Sunday, December 31, 2017

Reflecting on 2017

I have to say that I am glad 2017 is over.   It seems as I get older, I am more anxious for a new year to start.

2017 brought a lot of changes, some good and some very sad.  I will start with the sad ones and go to the good ones.

We lost our incredible aunt Teresa on July 2.  It was a blessing as her last many months were not the best.  She was not the person we knew.  Even though she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, at 94, is it really that or is it just old age and dementia?  However, as with Alzheimer's and the saying that you lose someone twice--once when they do not have cognitive abilities anymore and then when they pass.  I believe that.

The one consolation I (we) have is that we did the very best for her during this difficult time.

But 2017 was the end of an era.  Our family has been in southern Arizona since 1903 and in Douglas since 1912.  The family home (858) was purchased in 1918 by our grandfather.  I had the privilege of growing up there.  My kids spent their summers there as did many of our cousins.  But the best part for me was the time that I spent down there with Teresa from 2010 to 2015.   

I spent a little over two weeks in October in Douglas cleaning out almost 100 years of "things."  I had help from Judy, Ken, Kerri, Cecilia and Jay.  However, I was there the whole time and got it done, even though I had dreaded it for many years.  The house sold immediately and it closed the end of November.  There is a new family living there now and I hope that they love it like we did.

Losing Teresa was harder for me that losing my mom.  I am not sure why, because my mom was the best and we were close.  I think it is because I had her much longer in my life and I lived with her for five wonderful years.

This is really not the same, but I lost my Lucy pug last March.  She had been with me through some very trying times and was my loyal companion.  I miss her, too.

The good things were my year on the GPS Board.  Much happened, but I believe for the greater good of a wonderful school district.  We have our new superintendent who truly understands the importance of relationships.  I think we are back on track to having GPS be one of the best districts anywhere.  We just need to work on the legislature to make them understand the importance of funding public education.

I won't even begin to get into the national politics.  All I can say is my mom would be absolutely appalled by what is happening.  I am concerned that we have lost focus on caring about people.  I hope I am wrong.

So here is to 2018.  I am hoping for better times in many ways.  It is so hard for me to imagine that I am the age I am.  I never thought about this part of my life and I hope that I can do it right!!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Weekend in Bisbee

Kerri and I had a weekend in Bisbee planned for a few weeks.  She was selected to participate in a science activity with Game and Fish near Douglas.  At the last minute it was cancelled, so we headed down anyway so she could do some research for her fourth graders.

I can't quite bring myself to going down to Douglas just yet. With 858 being sold and the family moving into the house, it is just too hard for me.  I had ordered tamales so Kerri went down and got 24 dozen green and meat from my favorite tamale person!

We stayed at Gloria and Craig's little house by theirs on Brewery Gulch.  It was absolutely perfect. It is a great location to walk into Bisbee and it is so comfortable. I would recommend it to anyone!!!

Friday night we went to dinner at the Bisbee Table.  It is really good food.  We did a bit of shopping and then went back and went to sleep early.  I had to buy a beanie because it was cold, which turned into a good thing since I forgot to bring a brush and comb!!

Saturday we walked downtown and looked at shops.  Kerri got a few things.  There are a couple of jewelers at the old "PD mercantile" building.  They make some amazing jewelry.

It was cold which is usually is this time of year in Bisbee.   We had lunch at the Copper Queen hotel and then a late afternoon cheese crisp at Santiago's.  

My favorite place that we went was Arizona's smallest bar at the Silver King Hotel.  It is up two flights of very steep stairs and is an actual hotel room turned into a bar.  It has about enough room for three or four people, but there is plenty of room outside on the patio--just a bit too cold for now.

Only in Bisbee will you see the beautiful lights and a Peace Sign, which is really appropriate this year in  particular.

All in all, it was a very nice weekend and I hope to get down there again soon, especially with such a great place to stay.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Judging Doors at MHS

On Friday, I was a "Christmas Door Decorating Judge" at Mesquite High School.  Principal Ken Fetter asked me if I would be willing to do this and of course I was!  It was so fun to go through the school with Ken and Chad Fitzgerald.  Chad is principal of the alternative high school in the district and was one of my wonderful teachers.

When I walked in to Mesquite, I was greeted by Toni, the receptionist at Mesquite.   Toni worked at Gilbert El and she is truly one of the nicest and friendliest people I know.  She showed me the door that they decorated and she had put a picture of a pug on it.  I was being "bribed" and we had a good laugh.

When I went to the office, I ran into Debbie and Jane. Both of them are IA's at Mesquite, but they got their start at Gilbert El.  Debbie is a good friend and I had let her know I was going to be there.

As we walked around the school, I saw so many people that I know.  Many of them started out at Gilbert El and are now working at Mesquite.  I also saw some people that I have known for many years.  It was so awesome.  As Chad said, it was like a mini high school reunion for me!!

About five of the doors had the picture of the pug on them--haha!   It was really hard to chose the best because they were all good.  Some were hilarious and some were designed around what subject the teacher taught.  

When we got to the classroom where Debbie and Jane work, there was the pug again.  They work with Tom Waechter who teaches high functioning students with Autism.  He was also at Gilbert El and is a wonderful teacher and human. Both of his kids were students at Gilbert El and I love his whole family.

I loved their door and if you look closely, you can see the pug (it certainly made the rounds).

I don't know which door won.  It was hard to choose the best one.  It was fun all the way around and was done in good spirit.  

