Wednesday, August 12, 2009

1976: Guy Emanuele appointed superintendent

The New Haven Unified School district was only 11 years old when in 1966 Guy Emanuele joined the New Haven Unified school district. He served as a counselor and as an administrator. In 1976 Guy Emanuele was appointed superintendent. Using the arts, athletic programs, and extracurricular activities, he focused on keeping students engaged, so they would complete their academic training. During his 22 years in New Haven he created an alternative high school and helped to pass three bonds including one for technology. Mr. Emanuele had a top down leadership style. He retired in 1998. During that year he was named California State Superintendent of the Year. (Tribute to Guy Emanuele. Honorable Fortney Pete Stark. Congressional Record of the California House of Representatives. April 21, 2009.)

A personal memory of Mr. Emanuele: by Sharon Chambers, media specialist/librarian from 1991-2009.
In 1991 as a new teacher, I along with about 30 other new teachers was introduced to Guy Emanuele and New Haven Unified School district. After a morning new teacher meeting, we all boarded a district school bus with with Mr. Emanuele the long time superintendent. He rode around on the school bus with us as new teachers and explained the characteristics of each school and the students it served. It was obvious he loved these schools. I could not believe the superintendent was riding the bus with us. I had been in education a long time, but had never seen anything like this.

On the first day of required attendance at your school all the staff was asked to go to James Logan High School in the gym for a meeting of all the teachers in the district. Most of our staff were taken on a school bus, but some drove. We sat in the stands as Mr. Emanuele gave us his philosophy of education asking us to take the torch and carry out his mission. Teachers were given their service awards for 25 years or more in the district. The Logan high school band played, the cheerleaders cheered, and the flag twirlers drill team performed. For the 1000 or so teachers in attendance, it was very impressive and inspirational especially for the new teachers. This was a heads up that the New Haven experience was NOT going to be education as we had known it. For many years this was a beginning ritual for starting each school year. Later other superintendents tried to do the same thing but could not pull it off effectively. Guy Emanuele was very personable and charismatic .

No Graffiti Policy: Mr. Emanuele had a policy of not allowing any tags or graffiti to remain on the schools. Schools were checked every morning as the custodians came to work. If graffiti was found, it was immediately removed or painted over BEFORE THE STUDENTS CAME TO SCHOOL.

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