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Title: Oral History Interview with Robert Logan, December 28, 1990. Interview M-0027. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Logan, Robert, interviewee
Interview conducted by Wells, Goldie F.
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 136 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-07-10, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Robert Logan, December 28, 1990. Interview M-0027. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series M. Black High School Principals. Southern Oral History Program Collection (M-0027)
Author: Goldie F. Wells
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Robert Logan, December 28, 1990. Interview M-0027. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series M. Black High School Principals. Southern Oral History Program Collection (M-0027)
Author: Robert Logan
Description: 183 Mb
Description: 27 p.
Note: Interview conducted on December 28, 1990, by Goldie F. Wells; recorded in Burlington, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series M. Black High School Principals, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with Robert Logan, December 28, 1990.
Interview M-0027. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Logan, Robert, interviewee


Interview Participants

    ROBERT LOGAN, interviewee
    GOLDIE F. WELLS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
We're in the office of Mr. Robert Logan at Hugh M. Cummings High in Burlington High School in Burlington, North Carolina. This is December 28, 1990. I would like for you to say who you are and say that you know that this is being recorded.
ROBERT LOGAN:
I am Robert Logan, Principal of Hugh M. Cummings High School in Burlington and I am aware that my comments are being audio taped.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
I am doing some research and I am going to compare the perceptions of the principals role. I am interviewing principals in 1964, and Black high school principals in 1989. Back in '64 there were over 200 Black high school principals because we had all those high schools and then the desegregation of schools came about. When I sent to Raleigh last year to get a listing of all the Black high school principals that were working, there were only 41 on my list and then I found out that some of them were alternative schools and you were on the list. You were in Wilson County at that time but you were on the list and that is why you are going to be included in the study. And I'de like for you to tell me how you became a high school principal.
ROBERT LOGAN:
I attended undergraduate school at Western Carolina where I majored in pre-engineering. After leaving Western Carolina I also I also got a degree in mental health. I worked for a while in Baltimore in a State Hospital that handled everything from outpatient type services to long-term services. Also it is a mentally, emotionally, physically handicapped adults, adolescents, and children. After a short period there, I came back home to the Western part of the state and I decided I would teach. I got a teaching certificate, took a position at a middle school in Rutherfordton as a teacher of Exceptional Children and an as a basketball coach. I stayed there for one year, wanted to do more, had a desire to impact more children, felt I could do so in administration. I was accepted at East Carolina, obtained my Master's degree from East Carolina. I left there in 1978, and took a position in Nash County as an assistant principal of a high school. I stayed there for two years, went, within the same system--Nash County Schools, was then appointed as assistant principal at what has to be one of the largest junior high schools in the state. When I was there the school, Nash Central Junior High, had 1250 students in two grades, eighth and ninth grade. I stayed there for two years and left there and went to the same system, they appointed me a principal at an elementary. I stayed there for one year then they transferred me back to the junior high

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when the principal there died. It was a promotion but it was a transfer from the standpoint that I was already in the system. I went back to the school as principal and stayed there for five years as the principal and left that school to go to the Department of Public Instruction where I served for one year. After leaving the Department of Public Instruction I actually missed the principalship and I left the Department of Public Instruction--I was an educational consultant, entry level--I left there and went back to Wilson where I took a position--I actually applied for a position as assistant superintendent in Wilson. After serving at Nash Central I didn't see that there was too much more that I could learn about the principalship. That was a very demanding and a very challenging job. I applied for the Assistant Superintendcy in Wilson. They did not have one available and offered me a high school principalship--Bedingfield. I accepted Bedingfield, served there for two years and I had a desire to get back closer to home. It is six hours from Wilson to Marion and I wanted to get a little closer to my home which is in the foothills of the mountains so this school became open when Mr. Freeman, who was principal here, was promoted to Assistant Superintend in this school system and I was then hired as his predecessor here. I have been in education for 14 years. I don't speak of it openly and a lot but I have only taught one year. I have been in administration for 13 years--assistant principal for 4 years and the rest of the time as principal and at all three levels; elementary, junior high and high school and this is the second high school of which I have been a principal.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Do you feel that just your one year has been a disadvantage?
ROBERT LOGAN:
In education maybe more so than some other professions. I feel that you need to experience the different levels even if you don't stay but a year or two in the levels you do definitely need to have experience in all the different levels. I have worked for some superintendents and other central office staff that have very little teaching experience and some that have no school level administrative experience. In their perception of what goes on and what is needed in the school, I have found that it is different than those who have actually experienced it and those who have not. Now there are some people who practice the theory that you don't have to experience it to understand it. I disagree with that. I practice the theory--don't judge that Indian until you walk a mile in his moccasins--and the best way to understand through actually having that hands on experience. There are some states where you can't do what I did. You can't move right into administration after one year. You have to spend four or five years teaching before you are even eligible to apply for either an administrative program at one of the State Universities or administrative position within that school system or the state. North Carolina is not that

