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Classroom reflections

April 06, 2009|By CLAUD KITCHENS

Editor's note: This is the last article provided by Claud Kitchens, an educator for more than 35 years, who retired in 1990 as the deputy state superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education. Prior to that, he was the superintendent of Washington County Public Schools. He recently passed away.

As an assistant superintendent, one of my duties was to review requests for student transfers. One day a stunningly attractive lady appeared at my office to make such a request. After a short time, I realized she was Princess Lila, a local TV performer who had an afternoon children's program.

I could find no merit in my request, but went through my customary procedure. This included putting a large map of the school district on my desk, looking at distances, available transportation, safety factors, etc.

As I examined the map, she arose, walked behind me at my desk, put her arm over my shoulder, took my hand and traced my finger from her home to the school she was requesting.

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There are certain times when you are losing. The better part of wisdom is to lose as gracefully as possible.

More than 20 years after this incident, I was consulting with a large bank in Baltimore at the Board of Education.

After brief introductions, I realized the only female on the bank's team had the same last name as Princess Lila. In addition, she had grown up in the same city where I had been assistant superintendent and superintendent.

I looked at her and said, "You went to A.C. Moore Elementary School."

She blurted out, "Now how would you know that?"

It's a small world.

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