assistant Principal — Silicon Valley Career Technical Education, Metropolitan Education District, January, 2016–present
- SVCTE is an amazing CTE center; HS juniors and seniors form over 40 high schools in 6 participating districts come for either a 2-hour class in the AM or a 3-hour class in the PM. I resigned from SVCTE in March 2020, effective June 30, and was looking for work closer to home, when I decided to resign instead, for personal reasons.
- Health Science Teacher — Aptos High School, Pajaro Valley Unified School District — August–December, 2015
- As explained below, I knew going into it that my stint as Academic Coordinator/AP at EAHMS was a 1-year gig. Between around March and August 2015 I must have done 35 interviews, and gotten a handful of second interviews as well, but no one offered me an AP post, so PVUSD placed me in Aptos HS Science Dep’t teaching freshman health science. Ironically, since I had taught 7th graders at Aptos JHS 2 years previous, ¾ of all my students were my former AJHS students! The good news is almost all of them were excited and happy to see me again.
- It was in early September that I got a call from MetroED inviting me to interview for the SVCTE AP post; I had applied back in July or so, but never heard from them… Over a few weeks in September, I had the 1st interview, then a 2nd interview, then they offered me the post. So I resigned from PVUSD, and MetroED wanted me to start in mid-October; PVUSD however did not release me from my contract until the end of fall semester, so I taught 1 semester of health science at AHS, and then started my role as AP at SVCTE in January 2016.
- Academic Coordinator — E. A. Hall Middle School, Pajaro Valley Unified School District — 2014–2015
- I earned my MA in Educational Leadership from San Jose State University in 2011, but took a few years before persuing an admin position. After 2 years at AJHS I applied for and got the job of Academic Coordinator/Assistant Principal at E. A. Hall MS in PVUSD, the district I’d been in for 7 years already. I knew when I took the post that it was a grant-funded position —year 3 of a 3-year grant— so it was a 1-year post.
- Science Teacher — Aptos Junior High School, Pajaro Valley Unified School District — 2012–2014
- After 5 years as a TOSA, and as funding cuts were making it harder and harder to secure a 100% FTE as a TOSA, I told PVUSD HR, “OK, ‘Uncle,’ put me back in the classroom…” For two school years I taught 7th grade life science;
- Science & Social Studies Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) and Tech Coach — PVUSD — 2011–2012
- After 4 years of reducing budgets, they finally completely eliminated funding for the GATE TOSA position; in the meanwhile, I had been assigned a second duty on top os GATE TOSA: I was now also Science TOSA, just as GATE Coordinator Lyn Olson had been assigned to also be Social Studies TOSA on top of her regular job duties. The Ed Services Department was able to offer me 50% FTE to serve as Science & Social Studies TOSA, but I knew I needed to work full-time, so I went searching for funding for the other 50% FTE. I spoke with folks at the SCCOE (Santa Cruz County Office of Education), and they said they’d love to see more PVUSD students —especially HS students— participating in the annual County Science Fair, so I submitted a brief proposal to do so, and they agreed to pay 1/6 of an FTE for that, so I now had ⅔ FTE. Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education (and friend, whom I’d met back in my WMS days in Salinas) Murry Schekman sent an email to all the MS and HS principals, asking whether anyone would be interested in paying ⅓ FTE to have their own Science or Tech Coach, and Cesar Chavez MS principal Ian McGregor responded; we had a phone conversation, Murry and I in Murry’s office, Ian at CCMS; and we agreed I would serve as CCMS Tech Coach for the 2011–2012 school year.
- This was a challenging year; it was a bit crazy-making, splitting my time between the DO (district office) and CCMS. My DO work was divided between Science and Social Studies duties, including trying to encourage HS science teachers to offer Science Fair projects to their students, and coaching a few students (individually and in groups) who decided to give it a go…
- When I was at CCMS I was able to focus on helping teachers troubleshoot their computers, printers, LCD projectors; I upgraded many computers with additional RAM (memory) that I scavenged from the growing stock of too-old non-functioning computers; I helped teachers and other staff with software questions/issues; and a ran a whole bunch of disk defrag and disk clean-up! I also organized and inventoried the inventory of old/dead computers.
- GATE TOSA — PVUSD — 2007–2011
- Science, Computers, Journalism, AVID, Mathematics Teacher — Washington Middle School, Salinas Union High School District — 1998–2007
- Biology (Environmental Science) Instructor — Monterey Peninsula College — 2003–2005
- Science Teacher — Mission Hill Junior High School, Santa Cruz City Schools — 1997–1998
- Science, Mathematics Teacher — Sierramont Middle School, Berryessa Union School District, San Jose — 1993–1997
- Fifth Grade Teacher — Gateway School, private, Santa Cruz — 1991–1993
- Science Teacher — Del Mar Middle School, Live Oak School District — 1989–1991 (After Shoreline MS opened in 1997, Del Mar was converted back into an elementary school, so Del Mar MS no longer exists.)
- Fifth Grade Science Teacher — Boulder Creek Elementary School, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District — 1988–1989
- Science Teacher — San Lorenzo Valley Junior High School, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District — 1987–1988