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way. I am familiar with some principals in this state who have never taught. That have come directly from business industry right into the school of administration so they have more of a business mentality about running their schools than they do a child oriented mentality but they have been successful so who is to say that one theory is better than another.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
I want you to tell me something about the school, Bedingfield, where you were in 1989, some of your responsibilities and how you dealt with them. I'll just give you different subjects to address. Can you tell something about the school population and the number of teachers you had.
ROBERT LOGAN:
Bedingfield was a 4-A high school. My first year we started out with about 1150 students, a certified faculty of 88 and a total work force at the school of about 120. That includes cafeteria staff, custodial staff, secretarial staff, instructional aides, as well as the teachers. The school was, and still is, grades 9-12. It is somewhat a rural high school. The county has merged with the city system and in the merged system there are three high schools. One high school is still pulls predominantly from the city population. The other two high schools built in the county have a rural based population but do pull some students satellites zones out of the city population so the school is probably 80% rural kids and 20% city kids making up the school. The racial composition of the school as I recall was 54% Black, 44-45% White and 1-2% other. And the others were not Asians or Hispanics as you may expect, they were East Indians--we had quite a few East Indians at school. Enough to make up a couple of percentages of our total school population enrollment. I found the school to be in relatively good shape but financially as well as organizationally when I took it over. It just needed a shot in the arm. The principal had been there for some twelve years. In fact, he had opened the school and had been the only principal of the school just as Mr. Freeman opened Cummings in 1970, and was principal here for 20 years so I'm only the second principal this high school has had. I was only the second principal that the one that I had just left had had but the other gentleman had become a little tired of the day to day routines whereas the organization of the school was still good the teacher moral was low and the students were a little apathetic about the purpose of school. So we did a lot of moral type things and a lot of incentive and motivational type activities with the students. I feel that we were on the right track based on what I saw take place, the transformation that took place within the school in only two years. In fact, some things that both athletically as well as academically--during my two year as principal--for the first time in the history of the school the school won the

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county-wide Quiz Bowl competition and came in second in the region. They had never had a very strong scholastic team and I pushed academics--that was something that we were doing--some programs and pushing it and then within the athletic program the school in the past had had some good basketball teams but the farthest they went they tied their best record last year by going to the regional finals and the football team for the first time in the history of the school made it to the State playoffs. So those things, unfortunately now, you have to give students--all students are no longer simply motivated by grades and none are motivated by the shear will to learn anymore or simply because it is what is right or it's what the parents or the teachers want them to do. It's almost as if the students have to have find a greater cause in what they are doing. They definitely have to see the value and the worth of it to buy into it and to do a good job with it and after showing them how, we use one of the oldest approaches in the world, the satisfaction and gratification one receives out of success and once they started to experience some success, be it academically or athletically, we had a snowball effect there. The kids just started picking up momentum and more and more started to swing around. We watched our disciplinary problems drop, we grades increase, we saw our attendance increase; the one thing when I left the school that we were still battling was our tardies. The kids weren't very prompt about getting to and from class. But that going to be an ongoing battle in any high school. Now something that was unusual to me--a great transition--maybe just a difference in location that I am finding, the students there at that particular high school were a lot more laid back, mannerly and low-keyed than the students that I have found here. The students here are far more aggressive, they don't need motivation. They are hipped up enough. They need more control, guidance and supervision. We are getting productivity out of the students here. They just require a lot of behavior modification type things. Their behavior has been not what we have wished for or desired the first part of the school year but hopefully too, we'll turn that corner in a few months.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
How many assistants did you have at Bedingfield?
ROBERT LOGAN:
At Bedingfield there were three assistants, the makeup of those assistants changed during my tenure there too. This is something that you have to realize as being fortunate. During my two years there I had the opportunity to employ the entire administrative team. The first year I arrived the female principal got a promotion to an elementary school and she left me, a good lady. The next year one of the male principals was promoted to another school and he left me and so time since I came on board I had a vacancy. So within the two years I employed all three of current assistant principals at that school and I don't want to sound egotistical or anything but that is something else that I am