I had such a great morning.  This is truly one of the best parts of being a board member!!

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Memory Triggered!

This morning I went to a funeral at St. Anne's Church here in Gilbert.  It was a very sad occasion as the funeral was for the husband of a wonderful lady who really helped me with my campaign and who has become a friend. 

As I was standing waiting to go into the church, the line was by the office.  It triggered a memory of Teresa.  It is amazing how memories are triggered all of a sudden.  It put a bit of a smile on my face at a very sad event.

The summer of 2016, Teresa really wanted to go to confession.  I couldn't even imagine why she, of anyone I know, would need to confess something. But that was her life.  

Our cousin, Maggie, made arrangements for her to go to confession one afternoon at St. Anne's.  So I took her.  Since it was not the regular time, I gave the priest a donation.  I so wanted to listen in to see what on earth Teresa could have confessed.  No such luck.  Just paid the money and took her home.

Later, I found out from Maggie that Teresa told her she was worried because in May she had missed mass because she had diarrhea, the wonderful priest told her that WAS NOT a sin.  As I said, she never said a word to me about it.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Weekend Wanderings

It has been a busy weekend, busier than the week was for me last week.  Saturday, I had the absolute privilege of attending the Highland High School Concert--Home for the Holidays.  It was put on the their orchestra department.  Their orchestra department alone has over 300 students participating.  And it was delightful.  

I cannot begin to say how important the arts are for our students.  And Gilbert has one of the best programs anywhere.  

When I got there yesterday, there were several small buses from retirement communities around us. I was so touched to see this. Not only is this a wonderful opportunity for senior citizens to see what the schools are doing and be entertained, but it is also a good PR move for when we have to go out for a vote on an override or bond.

The music was unbelievable. One of the many incredible parts was the Harp Ensemble.  Having this is unusual at the high school level and they were wonderful!

It was a very entertaining two hours and I am so happy that I was able to attend and see the work of our wonderful educators and their students!

Sunday morning brought the annual "Breakfast at the Barn" at Shannon Underhill's house. I have been to the last three, but they started while I was still in Douglas.

It is a group of very dear friends who worked at Gilbert El.  I will always value their friendship and the opportunities to get together often.  This has become a very nice tradition. Every year we make a donation to some one in need or an organization.  

I am so blessed to have this wide circle of friends who mean so much to me. My days at Gilbert El were the best!!!

And to cap off a great weekend, went to Glendale to celebrate my cousin, Cecilia's birthday.   She has been more than my cousin since we were young.  She has been such a great friend and such a great support.  I love her like a sister and don't know what I would do without her.  She is one of the truly good people in the world. On top of that, she is FUN!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Dear, Retired Friends!!

Ralph Waldo Emerson says, "It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."  And that is the truth!!

Today I met my retired administrator friends for a nice late lunch and visit. We also celebrated Jill's birthday. Every year it is very special to celebrate her birthday. Jill has had two kidney transplants and she is an amazing human being and friend. She has had health issues, but you would never know it with her so positive outlook on everything.

These four ladies were a lifeline for me when I was living in Douglas. They would come to Bisbee for a weekend about three times a year and give me reprieve!  I will always be grateful to them for that.  Their friendship means the world to me. And they are fun!!!

We try to get together as often as possible for lunch and/or a movie.  About every three or four months, we try to do an overnight somewhere.  I have missed the last two, but absolutely won't miss anymore. They are too important.

One of the adventures that we have is meeting at places that are really new to me. Today we met at a restaurant on 40th St. and Camelback in Phoenix. It is one that I have never been to before.  It was so nice and good for me to get out of my "comfort zone so to speak."

We stayed for about an hour and a half after lunch just visiting and catching up  We planned an overnight in January for my birthday.

I can't begin to express how much I care and appreciate these wonderful friends who have helped me maintain my sanity through crazy times!!!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

St. Nicholas Day

The year that we lived in Germany, we were able to learn about different traditions.  One of them was St. Nicholas Day, December 6. 

One of the wonderful people who worked on my campaign for the board, has a foreign exchange student from Germany who attends Desert Ridge High.  She is absolutely a darling girl.  

Today she got to stay home from school because of the holiday. She was hungry for German noodles (spaetzle) and I have the machine to make the noodles.   I make them often and they are delicious.

When Angie asked me if I would make them, I asked her if she would like me to make beef stroganoff also as that is my favorite.  I got the "ingredients" on Monday and went over about 3:00.  

I made a loaf of beer bread and "colored" it green for Christmas. They had not had beer bread before and it was a hit.

Anna is absolutely the nicest young lady. She is wise beyond her years.  She amazes me with her outlook on life.

Angie and Chris have two teenage girls of their own so it was a fun dinner.  Chris is such an incredible husband and dad.  He cleaned up the kitchen and that impressed me!

I was so happy to be able to do this for Anna (and Angie)!


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Lunch with my Tiger Buddy

Today I went to Gilbert El to have lunch with my tiger buddy. She is a fourth grader and asked if she could bring a friend to join us. Of course, that was fine.  Her wonderful teacher let me know what they wanted from McDonald's--cheeseburgers, fries, and a Sprite and a Dr. Pepper.  So I stopped at McDonald's and got their order.

Our weather has been rather warm this fall, but today was actually chilly.  It has been overcast all day.  The Gilbert El campus is absolutely beautiful and there are picnic tables all around the campus. It still was nice to sit outside with the girls.

