Funny things happen when you’re the man

When I was superintendent of the Rochelle schools, I had a lot of odd and funny things happen. First of all, when I came back to Rochelle in 1969 as the superintendent, I had to sand my name from off some of the desks. I had cut them with a knife when I was a student. About the first discipline act that happened was the camera that had been stolen from the annual staff room was found a month later in the trash and had the film developed. There were two culprits. They had taken each other’s picture. Some unusual phone calls included a mother calling me about 5:30 a.m. to ask if her daughter should wear her hair up or down in the Christmas play. Also you could expect some calls when it was as cold as 30′ with moisture falling, I’d get at least three or four calls by 6 a.m. asking if we were going to have school. One time we got a new principal. The students had been acting up a bit so he called them all together for a conference about rules, etc. He stated that the next one sent to his office there would be a spanking. About an hour later a young boy came in and said Mr. Brown had sent him in. The principal told him to bend over, the boy started to explain but the principal told him to stop talking and gave him a few licks. When it was over, the young man said Mr. Brown had sent him in to get some chalk. We had a bus driver who we had some complaints about for driving too fast. The driver said, “You told me it was about an hour long bus route, and I have been trying to make it in an hour. I cannot make it unless I drive 70 or 80 mph.” I could write a book about things that backfired because I was wrong. We never did worry about the seniors on graduation night coming to the ceremony drinking or causing trouble because they knew I had a rule that I would not sign their diploma until after the program. All in all, I would say that out of the 24 years as superintendent everyday was exciting and fun except for about 10 bad days.

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