Page 5
very proud of. My ability to select not only teachers but administrators. Those three people, the lady and the two men that I brought on board during the time that I was there, are all excellent candidates for the principalship. I looked for that when I hired an assistant principal. I don't want to hire someone who wishes to be a career assistant principal. I want to hire someone who is going to come in there and get their hands dirty with me, work like the devil for two or three years and then I hope to help them find a principalship so they can move on. And we just keep that cycle running. That way you know that you are getting 110% out of your people. In fact, of the people who have served with me as assistant principals, four of them are now principals and that is in the nine years that I have served as principal. So I am real proud of that.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
How do you deal with supervision of personnel and your teacher selection?
ROBERT LOGAN:
I spend a lot of time in the interview process and running down references for teachers. I see that as my responsibility and I see it as one of the most important things a principal can do to surround him or herself with good people. I spend a lengthy amount of time in the interview, I get to know the applicant as best as I can prior to the actual interview process either through talking with that person's current supervisor or principal whichever as well as just making sure I thoroughly have covered all the paperwork, the resume, the application and all that. Then I spend a lot of time with the person and I will intentionally get off on tangents and just talk about everything from history to our society to the state of affairs. I just sort of want to get a feel for where the person is coming from--not only with their educational background and not only with their methodology, but I want a better idea about their life long goals and ambitions; where they have been; what they have done and their philosophy of life. Everyone can not teach children. I hate it that our society has regressed to the point where a certain segment of it no longer views education as important as it is but therefore, we are not appropriately rewarded monetarialy or professionally through the respect for what we do, for the battles that we fight, yet and still everyone does not have the personality, does not have the characteristics or the attributes to be successful teachers and you have to first determine that that person cares, that they are child oriented, that they have a desire to help, that they want to help, that they understand the whole ramifications of what education is all about. I have encountered in some situations a lot of people who are drawing paychecks unfortunately. And then I have encountered that teacher that no amount of money could pay that individual enough.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Could you tell me something about curriculum and

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instruction?
ROBERT LOGAN:
That is the second thing, after personnel I definitely feel that it is any principals responsibility to know, to understand, to be involved in the instruction of the school, now of course a lot of what we do is state mandated. The Standard Course of Study has already been presented to us to implement in our schools yet and still, I see that we have two other challenges in addition to the Standard Course of Study and in addition to the eighteen state requirements that all high schools are going to be judged on in our state or evaluated on. Those two being that we do not accept the state curriculum as the norm but we provide the extras, that we provide the enrichment, that we provide whatever necessary to take that as a base and extent it to the lengths that we need to provide whatever our children are prepared to grasp and learn. To take that and let that be the standard to push from that point outward. Secondly, we have that large group of students that even meet that standard ant that are on the low end and we need to be prepared to not to cram this down their throats if they are not at a readiness stage but to back up, take the child where he or she may be and prepare them as best possible to meet, achieve and pass the state requirements for graduation now. So in addition to just implementing the state curriculum and the State Course of Study and meeting these 18 standards that we look at for all the high schools now, attendance, dropouts, end-of-course tests, SAT results, etc., as well as meeting all those 18 standards we need to be able to push on at the top end and pull up from the low end. So it is a challenge. It is a great task that we all have to do. The way to learn your curriculum is to get in there and get involved with it. To held up your leadership team, which I do. I have a leadership team which is comprised basically of my department chairs, my guidance department, my assistant principals. There are approximately 14 on it and we meet every Wednesday. We have faculty meetings on Mondays and the faculty meetings will either run--we meet the first Monday of every month and if necessary I will meet with them the third Monday of every month if we can't get it all done on that Monday. I try not to have called faculty meetings. The faculty knows in advance that the meetings are going to be on these dates so that they can make arrangements. The leadership knows that they are going to meet every Wednesday afternoon and we meet from 3:30 until we get finished. That is an expectation and at that time we discuss how the students are doing. I always have some either program or some status to share with them, I keep them apprised of attendance status, our dropout status, our grade analysis, or I can do grade profiles, not only on the students, I do them on the teachers. Now that is something that may draw some criticism or comments from some. Did you take a look at how many students passed and failed under each teacher? Sure do, I have a profile on each teacher and how they do each grading period and this is a

