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When Night Comes By Isaly LINK


"When the game is tight like that, typically no one wants to take that big shot," Andrews said after the game. "Nicole Heffington is always comfortable. She feels confident to knock that down, even with the team having a rough shooting night. Olivia [Nagy] knows when she is under the basket and is able to set herself up for a good pass that it's going in. I applaud them for feeling that confidence, especially when we struggled to make shots."




When Night Comes by Isaly


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A: All right. I was born and raised on the south side of Youngstown, Ohio, during the Depression era. My father was an engineer on the B & O Railroad. We lived with my grandfather at that time on West Evergreen Avenue, who was a carpenter foreman with U. S. Steel. My mother and father were divorced when I was approximately eleven years old, and this had a great effect on me as you were looked down upon in those days having come from a divorced family. I've been working since I was eleven years of age, as there was not any welfare to fall back on at that time; you either worked or got very hungry. I worked at cutting lawns, cleaning garages and cellars, and just whatever else would come along that I could do, shoveling snow and that in the wintertime. I believe out of this whole thing, this made me a stronger person and a more compassionate person in the long run. I attended Monroe Elementary School, Princeton Junior High School, and graduated from South High School in June of 1946. Shortly after graduation I entered the U. S. Air Force and served three years there as an Air Force policeman. Q: That sounds interesting.A: Which, I believe, all again made for, you know, a stronger background for me and places, too, it really trained me in working with people practically. Well as I said, from ten years of age, I've been working with people. Q: Yeah, and those are the skills you really need in administration.A: In the Air Force Police, we were taught certain ways to handle situations and here again I think this helped me in meeting both pleasant situations and unpleasant situations in a polite, yet strong manner. Q: Would you discuss your college education and preparation for entering the field of teaching? How many years did you work as a teacher and how many as a principal?A: During my tour in the Air Force, I decided to attend Youngstown College. Now my high school days were not exactly known as the best grades and so on, but part of that was divorced family, had to work, attention, division. The courses I liked I got As and Bs in. My mother only asked me to pass, which was a C. And so I made it through high school. No problem. While in the service, there were three teachers who were in fulfilling their military requirement, and we struck up a friendship and talking and so on, is when I decided that's what I felt I wanted to do. So when I came out of the service, I wasn't quite sure whether I was making the right decision or not, so I went back to South High and visited Dave Williams who was still the Dean of Boys. I talked to him quite frankly about it. I wanted his honest opinion of whether he thought I could make it as a college student. And of course, Youngstown College, it was Youngstown College then, they did not have to accept me. So he said, "I'll put a word in for you. But," he said," I'm going to give you some books I want you to go over, and you and I will get together (I think it was three or four times) during the summer." And Dave helped me out a lot. He put a word in for me, and said, "I have no doubt but what you'll make out if you stick with it. And," he said," That, of course, is up to you." And I've never forgotten that, and will never forget Dave for that. Of course, that was Ellen Friend's father. Q: That was kind of a mentoring relationship then, wasn't it?A: Yes, very much so. Dave was a, I always looked up to him and I think most of the boys at South High at that time did. He was willing to listen. He was willing to work with you on the problems, and was very sincere about the way he handled it, you know. I was also very lucky there to have a commanding officer who took an interest and listened and tried to, you know, get me on down the road to something along that line, and he was always complimentary and any way he could help me, he was willing to do it. Mr. Gordon Lewis also was an influence on me when I, I'm getting ahead of myself here. Well, this is in the same question, isn't it? Q: Yes.A: Well, I taught fifteen years at Williamson Elementary, which was an inner city school at that time, and I loved the fifteen years I was there. I feel that was the last school that was built in this area that was meant to teach in. For example, my first class at Williamson was in 1953, was 41 children. And I still had room in the classroom for displays, etc. and so on, you know. Mr. Gordon Lewis, who was, I served under three principals there, but the last one I was under the last four or five years I was there was Mr. Gordon Lewis. And again, he and I struck up a pretty good relationship. He was more like a father to me, and I was in charge of safety patrol and a lot of things. I was the building representative to YEA for fifteen years, and things like that. He was the one who would suggest that I go into elementary administration. He thought I would make a good candidate for it with his experiences with me, so that after about six or seven years teaching is when I decided to go after my Masters. I signed up down at Westminster, went down there, enjoyed my time down there. I went down there with a number of friends who were, you know, teaching in Youngstown at the same time, and got my Masters in 1965. And right about that time, let's see, I think the summer of '64 and for five years after, my wife and family and I directed the Youngstown Fresh Air Camp, which gave me an administrative experience, so to speak, which we enjoyed greatly. But we were the only idiot family in Youngstown that enjoyed moving twice a year to camp and back from camp. But we did. I think it was a great experience for my kids, because we had an example of many of the races out there, many religions and so on, which a lot of kids at their home school don't get to, and we enjoyed it, and the kids always enjoyed it very much. As I said again, Mr. Lewis was almost like a father image to me too, and urged me on to this. I wasn't really seeking administration. I thought when I looked at the curriculum, the kinds of things that were there would help me be a stronger and better teacher, which