I thoroughly enjoyed talking to both of the girls. They were excited to have lunch with me, as I was with them.

Tiger Buddies is a program that we started in the early 90's at Gilbert El. It is kind of like a big brother/big sister program. Adults mentor students who need a little extra TLC.

It is nice for me to be able to give back to a kiddo at my old stomping grounds! I love Gilbert El. It was such a big part of my life for the 21 years I was the principal there.  It is always nice to see friends who are still working there!

I am blessed!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday, Dec. 4

I have been on such a roll writing on my blog.  I have several articles to post that I have found in the treasure from 858.   However, I didn't get to any today.

I got a message from Judy yesterday (yes on a Sunday) and everything closed on the house in Douglas.  Friday night, I got a call that the alarm had been "alarmed" but I knew that Ken had turned everything off as November 30 so I didn't respond.

I am just hoping that the new family loves 858 as I did.  I know it is final and I am okay with that.  

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Ellen Roughan's Obituary in Douglas Dispatch

Every day I go through a box that I brought from Douglas.  I continue to find articles and artifacts.  I found Grandma Roughan's obituary from March, 1949.

Ellen Roughan,
96, Pioneer Arizonan, Dies

Mrs. Ellen Roughan, 96, 537 Thirteenth street, died Saturday at 8:50 a.m. in a Douglas hospital.

Mrs. Roughan, known as "Grandma" to everyone, was born in County Mayo, Ireland to John and Catherine Neafsay, Aug. 24, 1852. She came to the United States in 1879 and was married to Matthew J. Roughan, Dec. 19, 1880 at Easton, Penn.  Three children were born to the union, two of which survive.

The Roughans moved to the Arizona territory in 1903 and settled in Bisbee. In 1905 they moved to Sulphur Springs valley where the lived until the death of Mr. Roughan in 1912.

"Grandma" Roughan was a practical nurse and during her 96 years delivered many of the sons and daughters of our present day Douglas. She is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Edward A. Scott of 858 Fourteenth street, and Mrs. Anne Parmer of 537 Thirteenth street; 10 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

Rosary will be recited Monday at 8 p.m. at the home of Mrs. Scott.  The Requiem high mass will be sung at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at Immaculate Conception church. The Rev. John Doran will officiate.

The body of Mrs. Roughan will be burried beside her husband and son in Evergreen cemetery in Lowell.

Brown-page is in charge of funeral arrangements.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

GPS Town Halls

This morning I had the privilege to once again facilitate a Gilbert Public Schools Town Hall.   I think this is the fourth one we have done.  It is a new concept and will take some time to get the word out there.  I am hoping we can record them so that people can watch them who couldn't be there.

Today's was on athletics and music.  The panel was made up of a parent, three students and teachers and administrators. It was amazing.

The young man who spoke is a football player who said he is first a student. He has an athletic scholarship to Stanford, which speaks volumes about his talent and his academics.  The two young ladies on the panel were amazing.  One talked about being such an introvert and then getting into drama and coming out of her shell.  She has a scholarship to NAU and will be majoring in a biomedical field.  However, she still wants to do acting.

The other young lady is the granddaughter of one of my most amazing IA's at Gilbert El.  She is an honors student and an athlete at Gilbert High.  She tore her ACL in August and is in the process of recovery.  She also will be going to NAU.

Nick Cornell, coach and teacher at Campo Verde spoke about the importance of coaches and it being more than a sport.  It was to mold  young people into becoming productive adults.  Nick was our GPS teacher of the year this past year.  I have known him for sometime and he is "a class act" in every sense of the word.

Jenny Nichols, who taught at Gilbert El, talked about the importance of music as did Lee Meschino from Islands.  I have had the privilege of knowing these two amazing teachers for many years.

I am so proud that GPS has still funded the arts and continues to see the importance of the "whole" child.  That has always been my vision.   

I love the role that I am playing now.  And I love the direction our district is headed in.  It is an honor!!!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Powerful Words from a Holocaust Survivor!

Be an UPSTANDER NOT A BYSTANDER!  These were the words from Oscar, a Holocaust survivor, to the students at Desert Ridge Junior High. 
He told them about respect and having respect for everyone, including your enemies. 

Oscar was born in Germany and was seven years old in 1932 when Hitler's rise started. He spoke about his normal childhood with friends and school and how all of a sudden everything changed.  

He told about how his family moved to Poland and he learned Polish and then Germany invaded Poland and everything changed.  He shared what happened when he had to start wearing the Star of David and how his tranquil life changed as bullies went after them.  The powerful part to me was how he shared about the "bystanders" just watching and not getting involved and that bystanders are the worst.

It was an amazing 90 minutes.  The kids were listening and were very touched.  It was obvious.

The year that we lived in Germany in the late 70's, I was able to visit Dachau, which was a concentration camp near Munich.  It was so sad and disturbing. I actually could feel the evil there. It is hard to explain what that felt like. The only other time I felt evil at a place was when I went into the drug tunnel in Douglas in the early 90's.  Both were evil in very different ways.  It is mind blowing to me that something like this could have ever occurred.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Teresa Scott Retires (from the Dispatch)


"I'm going to miss the people terribly," said Teresa Scott, pondering retirement at the end of the year after 39 years with the Douglas Water Department.

When she began working on Aug. 1, 1944, the water department was located where the Little Gallery (which has since been torn down--this is not in the article) now on 11th Street and Pan American Avenue.  There were two office workers then and everything was done by hand, even the billing.