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career ladder pilot. And Burlington being a career ladder pilot we knew as much objective data as possible to determine the career levels of the students so we take a look at everything from pass failed ratios to the actual observation.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Well, did you have the profile of the teachers when you were at Bedingfield too?
ROBERT LOGAN:
It was available but I didn't have an opportunity to use it as much as I would like because of the fact that moral was down. I wasn't geared into that. I had my objectives at that school geared at getting teacher and student productivity up on both ends and that was an indicator that told that everything was at a low point because there were a lot of students with failing grades and the teachers were asking for assistance or programs on how to get these up. For example, that is something that the leadership team has lead to here. We meet, we discuss curriculum, instruction, we discuss behavior, we discuss attendance, we discuss attitude and we take a look at what we need to do. And some things that have grown out of this at the start of this year we implemented an SAT enrichment course. The first semester it goes to all seniors and then the last portion of the course is they take the SAT during the last class period of the course. The second semester we give it to all juniors and they can take it hopefully they'll be taking it for their second time, for some it is their first time. Hopefully the juniors will take it, Fall of their junior year, Spring of their junior year, Fall their senior year. Take the blame test as many times as possible you average shows that the more you take it the more you increase your scores 10 or 20 points. It is a statistical game you're playing with the Standardized Test. But anyway we have implemented this course this year, the seniors took the course in the Fall and they took the test, the juniors will take it in the Spring and take the test, and we are going to compare with the seniors improvement in scores or dropoff in scores based on their junior scores in comparison to their senior scores to see if the course has really done has done any good. We hired an outside consultant to teach the course so it wasn't actually taught by anyone in school. The other thing that it brought out in the leadership team that deal with instruction, we saw that we needed a student impact team. We put one together that is comprised of psychologists, school pregnancy prevention nurse, school pregnancy social worker, drop-out prevention counselors, substance abuse counselor, the two counselors, an assistant principal and myself, a teacher at large from the faculty and the system-wide drop-out coordinator. The purpose of this impact team plan and simple will be to accept referrals from parents, teachers, guidance, administration, and the students themselves and the purpose of the group is to remove whatever barriers or obstacles that are present that may be preventing the child from experiencing success in school. In any case

