Re: Lawton School

01/25/05 - posted by J Pulizzano

Hi there...I, too, went to Lawton. My years spanned 1964 (afternoon Kindergarten with the other K teacher,Mrs. Buttle) to 1971 (6th grade with Mr. Vogiatzis). I had Mrs. Rush for 4th grade and adored her. McCullough was still principal by the time I graduated.

My memories are very fond as well. Generally, we were all very happy and the teachers were quite excellent. I can still remember our tough but loving 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Quinn and the See's candy she gave us for winning her spelling bees.

But my time there includes the beginning of phenomenal and ultimately sad changes in public schools across the nation. Beginning in 5th grade (1969) we had very rough and undisciplined kids bussed in from what was then Dudley Stone. The principal McCullough was powerless to do anything about the way they sought out and beat up kids, ran amok, talked disrectfully to teachers, and generally made learning very difficult. This was quite startling to a group of kids and their parents(from all ethic groups you could imagine)who respected school administrators and each other. I'm afraid McCullough was quite embattled as she retired as most of the parents in Lawton had severe issues with her inability to do anything as the school's overall learning and social environments rapidly deteriorated. I'm sure her hands were tied as principals' hands are tied to this day.

As I look back, I see that I was in the very thick of the movement that shifted the schools' primary agenda to that of social change agent. Lawton was in the thick of it as were all of the "good" elementary schools.

I still live near Lawton and tried to get my own daughter into the school. Sadly, I never even heard back from the SFUSD and never got a school assignment. Lawton is now one of the best elementary schools in the City and that makes me very happy.

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