The city had abut 2,800 customers back then, compared to the 4,500 they now serve.  The 300 customers in Pirtleville were not mailed bills, she recalls  They just came the 21st of each month and paid their bills.

She has seen the department grow to four office workers and progress from hand billing, to a billing machine, to dual printer, to a mini computer, and now to a computer.

Scott as served as office manager for the past 18 years, working under four superintendents. 

Saying that it has been a "real pleasure" working there and that she has enjoyed the challenges, she is looking forward to the change.

She doesn't intend to spend her retirement years idly, as she has bought a computer and is planning to do things such as billing and payrolls for clients.

There are also plans in her future for some traveling and visiting relatives, particularly her daughter Judy, who lives in Chandler.

Scott is active in Preceptor Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi and the Think Douglas Association.  She is also active in St. Luke's Church, having served on the parish council and as past president of the Women's Club.

And we now how this story ended with the many years the had her business, T. E. Scott Computer.

I remember when I was a kid, we would go to the old water department.  It was such a great old building.  The bathroom had the old-fashioned toilet where the water tank was above the toilet and you pulled the chain.
I also remember one of my jobs was to go pay bills.  I would go in after school and Teresa had all of the bills ready and I would walk all around downtown paying various bills.  One of my favorite parts was getting to stop at the Arizona Drug Store and get a soda.  They had a beautiful marble counter/bar and the drinks were in paper cups with the holders on it.  I always knew that was such an important job to be entrusted to do.

Such great memories of a wonderful childhood!!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hurtful Tactics

I found this quote today because of a situation that recently happened.  It is something I have always tried to live by.  Throughout my life, there have been people I haven't liked or who have done something to me that I perceived as a wrong.  I have always tried to "turn the other cheek" so to speak.  Not that I haven't complained to friends...I have and still do!

It never ceases to amaze me that people can be so cruel.  I understand a person not liking another person or having a "grudge" against someone.  However, doing something to hurt that other person is generally something that shows a weakness in character, in my opinion.  

Our current national political climate and our president daily demonstrates a lack of character in the way he treats others and the way he makes fun of people.  It is what is being modeled at the national level. I can only hope that many people see this ugliness for just what it is.....

I have dealt with a few instances of ugliness from people who I know don't like me or who at some time in my career I had to do something that was the right thing to do, but it obviously was hurtful to another human.  I made a vow to myself many years ago that if it ever got easy to made some of these very difficult decisions, that I would need to find a new job.  I can honestly say that it never was easy, but I could live with the difficult decision because it was in the best interest of children and the organization.

I think what people who are petty don't realize is that when they do something that is very petty, it causes people to rally around the person that they are trying to harm and that is exactly what the petty person doesn't want to happen!!!

As my incredible cousin, Cecilia, says, "what goes around, comes around."  I absolutely believe this!!!


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Miner Webster--800 Victories as High School Basketball Coach

Monday night I was able to attend the Highland High School girls' basketball game.   Highland's girls' basketball is one of the top rated programs in the state of Arizona.   This night would be (and was) Coach Miner Webster's 800th win as a girls' basketball coach in Arizona which made him the winningest (is that a word?) girls' coach and second winningest of both boys' and girls' programs.
Miner's son, Aaron, was one of my wonderful kiddos at Gilbert El.  When he was in second grade, Highland was in the state championship in about 1994.  I went to the game with Connie Honaker, (founding principal of Highland High) that Saturday night at the Sun's arena (can't remember what it was called at that time).  I just remember walking in and Aaron was so excited to see me there.  I loved him and still love that we have kept in touch.  I got a big hug from him tonight.  He just had his third child, a little girl.  
Miner is a class act.  I also was able to go to one of his state championships when Alyssa Heeman (another Gilbert El kiddo and Louise's daughter) played when she was at Highland.  I believe he won at least one or two state championships when he coached at Gilbert High.  
It was a great evening and it makes all of the hard work that I have done for the past several months worthwhile.  I love GPS and I continue to be so proud to still be a part of this wonderful district and community!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Winding up the Weekend

Since I have retired "almost completely," every day is a holiday (sort of).  I don't have to be anywhere unless I chose to be. It has been nice to not have a regular schedule. I really thought I would have a problem with this after 44 plus years of working and prior to that, being a student.  

Since July, 2015, I still had so many responsibilities.  With Teresa being either at Judy's, at the group home or here at my house, I always had something.  After her passing in July, things didn't settle down for me until after 858 was cleaned out.  That basically was mid October. 

For the past six weeks, I have been living alone. I can say that I am really enjoying it.  We will see how long it lasts. I can do what I want, when I want, etc.  I am not responsible for any other person (other than the pugs and they follow me everywhere I go).

I am fortunate to have a wonderful circle of friends so I usually have something to do or somewhere to be.  That changes on a holiday weekend as everyone is involved with family "things."  

Thursday and Friday, I fixed dinner and had company.  Saturday and Sunday were relaxing and I didn't have anything to do or to do anything.  

I am glad the "regular" week is starting tomorrow (and I know I am one of the few who is looking forward to Monday).   I need to be busy and I have a few things going this week.  I look forward to that.

It is still so hard to wrap my brain around this.  For the past 67 years, all of my holidays have been around my immediate and extended family. Things have changed and it is a good change.  I just need to get used to it!!