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it is a broad-based approach to individualizing education for at-risk children. Some of it is theoretical and experimental some of it we are borrowing from programs that we see are being successful and effective in other places and we have started a student recognition program. The student recognition program is multi-faceted, it is too broad-based to discuss in a short period of time, the intent event though is to reward students for improvement--it is improvement oriented not top end--all the rewards won't go to the brightest and the best. It is aimed at identifying improvement at everly level and rewarding those children and as I indicated it is really broad-based. It is scheduled to go into effect the second week in January. That is what I have been doing over the holidays here at school trying to get certain components of it in place. Business and industry has bought in--we have about 12 businesses that have made everything from cash donations to product donations to the school to help with the rewards. The teachers developed the format and the criteria. The students came up with the rewards they desired so everybody has had input and involvement and we are going to kick this thing off the first of the year and see how it goes. In the four areas that it is aimed at improving are attendance, academics, attitude and behavior--the big four. So hopefully we will see some improvement.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
The big area I was going to ask you about is discipline and you made reference to the fact that down in Wilson County the students were more laid back than they are up here so can you tell me about the discipline at Bedingfield and how you dealt with it.
ROBERT LOGAN:
At Bedingfield I was somewhat removed from the discipline. It was handled basically all by the assistant principals. My only involvement in the discipline came when an act of such severity required my involvement such as long term suspended child, possession of a weapon, possession of drugs or alcohol, something of that sort. And since we didn't have a lot of that, I didn't have a lot of immediate involvement in the disciplinary programming. In fact, we established a high school, this is something the three high school principals put in place my first year there, we went to the Superintendent and said, (and he was all for it) we would like to have county-wide high school disciplinary rules, conduct and consequences for misbehavior. He said, great, put it together. The three of us spent about two months the very first year that I was there and we came up with this student code of conduct, disciplinary consequences for acts of misbehavior. We implemented it and when I left it was one of the smoother things that was working in the school system. What it did, it specified what course of action would be taken for just about act of misconduct that a student could commit. Yet, it didn't lock you into it. It was a suggested course of action. How consistently you

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followed it was dependent upon of course those implementing it and the disciplinary philosophy of the individual at the school and it just so happens that we were all very consistent. We followed it to the letter because if you are not going to follow the rules, don't make them. So after we took the time to put this together, we did implement it very consistently. Yet, we always a little room for the exceptions that needed to be handled a little differently. Don't paint yourself into a corner. But that was working there. Now what I found here is the exact opposite. There's only two high schools here, one 4-A, one 3_A. Not only do we not have specified rules and regulations and we do not have spelled out acts of misbehavior and the consequences for such, it is discouraged and more or less what has been vocally expressed to me is that each incident should be handled individually and personally. Okay, except from the standpoint that is hard to define to a teenager. Something that makes discipline effective, and research has proven this too, the actual act of capital punishment is not what the taking of another human beings life is not what makes capital punishment effective, it is the fact that society is aware that it will be done. That is where the deterrent comes in. That it exists and it will happen. That is the deterrent--not the actual act of doing it. If that being the case then it should be made public as it used to be. Therefore, discipline to be effective has to be firm, it has to be fair, it has be spelled out for the children so that they can understand and it has to be implemented consistently. They have to know that all of them are going to be treated alike and all of them are going to, "if I do this, this is what is going to happen." Now if I make the decision to do this, then I need to expect this consequence on the other hand. And when you handle each and every case individually and you start to weigh all of these factors in, you lose your objectivity. I am in a difference of agreement right now--in fact that is something that is going into our student recognition program that I am establishing consistent school-wide rules. These are not classroom rules. My philosophy on that is the teacher is in charge of that classroom. The teacher establishes the rules for that class and it is my responsibility to support that teacher when the child cannot follow those rules. If the rules are unfair, then professionally and one-on-one I need to discuss that with the teacher without a parent or a child but if the rules are consistent with good discipline, if the rules are consistent with expectations of the school, then it is my responsibility to support that teacher when the child chooses not to follow those rules. Another philosophy that I have about this is that in administering discipline to a child you need to be empathetic, need to listen to the child and hear him out and try to find the cause of the problem, secondly you need to have clearly defined rules and regulations and what will be the consequences for the misbehavior, and thirdly, what I call you need to let bygones be bygones. The