I think they did. I don't know whether you knew Mr. Ed Isaly, who used to be president of YEA. Well, Ed and I became pretty good friends, and he went down to West Branch, I'm trying to think what years; he must have been down there three or four years, so probably around '60 or '61 he must've gone down there. And it was the last summer I was at camp I got a call around July. "Chuck, it's Ed Isaly." I wonder what Ed's calling me for, you know. He said, "Are you interested in an administrative position?" I said, "Well, in a way I am." I said, "Ed, to be very honest with you, I'm not quite sure." I said, "Well by the way, where are you going? Or," I said, "Who's leaving down there?" He said, "Well, I am." I said, "Where are you going?" Well it was Lakeview or something like that, one of those places up around the Cleveland area. "And," he said, "There's going to be an opening here at Maple Ridge School." He said, "I'd like to put your name in." He said, "I think you stand a pretty good chance of getting it." I said, "Well, I tell you what, Ed. Let me talk to my wife this afternoon." I said, "I'll give you a call tomorrow down at school, OK?" He says, "Fine." Q: Was he at Maple Ridge at the time?A: Yeah, he was down at Maple Ridge. And so we talked it over. Of course we had just bought our new home there in Austintown and everything was sort of... the dust was just beginning to settle. So I called him back the next morning and told him I would be interested, and said, "What do I do to arrange an interview?" He said, "I'll take care of that for you." He said, "Just tell me, you know, some days or something, you know, that you'd be able to get down here." So I arranged a time to go down to the building with the principal and got the OK, went down, had my interview with about six others down there that day, and Mr. Heacock, and before I left, he says, "Well, Mr. Wilhide, if you are interested in the job, it's yours." I was dumbfounded at being told right on the spot. I never expected it. So I said, "Well, the only thing I have to do is, I do have to get my release from the Youngstown Board. And," I said, "I'll get that as soon as I can, if that's all right, and get back to you." He said, "No problem." Well, I was sort of flustered at that point. You know, I enjoyed my teaching greatly, and the only thing that really made me, I think, go ahead and cross over, at that time the Youngstown Board was in a... losing its good members. Warren Williamson left, Dr. Young left, and we were getting, well some people on there who liked to hang the dirty laundry out in public, which I did not think befitted the Youngstown Schools and did them any benefit. So I did take it, and I did get my release. And I was glad I got it after I was down there. I was very pleased. I had an experience I'd like to pass on. First year, and I know these people were wondering what this city slicker's going to do now when he comes down to the country. You could tell the force field was out. Everybody was very polite, very nice, but only to a certain point. So you've got to learn to handle that, and not try to push it. It will go down when it's supposed to. And I almost cost myself a job there, because one day at a staff meeting, and you remember the staff that was there. Well I used the word, "You know, we do have an old staff," and I knew right then I had blown it. I used the wrong word. Use the word, "experienced" staff. And I probably extended the force field about another three months when I did that, but it all worked out fine. They were, they were a great bunch to work with, the parents were a great bunch to work with. The thing I liked about it was you had basically a family attitude there, whether it was in the building, outside of the building, with parents, with staff. Everybody pulled together. Well you remember the playground equipment and stuff we put up from the Sheriff, you know, the one that had problems with the money, at that time. But every year for about four years, I got $900$1100 from the Sheriff's department for playground equipment down there that we could not afford to buy. Well, the farmers brought their drilling rigs in and their trucks in and everything else, and everybody got together. The principal stayed at night; we put the stuff together and put it up. You remember how we changed the front. That whole thing, other than what the Board paid for that corner lot, cost us $600. And that was the final grading of the parking lot when we extended it, and the original base of the heavy cobblestone. That was all we had to pay for. There was one father had a tree service, cut the shrubs and stuff out for nothing. We had two other families built the long picnic table to put over where the trailer was, so we could have the classes outside. Some others brought their tractors and stuff up and they tore some of the ground up, turned it over and then seeded it and everything, and turned it into grass. And that saved us from having a business on that corner and somebody's trash container at our office door. But it was a very unique experience for me, that everybody, all you had to do was ask for something and away you went. But you had to return in kind. Q: What year did you go to Maple Ridge?A: 1968. I was down there until 1976. Enjoyed every year. I always had a thing. Whenever a job change came along or something, I always sat down and made two columns, pros and cons. Maple Ridge had the majority of the cons, or pros, I'm sorry, staffwise, studentwise, parentwise, and so on. But the only thing I, which I'll admit to today, I made a misjudgment. What I looked at was an immediate $4500 pay increase, which is an immediate $1200 increase in my, in my retirement. And thinking of the time I had left, and what that would do...and I had known Dr. Zorn because he used to call around to get our orders and our needs for maintenance supplies for the County Office. We struck up a pretty good friendship, and I thought from talking to him and my interview with him, we'd get along pretty good. So I decided to take the position in Poland. Mistake. Mainly because of, I don't know, the type of people we had out there, the camaraderie we had in the staff, the cooperation we had in the staff and with the families and parents, it was a very unique position. Q: Yeah, I agree with that.A: Very enjoyable. Q: How many years were you full time in Poland?A: '76 to '81, so that was five, and then I was there half time two years, '84 and '85, when I went back to help close Union. Q: We talked a little bit about what motivated you to enter the principalship. You had a mentor that really ...A: Yes, the Dean of Boys from South was