So tomorrow I hope to go to a basketball game at Highland High.  I will post more about that later. We have a Board Meeting Tuesday night.  I need to start scheduling times to get to schools and meet with  principals.  I know that for me, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas break, were the most difficult of the year for a variety of reasons.

I am so happy to be able to write again. My writing isn't that great with what I am doing. I really am going to look into taking a class on writing as I enjoy it so much.  It is "therapy" for me.

I hope that someday in the distant future, my kids and other family members will look back on this blog and find family stories and information that will help them remember the wonderful family that we come from.  That is why I have done so much.  

I still have some boxes to go through.  I do a little bit every day trying to keep us with all of it.  I am getting close to going through everything and hope to file it in boxes for posterity or send it some of my cousins.  It has been quite a journey!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Dirty Daisy Mini Reunion

On Friday, I went over to Kay Benjamin's house to visit with her and another old friend of the Gilbert Junior days, Dawn Hughes.  We were the original Dirty Daisies  and such good friends. 

Although we haven't seen each other in a very long time, it just seemed like yesterday when we got together.  Kay's daughter, Amy, gave us the nicest compliment.  She said that when she was growing up, she loved our passion for teaching and our students and our ability to have a lot of fun, too.

Now that Kay is back in Gilbert and really close by, I hope we can get together more often.  I value these two ladies a lot and their friendship means much!

We laughed about our Dirty Daisy days.  Dawn said when I posted the picture of all of us on her Facebook page, she showed it to her husband and tried to explain it to him.

Today, Kerri found this in a box downstairs when she was cleaning her room.  It is the "Fight Song of the Dirty Daisy Society."

Daring Daisies, white. yellow and black
We're prideful women, always fighting back!
Cultivating and Sowing Strength --
We'll always go to any length--
Our society is tried and true--
Marching faithfully through the do-do!
CHORUS:  See our petals open
See our pistols fall
Rising to occasions
Keeping on the ball!!
Forever sowing gorgeous seeds
To fulfill our glorious needs.
Weeding out corruptive deeds. 
To keep our gardens clean and pure
With nectar sweet--we keep our lure;
And FDS to keep us sure!!

Never thought I would get to a point in my life that I reminisce about the "good old days." I have always had fun in any endeavor and try to find the humor in situations.   But those were the "best of times!"   
I am thankful for my wonderful career and the many friends I have garnered on the way! 

I believe that my motto for the rest of my life is "NO REGRETS!"

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Go Devils!!

When I started to write about Teresa and the 94 days of things to remember, I made a list of things to write about never thinking that I would make 94 days easily.  But I did and have had many more.

When Notre Dame and West Virginia played in the Fiesta Bowl in 1988, my mom as able to get us great tickets for the game and entrance to a very important party because she was on the City Council in Douglas.   We had three tickets so it was Cecilia, Yaya and me.   We got to go into a tent that you had to have  food and drinks.  Kerri, Patrick, Jay and Tony were waiting for us as she was able to get us all tickets.  But not to the "exclusive" tent.  

I remember that they had a lot of food and a fountain that had margaritas. So we met there and we had a few of the drinks, but what I remember the most was Cecilia putting food in her jacket to take to Tony, Jay, Kerri and Patrick.   It was hilarious.  I think we only had two tickets and had to pay an additional $20 for Yaya to come with us.  

It was a great game and my kids always remind me that I "fell down" going up the steps in the stadium which was not an unusual thing for me!!

Notre Dame won and I remember going to find a pay phone to call my mom and let her know.

After that, Teresa wanted our family to get together so she  bought eight season tickets for the ASU games through her business.  So we spent many Saturday nights in the fall attending ASU games with Cecilia, Jay, their kids and mine, tailgating and having a wonderful time.  

Teresa was not a football fan but she was a family fan and that was what was most important to her.

Our kids grew up attending ASU game and tailgating.  It went from the Fiesta Bowl in 1987 until I went to Douglas in 2010.  I think she wanted to continue but me being gone and kids being grown made it expensive.  

I remember when ASU beat Nebraska and we went to find a phone to call my mom.  She was so excited and I was so excited to tell her.  It was an amazing evening.

Later today is the ASU/Uof A game in Tempe.  My mom WOULD NOT ALLOW me to go to Arizona and was such an ASU fan.  

I hate to watch that game because it is so hard to watch.   I am just hoping the Devils can prevail!!

A little history to this rivalry...... My entire childhood, my mom was such a die hard ASU fan.  I knew right from the beginning that when I went to college, U of A was NOT an option.  I could go to ASU or NAU.  NAU was still Arizona State Teacher's College until the year I graduated from high school (I think).  I knew that I didn't want to go where it was cold so ASU was the only choice. And I was fine with that!

The reason my mom disliked Arizona so much had to do with ASU wanting to become a university, which I think was about 1954.   The Board of Regents, which was predominately U of A graduates, blocked it.  As a result, it had to go to a vote of all of the people in Arizona to make Arizona State Teacher's College--Tempe to ASU.   My mom always said that was so ridiculous that anyone would block progress like that.  So I was not "allowed" to go to the U of A!!

Another wonderful memory!! 

Just a footnote--ASU beat the University of Arizona!!!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving, 2017

This was the first Thanksgiving without Teresa.  We decided to do a small "celebration" with just Judy, Kerri, Chris and I.  Ken is flying so he won't be home.  