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children when they have problems with one another, the teaches and children when they have personality conflicts or run-in, the administration and the child, it happened, this is your punishment, learn a lesson from it and I don't want to hear anymore about it. That needs to be the end of it. The teacher shouldn't drag it back out of the closet, the kid shouldn't drag it back out of the closet and the principal shouldn't use it as weapon to beat the poor kid over the head with it all year long, that he/she did such and such and I've labeled you and I'm going to keep you down. That happens and you've got to let bygones be bygones, learn your lesson from it, accept the punishment, move on, get over, don't do it again but let's move on to something else. Discipline is not punishment. Punishment should not hurt, it should correct misbehavior or change undesirable behavior. That is the purpose of discipline. And if the children know your philosophy, still even in 1990, or almost 1991, with what our teenagers have gone through, children will respond to what you expect of them and what you inspect that they're doing. They will respond to it.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
How are you purposing to come up with the rules of school hours?
ROBERT LOGAN:
I received input from the teachers, I just had the different departments through the leadership team to provide me input of things that they would like to see school-wide, let the SGA give me written as well as--I've met with them several times and talked with them and I had to write a information as feedback and I through a couple of my own in there that I wanted to see in the school and I think I have comprised six or seven that applied to the whole school.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Is that the one that says, no hats.
ROBERT LOGAN:
Right, that's one. N.C. said, well what's the big deal about hats? Kids love to wear hats. The fact that a child has a hat on his head does not bother me. I could care less. The earrings don't bother me. Personally I have a problem with the little girls putting an earring in their nose but I think that could be a hygiene problem but I don't have a problem with the little boys--if they want to put an earring in their ear lobe that is their form of self expression. When I was in high school and college, I had a big afro, I wore wholly, baggy pants, that was my form. I've conformed and they will too. They are going through their period and their time and that is understandable but do not let it be a distraction to the learning environment. And the hats are. The kids snatch them off each other's heads and they take them and hit each other with them, they do little things with the hats that they shouldn't do and the hats create a problem. So I told the kids, no hats. Another thing that I follow with discipline too. I normally don't make the rules of a school. I let the kids do it. The

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children will look at you--what are you talking about. My point is you make the rules, we only enforce what we are forced to enforce because through your lack of maturity or inappropriate behavior you are not doing a good job with it. For example, I have been in schools that have a dress code. At Cummings we don't have a dress code and I haven't seen a need to--except the hats. And I haven't seen a need to enforce one because they so far have done a pretty good job. They haven't worn the disgustingly short skirts, they haven't worn the provocative tanks tops and tube tops and all. The kids have handled it okay so far so we don't have a rule or policy yet if it gets out of skelter, and they will have to deal with it.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Transportation, being in a rural county how did you deal with transportation.
ROBERT LOGAN:
I have had the dubious distinction of coordinating transportation for the entire southern end of Nash County when I was an assistant principal there. I handled the hiring of the drivers, the pay of the drivers, the routing of the buses for half the school system. It is a job and it is becoming an even more difficult job now that we have a fuel shortage problem and in a rural area where you have a lot of children riding buses and you have a lot of buses. I had eighty-five buses that I was responsible for. Another problem to throw in now that I didn't have then, all drivers have to be 18 years old or older than that. At that time we could use high school kids. At Cummings we have only 12 drivers and only one is a student. The other eleven are adults. At Bedingfield, we had twenty-seven buses at one high school and approximately I would say 75-80% were adults. It is a problem even though I did not directly handle the buses as a principal and I don't think principals should unless he doesn't have any assistants. If he is by himself, he/she is going to have to handle transportation if they are in an elementary or a middle grade setting where they don't have any help. There are some high schools with no assistant principal, then it is going to be left up to the principal to handle the whole ball of wax. But in the event he has an assistant, that is one of those things that is more than an administrative task, it is a necessary evil, the buses have to run. We have to get them to school. But that's something that you let your assistant principals handle if at all possible from the standpoint of, again, you should be their instructional leader, in doing that you need to be dealing with your instructional program and your personnel and those believe me are challenging and demanding of themselves. I even recommend to elementary principals if you have a lead teacher or someone on staff that you feel confident in, someone maybe interested in administration, assign them buses, let them deal with the buses. We have to have them yet that is one of the things--don't get hung up on. Don't spend all of your time dealing with that. They serve the purpose

