Alternative to What?: The True Story of a Principal’S First Assignment at an Alternative Magnet School in the Nation’S 2Nd Largest School District

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AuthorHouse, Jan 17, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 148 pages
Alternative to What? is the shocking and humorous story of a first-time principal who uses persistence, creativity and humor to turn a dysfunctional K-12 urban experimental school, located in a gang-infested area of Los Angeles, into a successful racially integrated high-achieving learning environment for students from diverse racial, economic and cultural backgrounds.
 

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I went to area H in 1975-76.
It was a crazy time (=
anything u want to know, just let me know (=
I loved all the teachers there!
They actualy cared about us kids.
Dean Lewis
 

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This book is not a piece of fiction. I observed a principal who was trying to do her very best for students and teachers. She changed an impossible disaster to a place that resembled a school. In my career as District Superintendent I supervised the activities of at least 350 principals at the elementary, middle and high school and she was at the top of the list. Most thinking individuals regarded her a competent educator who cared about the education of children. S. Brickman 

Contents

Alternative to What?
1
I Can Just See The Parents Sitting On Her Lap
5
MyMy My Dear You Do Have A Challenge Dont You?
16
Black One Year and White the Next
21
I guess it is true that the hand is quicker than the eye
25
What Do You Mean Godzilla?
37
Why Is That Patch of Fuzz a Different Color?
50
Pomp and Circumstance on a Kazoo
59
You Just Sit There and You Suck It In
68
My You Are a Big Boy Arent You?
94
I May Not Have A College Education But I Can Tell The Difference Between Privates And Fingers
99
The Grand Adventure
126
GlossaryIndex of Terms In Case You Want to Know
134
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About the author (2012)

Dr. Jeanne E. Hon has had a rewarding (and she says hilarious) career with the nation's second largest school district, Los Angeles Unified School District. Married at seventeen (causing her parents considerable hysteria), she worked as a secretary to put her young World War II veteran-husband through college. She then entered college herself, and to her husband's surprise, attended for the next twelve years, simultaneously achieving many university degrees and a son and daughter. (He wasn't surprised about the son and daughter!) Her experiences as a psychologist, counselor, coordinator of the gifted, principal, and administrative consultant afforded her a wonderful opportunity to view educational reform, integration, innovation and chaos.

She has been a lecturer at the university level since 1974, giving her the opportunity to view education from both theoretical and practical aspects. She has had too many awards to mention, from being selected as The L.A. Times' Teacher-of-the-Year to the “Honor of Excellence” Program, cosponsored by the National Association of School Principals and the Council of Chief State Officers, recognizing the outstanding principal from each state. (She states, “With my usual luck, the President of the United States was unable to present the award, and at the last minute Vice-President Dan Quayle presented the award in his place.”)

She felt that her most interesting assignment was as a State Department lecturer. Requested by the United States State Department to lecture throughout West Africa to the Peace Corps and Secondary Teachers, she was part of an educational reform process that Senegal embarked upon. Although she has had numerous articles published in prestigious educational journals, this is her first foray into narrative: relating her particular experiences—informative, shocking, and humorous––in the fledgling magnet program at a K through 12 Alternative School in LAUSD. Dr. Hon presently owns an educational consulting firm in Los Angeles, which she started upon her retirement as Principal of “world Famous Hollywood High School,” and lives with her long-suffering husband of 62 years.

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