Chairman, Board of Directors, San Diego Children's Choir
The San Diego Children's Choir is dream and reality of Polly Campbell,
Founder and Music Director. The choir is a non-profit organization for
children and young adults approximately 300 strong. The children come
from all over the County of San Diego and represent the community at
large and their own communities during outreach concerts.
During l998 the San Diego Children's
Choir represented all of us in a very successful French tour. Members of
the touring choir spent 15 days in France during the summer, experiencing
a host of cultural and performance oportunities. The Choir visited historic
sites in Paris, Versailles, Rowen, Normandy, Mont-Saint-Michel,
Chateau d'Angers, Chartres and Chateau Chenonceau.
The Choir performed in concerts at
St. Severin and the American Church in Paris, Sain Maclou in Rouen,
Eglise Aignan in Tre'vieres (a small town near Omaha Beach), the
Abbey Church of Saint Serge in Angers and Chartres Cathedral in
Chartres. By staying with choir families in Rouen and
Angers, many lasting internation friendships were formed by our choristers.
Polly Campbell is the Founder and Music Director of this highly ranked choir.
The choir sings at many local community functions and at some of the San
Diego Padres' opening game ceremonies, in addition to their exciting
1985 - 1998, Chair 97' - Member of the Board of Governors of the North
Coastal Consortium for Special Education, San Diego County
The Board of Governors of NCCSE is made
up of superintendents of school districts of north county San Diego.
The board makes financial and policy decisions regarding special
education students under the auspices of NCCSE.
The special education student for example
may have a pervasive developmental disorder--autism, rett syndrome etc.
or malady of a physical nature, blind, physically challenged etc.
The Board of Governors helps in state
and federal legislation in order to continue programs for our youngsters.
The Board of Governors hires an executive director to oversee all of the
A Special Honor
Person of the Year, Del Mar
The Greater Del Mar Chamber of
Commerce in 1992 honored me as person of the year for my
endeavors at the Del Mar Union School District and community.
I was absolutely surprised by the award. The Chamber of
Commerce hosted a grand dinner at the Del Mar Hilton. Good
friends from the school distict and the community were in attendance
along with hundreds more from the local geographical area.
My greatest thrill was being with my
family and enjoying the evening with them along with close friends.
In the early l970s I was a principal in the
Cupertino Union School District. I was building a good school, yet I
felt that something was missing in my overall education and internal
growth. As the educational leader of the school, I felt that I could not
move the school and district forward without a major paradigm shift in
my life. The paradigm shift in my opinion had to come from a combination
of cognitive growth commensurate with a significant travel experience to
meet and live with people totally outside of my past and current environment.
My school district was at that time
interviewing potential candidates to move to Zambia, Africa, and manage
and provide leadership as principal of the elementary division of the
International School of Lusaka. Lusaka being the Capitol City
of Zambia offered an experience of living in a humanistic country and
operating a school on two campuses comprised of 32 nations.
The study of a political governmental system other than our own was
experienced first hand and without judgement.
This experience was to be one year in duration,
and with trepidation masked with excitement my family agreed... "Let's apply."
It was quite a time before the announcement came down from the
superintendent. Rob Harriman would be the one to participate in the school
to school program with the International School of Lusaka, Zambia, Africa. This would
be under the auspices of the Department of State, Office of Overseas
Schools in Washington DC.
My wife, Sandy, prepared our children, ages 3
and 6, for the greatest experience of our lives. We spent a month traveling
in Europe prior to our flight from Athens, Greece to Kenya. Within the week
we flew to Zambia in South Central Africa.
At approximately 10:00 p.m. Sandy and I, carrying
two sleeping children and luggage, deplaned Zambian Airlines and stepped foot in
the country that would be our home for the next year.
This experience was profound and life changing.
Our breadth and depth of understanding was stretched beyond belief.
Mentored by Two of the Greatest
Usually a person who has chosen education as a
profession would be lucky to have a mentor or someone to whom he/she might
emulate. I had two mentors who actually taught me more about children and
developmental stages than anyone else. They were not the standard classroom
teacher, but, indeed, highly successful swimming mentors.
Addison "Ad" Janes owned a swim school that was
most probably the finest in the country. "Ad" would study many hours of child
development and apply it to teaching swimming. His motto was to teach the
child to swim without any stress on the pupil, and refine techniques that
were not replicated in any text.
"Ad" also specialized in working with children who had physical
and mental handicaps. In a setting like swimming, the physical and/or
mental malady manifests itself quite saliently. We learned to ameliorate
these rough spots while reassuring the child through trust and positive talk.
I can honestly say that I can teach any child to swim. The child can
manifest the utmost fear and trepidation or have the most severe physical
problem. I can teach these children to swim and at the same time translate
these developmental skills into Piaget's stages of learning.
Piaget's stages of learning are manifested and greatly enhanced for
observational purposes through a physical activity like learning to swim. I
have taken a child from a hospital bed who cannot walk and barely talk and
given him a means of locomotion that is thrilling to the child and his family.
The stages of learning are carefully scaffolded and the child is the winner.
George Haines is, in my opinion, the greatest competitive swimming
coach in history. George was the head coach of the Santa Clara Swim Club and
subsequently a coach at UCLA. George was also the United States Olympic Swimming
Coach for Women, circa l960.
I worked several years as George's assistant and learned a great
deal about "winning." I was going to college and studying to become a teacher and
then a school administrator.
George was one of the best natural non-credentialed
psychologists that I have ever met. His work with young children and young adults
in a very stressful competitive sport was magnificent. He coached and trained so
many Olympic swimming champions that it is impossible to list them all here.
However, the Santa Clara Swim Club out-distanced most all foreign nations in the
"gold metal" count in Olympic competition.
Some of the gold metal winners were: Mark Spitz, Dick Roth,
Steve Clark, Donna DeVarona, Sharon Finneran, and Claudia Kolb, just to name a few.
I was lucky enough to be mentored by this great coach, George Haines, and learned
so very much. We worked side by side and he never failed to include me in the
tough learning game of "hard nose" competition. We loved every one of those
children and they knew it.