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to get the children to and from the school. What is more important is what happens while you have them at school.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
What about utilization of funds?
ROBERT LOGAN:
That is important. I have a simple philosophy on spending money in school. Your curriculum drives your budget. It is that plain and simple. You should base your school budget around the needs for your instructional program for your curriculum of your school. You determine what it will take to support what you have and then the additional funds that you will need to do the things that you want to do over a period of time and that is what you should build your budget from. You shouldn't sit down and build a budget and then look at your curriculum and then look at your needs and say well, I'd like to have this and this sounds good. Determine what your school needs from the instructional standpoint. [unknown] of test data, taking a look at attendance profiles, drop-out statistics, any sort of standardized tests that you have, SAT's, end of year tests data, any sort of achievement test that you may give in your school system and after you have analyzed this data, grade profiles, do your statistical analysis of your grades and once you have all of this broken out, your percentage of pass, failures, your percentage of students failing one, two, three, four subjects, your percentage of students meeting the entry level of requirements for the university system in the state. Once you have done all of this, then you see where all of your short comings are and what you need to go to work on and that should be what in turn develops or drives the budget and be it local money, state money, federal money, the one thing I probably fall short in is budgeting is I have not tapped the pool of grant money that is out there and there is substantial grant money available money in our state and in our country for schools. I have written proposals and I have submitted proposals and I have only received funding for some very small ones. I have not taken that big step and really asked for one of those three, four, five thousand dollar grants. I tell you why. It is not a matter of feeling intimidated about writing the proposal, I feel as good about my communication skills as anyone. What bothers me about it is whence cometh the money cometh the control and when you start applying and receiving all these grants be prepared for the monitoring that is going to follow because regardless of what foundation or what organization may fund your grant, they are going to monitor to make sure that the money is being… as it should be. That shows responsibility and they should do that but yet in still it can add a whole new level of beuracauci to your budgeting process in your school. Now what I do think should happen and what is happening in our school system, is what I'de like to see happen in most school systems. I think central office, the supervisors and directors, need to try to tap those grant sources and they can keep up. Just get the services--they can be a resource.

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Get the money and the services to the schools through the grants and then peddle it from a central location rather than from a school source. But they are pushing more and more principals to become more proficient in grant writing and proposal preparation and it is the sign of the times and it is one of those things that the school administrator of the nineties is going to have to be able to do.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Cafeteria management. Now here you have central. Did you have that in Nash County?
ROBERT LOGAN:
Nash and Wilson. I have been fortunate that all of my schools I have had my own staff and my own cafeteria. So I have not had to depend on any outside services for food preparation. I've been in situations where we have fed from 1200 children in a two hour period of time. This is the smallest school I've been in. We feed about 700 children in two lunches. Lunch is no problem here. The lunch was a problem at the other high school.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Did you have to select the cafeteria manager and the workers or was that done from the central office.
ROBERT LOGAN:
You know that varies from system to system. In Nash County I was directly involved in the hiring of the cafeteria manager and the firing of the cafeteria managers which happened while I was there and the whole cafeteria staff. In Wilson, I had very little to do with it. It was all handled from the central office. Here it works like a charm and I've had very little to do with it. We have a very capable school food service director, Ann Westbrook, and Ann basically handles everything. The manager handles the staff here. She will evaluate them and I will look over the evaluation and sign them all and give them back to her. I have not received one complaint from the children about the cafeteria. The age old complaint--the food is not good, but every high school they all say that and we can only feed them what we--it all government subsidized food so we can't buy them all everything they want. As you recall when we attended high we had one choice. You ate what was prepared that day or you didn't eat. Now in the last two high schools I've been in the children have two hot entree lines, they have a snack food line and they have a salad bar. The children do! They have their choice of sweet milk, chocolate milk, low fat milk, all sorts of punches and juices and they still complain about it. So I basically ignore the children's comments about the cafeteria. It is well kept, it is clean, it's neat. The kids do a good job of keeping it clean during lunch and the food is fine. It is as good as any other cafeteria food. It is not a steak house.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Do the teachers supervise lunch periods?
ROBERT LOGAN:
They haven't been but they will starting January

