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Ex-Marysville mayor says teaching job was his best role
He was mayor and is now a Marysville Joint Unified School District trustee, but Frank Crawford told a civics class Friday that his almost 40 years as a teacher tops his career.
"I'm sure that's what I'm most proud of," Crawford said.
The retired teacher talked to Marysville High students about how he doesn't want to find them in the closed sessions school district trustees hold to discuss suspensions and expulsions.
"It's always very uncomfortable," Crawford said. "I hope never to see any of you there."
He also said of his school district trustee role that teachers and the district always debate how much money is available in the budget. The hard financial times that have hit California schools could worsen, Crawford noted.
"If things get any worse, it's going to get rough," he said. "And I don't want to see that happen."
Demands of his Marysville Joint Unified role reflect the financial crunch, Crawford added.
"It's a job now that I would not recommend," he said. "It's not very much fun."
And not work that wins much attention, Crawford said of limited public interest in the school board.
"We get very few people who attend," he said.
The trustee said the more parents and teachers at Marysville Joint Unified meetings the better.
He recalled working in 1992 as a teacher at Lindhurst High School when Eric Houston, a 19-year-old former student, killed four people, injured 10 others and took 80 students hostage.
"It is still hard to even talk about it," Crawford said.
The retired teacher questioned the emphasis the state and federal government puts on standardized tests and the scores of students and schools.
"There's more to the world than teaching to the test," he said.
More vocational instruction is also important, said Crawford, who noted his son-in-law makes more money as a welder than Crawford did in his last year teaching.
Crawford, as Marysville mayor from 1993-94, applied for grant funds the city secured for bicycle trails. He told students he was hoping the network of trails would have expanded.
Bailey Jenks, 17, a senior in the civics class taught by Steve White, said she appreciated Crawford's perspective.
"It's always good to hear from the school board," Jenks said, "about what's going on across the street at the school district office."
Student Madison Marozine, 17, who introduced Crawford to White's class, said the retired teacher is connected to the community.
"I know he's done a lot for Marysville," Marozine said.
White, also a former Marysville councilman, is pre ident of the Marysville Unified Teachers Association who has long known Crawford.
"We still retain our friendship," Crawford said.
White agreed that that their respective roles don't impinge.
"It's business," White said.
CONTACT Ryan McCarthy at email@example.com or 749-4780. Find him on Facebook at /ADrmccarthy or on Twitter at @ADrmccarthy.