On Wednesday, Judy let me know that she got the final papers for selling 858.  She will go today and have them notarized and sent back and that will be it.  A new family will be moving into the house.    She feels it will be hard and I am glad I don't have to sign them.  She sent me the papers to look over for the closing.   Everything that has happened has made it real, but this truly is final. 

I made the dressing on Wednesday.  We are having turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, squash, salad and beer breed.  I always made my mom's recipe for candied sweet potatoes to take to the feast with the family.  I don't like it and no one else does, so I won't be making it.

When I went to Sam's on Wednesday, I went by the very large table of pumpkin pies.  In the past, I always bought two them because Cameron loves them.  I didn't this year.  It will be the first Thanksgiving without him, too.  He and Patrick are going to one of Patrick's friends for dinner.  I am really glad that they are together and that Patrick has Cameron there for this holiday.

Wednesday night I decided to set the table.  I found a pretty tablecloth from Douglas and decided to put in on the table and get it set.  I got tickled when I put it on as their are "cigarette" burns on it from my mom.  I felt it was fitting.

I didn't get the good china out, but did get my nice "Irish" dishes and wine glasses from Germany that match the dinnerware.  

We had a very nice dinner and after called Patrick and Cameron.   Did a toast to Teresa.  Last year we had dinner here at my house as it was the day after Thanksgiving that we took her to live in the group home.   So last year's Thanksgiving and this have been bitter sweet.

I was hoping to sit outside with a fire, but it was still rather warm.  I put the turkey "carcass" in the big pot and will cook it over night for the annual turkey noodle soup that we will have tomorrow night.  It will cook overnight and make the house smell so good!!

I am thankful for many thing in my life.   I am so thankful for the my mom, Teresa, Johnny, Judy, Kerri, Patrick and Cameron and our extended family. And I always thought I was so fortunate to have my mom until I was 53 years old.  My Phoenix Scott family and Sacramento Park family lost their moms when many of them were very young.  And to think that I had my "other" mother, Teresa,  for 68+ years is absolutely a blessing and another reason for me to be thankful!!

I am also thankful for my many wonderful friends and the incredible career that I had as  a public school educator.  I am grateful that I am still able to serve the wonderful children, families, administrators, teachers and staff of GPS.   I am blessed!!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Basketball at it's finest--MHS vs. DRHS

On Tuesday, I  had the privilege to attend a basketball game between students with special needs from Mesquite High and Desert RIdge High at Mesquite.  It was so touching to watch these kiddos play basketball.  A couple of the Mesquite students had been my students at Gilbert El.

What was so touching to me was the support that the students got from the Mesquite students.  The band played, the cheerleaders cheered, both school mascots were there, and the two refs were MHS seniors on the varsity basketball team.  It was played during the students lunch hour and the gym was packed.  Students gave up their lunch time to be their to support their classmates and the kids from Desert RIdge.

As far as I am concerned, this is what it is all about!!! This makes all of the work that I have done in the past eleven months on the board so worthwhile!!  I am so proud of our wonderful District!!

Below is the story from Channel 3 about this game.  The video is wonderful but i wasn't able to download it onto this post.

It felt like a big playoff game at Mesquite High School in Gilbert Tuesday, with the band, cheerleaders and fired-up crowd. And that was the idea. "They don/t normally get an opportunity to play in front of a crowd of this magnitude," said coach Gloria Hernandez. "We really tried to make it as special as we could for them."

None of the players who took the court were star athletes, but they still showed plenty of passion finding the open shot.

The teams were made up of special needs students like Kiley Christiansen, who was getting a chance to show fans that their disabilities won't keep them down.
"It's kind of like showing off," said Christiansen. "It's like hey, we can do this, too."
"I always had this as my dream," said student Daniel Pizano. "I always dreamed of being on a team and now it's coming true."

This year's Unified basketball game was a back and forth battle between Mesquite High School and Desert Ridge High School, with parents on both sides... bursting with pride with every pass and drive to the hoop.

"They don't get a chance to watch their kids and share something like this," said special education teacher Angela Olberding. "We just wanted the kids to have that moment - have their kids at an event where the school is behind them."
"I thought it was amazing," said grandmother Tina Verdugo. "It was just amazing to see him play, to see all of them play, and all of them get a chance to do what most kids can do. It's their dream."

The game ended in a tie, but nobody seemed to care about the score. Both teams felt the thrill of victory in a game most players will never forget. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

November 17, 1961--Meeting JFK, LBJ and Honoring Carl Hayden

I waited until today to post this because it is the 54th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy--one of the worst days in our history.

In 1961,  Senator Carl Hayden of Arizona was being honored for 50 years in Congress. The dinner was held at the Westward Ho Hotel in downtown Phoenix.  My uncle, Tom, was there because Senator Hayden was his boss. The dinner was $100 a plate which was rather expensive in those days.

We planned to go to Phoenix to see Tom and Mary.  Then a friend of the family, Harry Ames, had a ticket and couldn't go so he gave it to Teresa.  I remember how excited she was to be able to go to this.

I was in seventh grade which would have made me 12.  I am hoping I can remember how this all happened as it was a very long time ago.

Tom and Mary were staying at the Westward Ho.   I remember going there on the day of the dinner to see them.  Somehow, we found out their was going to be a press conference that high school students were invited to attend.   My cousins, Marion and Teresa Ann, Judy (who was in first grade) went up to where the press conference was being held.   We talked to some men (they had to be Secret Service) and they let us go on up.  When we got up there, I remember telling the people at the door that I was a reporter for the Douglas High newspaper.  Teresa Ann was a year behind me in school, so Marion was truly the only plausible high school reporter.  Somehow, we got in.  

