Principles

Bob Herse

Dialogue

“My mother used to yell at me that she regretted sending me to schools that taught me how to argue. I’m a lawyer – so I guess it wasn’t all a bad thing…” – Leela Fireside

“I was amazed at the dynamics of staff meetings.  We discussed things I NEVER imagined would be open to honest dialog…like the relationship between good teaching and having (and NOT having) teachers pets.  A consensus on that wasn’t so hard, but it took three meetings.” – Bill Mutch

Feminism

“Professional dynamics in the early virulent phase of women’s liberation.  Every purse had its copy of the fat red paperback ‘Sisterhood Is Powerful.'” – Bill Mutch

Inclusion

“It was a very homogeneous student body.  Students didn’t get to know people from other backgrounds and cultures or learn about racism and oppression. ” – Roberta Wallitt

“One of the fundamental but unspoken tenets of what we were trying to do was the notion that some things…music…peacemaking…trying for social justice…removing some boundaries of learning…were way too important to leave entirely to professionals.   I still try to keep that in my daily life, but don’t beat myself up when I can’t.” – Bill Mutch

Independence

“I learned how to learn on my own. I learned persistence. And, I learned how to use free, unscheduled time.” – Leela Fireside

“I learned that children have an innate ability to learn a tremendous amount about many different subjects, and that traditional schools usually give children less than they need and challenge them less than they’re capable of. ” – Anonymous

“The teachers faced challenges like me. Kids with boundless energy and the occasional lack of better judgment. The occasional time out on the principal’s bench and few well placed words of faith and encouragement worked far better than a paddle or detention (By faith, I meant belief in the students’ intelligence not religion).” – Rex Nordheimer

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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  1. I was part of the team of three, Bob Herse, Dan Lee, and myself who were all at Fall Creek School during the 2-3 years of planning before East Hill School was approved by the school board and was allowed to open. Linda Albert