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

Friday, November 17, 2017

Gilbert Woman - November, 2016


This is an article from November, 2016.   It is on  page 43.

I am going to write it out in case it ever goes off line--for posterity!



Sheila Rogers wasn't passing her own test in retirement--and after 45 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent, she was no stranger to tests.

After Rogers called it quits last years, she had plenty to keep her busy: six energetic pugs--Diego, Lucy, Seamus, Pancho, Maya and Pedro; her Mexican-cuisine prowess; caring for an aging aunt; writing a blog and walking a daily goal of 4 miles.

Yet in the length of an early-release day, she could feel that something was missing: She still felt the tug of education. 

Never officially a politician, she threw her hat in the ring for Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board.  She is among four contenders for three positions, and has the backing of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, among other organizations.

"If I win, this will be my 46th year in education," she says.  "If I don't, I'll do something else."

"When you spend your life in education and then something like this comes up, it's rewarding when the children you've worked with and are now adults come back and want to help you," she says with gratitude.

Many have since word got out.

"What I did had to have made a positive impact in their lives, otherwise they wouldn't." Rogers says.

Rogers was born in Douglas, which is tucked into the southeastern corner of Arizona on the border with Mexico.  Her ancestral home still stands. She was the school superintendent there from 2010 to 2015.

She started her career in Gilbert in the 1970s, when teachers were handed a paddle along with their keys.  (She only used it once, and afterward thought it was horrible.)

More lasting was her 21-year service as the principal of Gilbert Elementary, when she learned each student's name, even when enrollment exceeded 1,000.

With that track record, Rogers feels the need to continue advancing education.

"I feel like I have a whole lot to offer, and i have the time.  I need to keep myself mentally busy," she says.  "Being able to do something like this is a service to the community and to the children and the families of the community."

Rogers anticipates a learning curve, if elected, but takes heart from her previous experience when, as superintendent, she worked directly with a school board.

"If the board and superintendent can work together, the district is going to benefit tremendously from co-operation," she says.  "That doesn't mean you'll always agree with everything, because you are not going to." 

Rogers sees challenges for the district: lack of funding and the teacher has almost crisis levels, she says; balancing enrollment on the east and west side of town via changing boundaries; teacher retention and attracting young people to the profession.

The other important factor is parent involvement, she says.

Rogers would like to take on all of these issues.

"But I believe that all of the other people that are running also have the best interests of the children and that is nice to know," she says.  


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Leadville, Colorado--1902

Another treasure that I found the other day is our grandparents' Certificate of Marriage.  They were married in Leadville, Colorado on April 23, 1902.  On the certificate, it says A.D. 189__ and it crossed out and 1902 is written above it.

The two witnesses were Patrick Golden and Catherine Nepsey.  I am not sure who Patrick was, probably a friend of Grandpa Scott.  As for Catherine "Nepsey," she had to be related to Grandma as that was Grandma Roughan's maiden name.  We have since found out the correct spelling.  It is Kneafsey.

Five of their children were born in Leadville, but three of them died.  Johnny and Matt were the other two.  I remember Teresa telling me that Grandma felt the weather was too cold there. I can't imagine losing three children.

In 2005, our cousins, Jean, Jan, and Tim, took Teresa on a road trip to Colorado.  They visited Leadville and the family houses and Catholic Church. Jan made a scrapbook for Teresa that I have.

I took pictures of the houses and the information from that scrapbook.  Here they are:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November 15, 1957--60th Anniversary of our Grandma Scott's Death

Today is the 60th anniversary of my Grandma Scott's death.  I was in third grade.  I wrote about this on a previous post.   I found this article in one of the boxes from Douglas.

City Woman Dies in Phoenix
Death claimed a well-known pioneer resident of Douglas about 7:30 p.m. Friday while she was visiting her son in Phoenix.  She was Mrs. Katherine Agnes (should have been Ellen) Scott, 858 14th St.

Born in Easton, Pa., April 7, 1882, Mrs. Scott moved to Leadville, Colo., five years later, and was married there in 1902. The family moved to Douglas in 1912, remaining here since that time.

Mrs. Scott was active in St. Luke's Altar Society, the auxiliary to the order of Railway Conductors and the Trainmen Ladies.
Surviving her are four sons, John Scott of 858 14th St., Matthew Scott in Phoenix, Thomas J. Scott in Washington, D.C., William F. Scott in Sacramento, California (should have been San Francisco); three daughters, Mrs. Dorothy  Park of Sacramento, Calif.,  Mrs. Margaret Shannon and Miss Teresa Scott of 858 14th St.; 22 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced by Brown-Page.  Internment will be in Calvary Cemetery.

November 15, 1912 was Dot's birthday.  I can't imagine losing someone on one's birthday.

I love this picture of my grandma and me.  She was such a special person in my early years.  She was the person who made me a reader as she always read to me.  And Teresa was the one who bought all of my books during my years growing up.  I belonged to several book clubs where I would get a book delivered every month.