Marion knew some students at the press conference and they wanted to change places with us to be near friends.  That was great with us!!  We were in the front row, right by the cake.

We called Tom's room and told them where we were.  They didn't believe that we could be there.  My mom and Uncle Matt tried to get up where we were but couldn't get past the Secret Service!  

I will never forget when JFK, LBJ, and Senator Hayden walked in.  They were right by us.  If you look at the picture, you can see me right next to LBJ.  Teresa Ann was next to me and Judy was sitting on Marion's lap.  We were obviously the only little kids in the room!  JFK looked over at us and he winked at me.  I was thrilled beyond belief.  We got to shake his hand.

Everyone was making a fuss over Senator Hayden and the President.  LBJ was just standing there.  He looked over at us and we got up and started talking to him.  I remember him putting his arm around my shoulder and talking to us in such a kind way.

There were so many faces that I recognized in that room.  It was amazing and it truly was one of the absolute highlights of my life.

I have the picture, along with the autograph that Tom got for me from JFK, on a wall in my house.  I found the program from the dinner as well as the "Press Fact Sheet."  I also found "tickets" in Judy's name and mine to get us into the Corral Room.  I don't remember what that meant.
Over the next few days, I am going to post more about Senator Hayden and that wonderful day in November, 1961.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Another Story About My Mom at Loretto

After my post yesterday about my mom and her brother, Tom, I remembered another story.

When my mom was in about second or third grade, she got into some trouble with some other kids in her class.  The nun put everyone in a corner, but there weren't enough corners, so she put Margaret under her desk because she was tiny. 

This particular nun had a limp and she told the class that she had a wooden leg. So my mom "pinched" sister's leg to see if it was true and it wasn't.

After her "punishment" was over and she returned to her desk, she passed a note around the class telling the other students that Sister did not have a wooden leg because she had pinched it.  Needless to say, the note was intercepted.

Our grandfather was called and went to Loretto.  My mom told me that the principal asked her to leave for a few minutes and then had her come back in. At the time she didn't know why, but years later found out it was because the principal and Grandpa Scott got a bit of a laugh out of it.  Having been an elementary principal, I can tell you there were many occasions when this happened!

What spunk she had all of her life!!

Monday, November 20, 2017

My Mom and Her Big Brother, Tom!

I have been trying very hard to remember stories that I heard growing up and for some reason, this one came to mind earlier today.  I don't know why I haven't remembered it before.  It is one of my favorite stories about my mom. Growing up, I always wondered why she was so strict with me.  I was a fairly good kid and she was extremely strict with me.  When I became an adult, I realized it was because she was a bit of a "hellion" and so she wanted to make sure I wasn't.

My mom was born in October, 1917. Her brother, Tom, was born in January,1915.  So there was a little over 2 1/2 years difference in their ages. From what the stories I remember, Tom was a really nice boy and was not a fighter or aggressive at all.  He was just one of those nice kids. I am sure my mom was a nice kid, too, but she had a rebel streak in her that lasted her entire life.

The story that I remember was when Bill was born in 1925.   That would have made Tom almost 11 and mom about 8 so I am thinking third and fifth grades.  

At Loretto (even when I went there) there was a boys' playground on the east side and the girls' playground on the west side.  

The story goes that someone came over to the girls' side and told my mom that another student, also named Tom, was beating up her brother, Tom.  So my mom immediately went over to the boys' playground and basically beat up the other Tom.

My grandfather was called by the principal (nun) who had my mom in the office. Having been a principal, I can really relate to this story.  Apparently, Tom's parents came to the school to complain about him being beaten up.  So Sister brought my mom, who was tiny, out and let them see who had beaten up their "older" son.  It turned out that the other Tom was an only child and he was very upset about the Scott's having "another" baby, so he decided to take it out on Uncle Tom.  But Tom Scott was not a fighter so he got the worst end of the fight until Margaret showed up and she took care of him!!!

From what I heard, my mom didn't get into too much trouble with her parents other than a lecture about not fighting bigger boys and to let her brother stand up for  himself.

Those who knew my mom can truly understand how this happened.  She always stood up for what was right and she always stood up for family.  


Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Dirty Daisies

Friday night I met an old friend, Kay Benjamin, at Fibber Magees in Chandler.   We went there to listen to Irish music.  Kay and I taught together many years ago at Gilbert Jr. High.   Kay recently moved back to Arizona having lived in Colorado and Utah. Her daughter, Amy, was with her.  I think it has been over 20 years since I have seen her and we connected a few years back on Facebook. Actually, I connected with her husband, Charles, who has since passed away.  

We had so much fun during those years when our kids were little and we were young.   We had a tight group of friends and I feel fortunate to still have these wonderful people in my life even though I don't see them often.

We had so much fun together last night.  The Irish music was great .  Her birthday is today and she turns 76.  It doesn't seem possible that time has passed so quickly.

We danced and sang despite the fact that my dancing is certainly not the best and my singing is definitely not even good.

When I got home, i found my picture that I always kept in my offices through the years.    It is of the "original" Dirty Daisies.

Below is a post that I did before I retired in 2015 about memories from my career in education.

Still remembering my first years of teaching special education.   As I have said, I was at both Gilbert Elementary and Gilbert Junior during that time.   I had kids from fourth through eighth grades--sometimes self-contained some times just for reading or math.   I worked with some great people who became such good friends.   