a big influence. The three fellows that I met in the Air Police were a big influence, gave me a lot of insight, you know, into the classroom. Mr. Lewis then, when I did get into teaching, was another mentor or father figure and really urged me on into, whether you want to say, bigger and better things. I'd say bigger and better challenges. And I was never sorry for it. Q: Okay. Would you describe your personal philosophy of education and tell me how it changed over the years.A: My own philosophy, and that's all I'm going to say it is, of education has been to teach the whole student. When I was at Williamson Elementary, we had Chinese children from the Chinese markets and so on, along Market Street. We had Puerto Rican children from the men who had been brought into the mills. We had all cross sections of European culture in that area from the mill workers who had lived in that area for many, many years. So you had a lot of variations of home backgrounds and so on. The thing I always thought, you must show enthusiasm when you teach, above all, because enthusiasm is infectious, which later played a role in my administrative. The first thing I looked for in interviewing a teacher, before I even brought up, I mean I had looked over their scholastic record and so on, was their enthusiasm. Second, how they would get along with the staff and parents, or not get along with the staff and parents. I think you must show a student compassion, teach them compassion and understanding where needed, and teach self worth above all. Irregardless of what they say in some of the innovative curriculum, I think some skirt that as a concept. A child, many of these children need taught self worth. We, I had children in my class who sometimes slept in the boxcars on a siding in South Side Park. Parents didn't know where they were, and furthermore, didn't care. So what self worth did they have? And I'll go into how I did this a little later if the opportunity comes in. Each student must learn, I believe, that they are responsible for their learning habits, work habits, responsibility, respect and how well they learn, whether it is in or out of school. I believe this is a must if they are to succeed in life. No one else can make you do it. Someone must help you to see you must do it. Too often education stops with subject matter. Q: We're discussing that a lot. I'm taking a fundamentals of curriculum development class and we are talking a lot about Dewey's philosophy, and some of the other philosophies of education, which is very interesting to me. A: If I can extrapolate on this a little bit. The way I did this... The first two years I taught was basically the way you were taught in college. You're the boss. You spit it out and they spit it back, and you grade them, and so on. And the more I saw of this, and the type of students, and the cross section of students that I had there, I thought to myself, this was not cutting it. It wasn't getting to where I felt I needed to get. It was not only what's in the book, but what's around the book. I read in some professional magazine or something about some teacher who had utilized student government in her room. And I said, "That's it!" So I took the United States Constitution, broke it down to the level of a sixth grade class, as to what sections we could use and couldn't use, but based on the Constitution. "We, the students of Room 203 Williamson School," and so on. We worked out a set of bylaws, which all the students worked on and voted on, to follow or not follow. It worked strictly on, based on a city government, which we used to take field trips to City Hall, to the county court house, to the Youngstown Vindicator, and mainly because they could more directly associate with that, what a mayor was, what a councilman was, president of council. So when we utilized it, we first of all went over the Constitution. "This is what we need to govern ourselves in here." That was always stressed, and tried to give them examples of, for instance, "Suppose you own a home. Some kids are walking across your home and for some reason some day just pick up a rock and wing it through your window. Is that right or is it wrong?" I said, "We have the same type of thing here. You're out on the playground some day. Some boy comes around and knocks you down and hurts you. Is that right or is it wrong?" I said, "This is what we're going to base our bylaws on. What are we going to allow in class, and what are we not going to allow in class? And if a rule is broken, what shall the punishments be?" So therefore, if a child ever got paddled, it was only as a result of first of all, going through a trial, being found guilty or not guilty. Secondly, whether the, the only way, the only thing I did in this was act the part of judge on Friday afternoons. The only time it came up to whether the teacher would paddle a child or not was if it was in the law and the Constitution. It was not whether I would do it or not. So first of all the children knew what the rules and laws were going in. They knew what the rules were, and out of 13 years, there were only two classes who couldn't handle it because of immaturity. But what was interesting to watch, of course everybody wanted to be the big cheese, the mayor, the president of council, the councilman. Now the councilman had two jobs. The councilman was not only the councilman, he was also the policeman. And each row was a ward. And we operated that way. But what was interesting was all of a sudden, now the big cheese has to write up their best friend. And it was interesting to see how they would wrestle with that for maybe two or three days before, 'cause we had, I ran off on the mimeograph a summons, and it worked the same way. Your name, you know, the child's name, etc. and so on, the date, what the person was charged with, and so on. And the court bailiff read this to the court and the judge. I said we had a prosecuting attorney and the child could have anybody in the room they wanted to be their defense attorney, and we had our trial. And what was, as I said, very interesting watching a child wrestle, "Oh, I got to write up my best friend now." And my first problem was, "How am I going to help him through this?" I didn't want to push them too much, so that, "Okay, I'm making the decision." So I'd usually ask a question of some kind to try to get them to open the door and maybe talk about it. And the approach I would usually use was the one I used when we started the student government. Well, this person, their best friend, did they do right or did they do wrong? And I said, "That's what


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