The other day, Sue Dunning asked if I remembered the Dirty Daisies---Remember them, I was a "founding flower" of the Dirty Daisy Society!! It was such a fun time! One day, several of us heard that some of the male teachers belonged to a secret society called The Red, Red Rose. It was supposedly a national association and they were not allowed to talk about it. Well, you can imagine how we took off with this information.

Dawn Hughes, Martha Wallace, Kay Benjamin and I decided to start Gilbert's answer to the Red, Red Rose Society, aka as the Dirty Daisies.  So the Dirty Daisy Society was started.  We had bylaws, a slogan and even a t-shirt.  Our slogan was "some seeds sow weeds!" We expanded our membership and you had to be "voted" in to join.   I can tell you that any female teacher who wanted to be a Dirty Daisy could be one--we weren't that selective.

Later after I became an administrator, several of my admin buddies became "Dirty Daisies"--Connie, Nikki, Jill, Sherryl--just to name a few. One of the funniest times was when we were at an administrators' picnic and our wonderful supt, Wally, burned one of our t-shirts!!!

What great times we had during those years!!!  

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Arizona School Personnel Administrators of the Year

On Thursday, I drove to Prescott to attend the evening celebration for the Arizona Association of School Personnel Administrators' Association.  The reason I went was because two of our wonderful administrators received Administrators' of the Year from the association--Shawn McIntosh and Missy Udall. They didn't know that they had been nominated nor that they had received the award.  I was invited because I had written a letter (below) on their behalf.

I got up there early afternoon and went for a walk and then looked around.  I stopped at the Prescott Brewery and had a beer.  While I was sitting there, in walked Shawn's wife, Alisha, and Kellie and Holly, their secretaries.   We were all there to surprise them.

I had such a good time with those three ladies.  We ended up going out to dinner before having to be at the ceremony at 7:30.  When we got there, we had to wait out side of the room until it was time for the award to be announced.   Missy's husband joined us as well as Shane, our new superintendent.   Shane couldn't stay as he had an early morning commitment, but he knew the importance of being there for this huge honor for Shawn and Missy and for GPS!

Makes me proud!!

October 4, 2017

Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association
Attn: Mr. Justin Wing
Washington Elementary School District
4650 W. Sweetwater
Glendale, AZ 85304

Dear Mr. Wing:

It is a privilege for me to write this letter of recommendation for Shawn McIntosh and Missy Udall to be co-recipients of the 2017 Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association Award.    

I was employed in Gilbert Public Schools for 39 years from 1971 until 2010.  During my tenure in GPS, I was Interim Director of Personnel for approximately 14 months before becoming an elementary principal.  I am mentioning this because I understand the complexities of this extremely important position in a District.

After leaving Gilbert, I spent five years as Superintendent of the Douglas Unified School District retiring in 2015.  I successfully ran for the Gilbert Governing Board in 2016.

Through my 45 plus years, I have had the privilege to work with many very talented administrators.  I consider Shawn McIntosh and Missy Udall as two of the best administrators that I have ever had the privilege to see in action.

I have known both Missy and Shawn since they were children.  They were both students at the elementary school where I was a teacher.  Missy and Shawn have a unique bond having been friends since elementary school.

During my time as a principal in Gilbert, I saw both of them as teachers.   Later we became colleagues as principals.  I had the utmost respect for their leadership at their respective schools.  Both of them had respect from their colleagues, teachers, staff, students and parents.

Both of them went to the District positions after I left.  My first year after I retired, I had the honor of substituting for a principal who was undergoing chemotherapy. That experience was an exceptional one and I was able to see first hand what Missy and Shawn are all about.  I have also interacted with both of them as Governing Board President.

Working in this particular department is probably one of the most difficult positions in a District. Much of their job is related to employees who are having some problems.  I have seen first hand that both of them treat each issue with empathy and compassion. However, sometimes these issues don’t turn out in the most positive light. Both of them understand this and they are able to make sure that each person is treated with dignity and respect no matter what.

GPS has suffered a number of years of turmoil for a variety of reasons.  Both Shawn and Missy stayed in the District and were extremely professional despite some very difficult situations.   When I was trying to make up my mind as to whether or not I would even run for the Board, Shawn and Missy were an absolute factor in my decision to run.  And that is because I believe that GPS needs quality administrators such as these two.  During this time of turmoil, both of them were “recruited” by other districts.  It would have been easy for them to leave, but they are dedicated to GPS.   And that is wonderful for GPS.

In the last four months, we have had new leadership in Dr. Suzanne Zentner, who has served as our Interim Superintendent.  Because of this transition in leadership, I have seen both Shawn and Missy be able to take off with their goals for our Office of Talent Management. I believe that their potential is unlimited.  With our new superintendent in place, I see great things to come from both of them.  They are truly a team and collaborate together.   Neither of them wants to take credit for anything—they just want to do what is best for the District.

Both of them are very involved in the community and many different levels.   Their work ethic is second to none.   They collaborate together and both of them have a unique vision and the talent to take this vision to fruition.

Once again, my 45 plus years of education have provided me the opportunity to work with many incredible administrators.   Shawn and Missy are two of the finest administrators ever.  I give both of them my absolute highest recommendation.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me at 520 368 2700 should you have any further questions.


Sheila Rogers
Retired Educator
GPS Governing Board President