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2. In fact that has been an incentive at this school. I understand that for the past twenty years the administration of this school did not give the teachers duties. Maybe that is why the behavior of the children has been so obnoxious. The teachers have not had duties here. The administration, the two assistant principals and the principal have had bus duty, morning duty, lunch duty, and after school duty.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Why the change?
ROBERT LOGAN:
Because the children have been so disruptive this year that it has been more than the three of us could handle. So I have developed a duty roster that is part of the changes that will go into place when the faculty returns. Of the leadership team only one person had anything derogatory to say about it because the teachers have seen the need for it too because of the behavior of the children. And something else too that I do that makes it very difficult for a teacher to sit and argue with me about something. If you are in the right, I'll support you right to the core--if you are right. Now if you have done something wrong with a child, I'm still going to take care of it in here and then after the parent and child are gone we are going to discuss it but I am one of those--I'm as much a teacher as I am a child advocate. I will look out for my teachers. So it is difficult for them to say that I am being unfair or arbitrary when I come up with things like this. They know it's necessary.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
So everybody has some responsibility.
ROBERT LOGAN:
Everybody will have twenty minutes of some type of duty once a week. Now you can't be any fairer than that. One day--twenty minutes--one time a week. Morning duty, lunch duty, afternoon duty.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
What about [unknown]. Oh, he has his twenty minutes everyday.
ROBERT LOGAN:
Okay there are several that do. He is paid to do this.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Oh I see, he has it every day. And then the main level [unknown]. Does he get paid? These two people right here.
ROBERT LOGAN:
Because of their job, he is a drop-out prevention counselor. He is a driver's ed teacher. They have no homerooms, they have no other responsibilities. And there is one other here. Carolyn Thompson had cafeteria duty every day. That is their assigned period. That is what is assigned to them that period. In other words they only teach four periods so that is her fifth period. He doesn't teach but three. He has two free periods in addition to that. But they aren't going to complain about it. Again, that one English

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teacher had something derogatory to say about it but she has something derogatory to say about everything. There is one of those in every group.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
I noticed the grounds are quite well manicured. Very nice. The building itself is immaculate.
ROBERT LOGAN:
I can take full credit for that.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
The buildings and grounds. Is this done here or central office.
ROBERT LOGAN:
Combination and I cannot accept any credit for the appearance of the school. I'm new. Mr. Freeman was a stickler for physical for the esthetics of the school. He personally managed the custodians, he kept the pressure on the central office to take care of the school. This school is twenty years old and it looks better than some brand new schools. The landscaping, the maintenance that is done. I've had to sit down and talk with the custodial staff only once. They dropped the ball only once in the last four months. They left a mess in an area that should have been cleaned up. Now that could go back to how I have it set up too. I have a gentleman that is paid as a head custodian. It is his responsibility not only to do some cleaning but to see to it that the other eight do their job too. I have a sufficient number, I have a night staff of four and a day staff of four. So there is a sufficient number of people to keep the building looking good and it expect it to look good. We have them on schedules. This schedule is for buffing the floors, this schedules is for the bathrooms which are cleaned twice a day, the trash is emptied daily, the glass is cleaned daily and there is a lot of glass in the building, and everyone knows their job assignment. They can either pitch in and do it as a team or they can divide it up and each go on off and do his or her own part. They know. Now that is an important part too because, and I see this as something as all administrators need to be aware of. I too am a stickler for this and my other schools and it is a problem I haven't had to fight here. It is a problem that I have had to fight in some other places. It goes back to the philosophy of your principal, and the expectations of your public if the public doesn't care what there school looks like they apply no pressure down town. Thus the principal feels no pressure. I've been on school campuses in the summer. You wonder if the school is operational the grass was so tall and things looked so shabby. This place looks like a bank.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Yes, it is a show place. When I drove in the circular drive, the scrubbery, the pretty green grass.
ROBERT LOGAN:
Those fellows get out there and rake those leaves. You don't let them lay on the ground and rot. Rake the leaves up, we keep the scrubbery trimmed annually, we cut

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them at the seasons when they are scheduled to be cut. Again, a portion of that is done downtown, a portion of it is done here. The schedule is pretty simple. During the summer the coaches are paid a stipend to maintain, not only the football field but the grounds all around the school. We have our own equipment. We maintain it. During the school year the central office maintenance crew maintains the grounds. All year long we do the interior of the building. We have no help on the interior. We handle that all the time but on a regular schedule for right now the building is being painted. The interior of the building is being painted right now. You won't even be able to tell that the painters are in the building. We rope off a section, we complete that section and then we move over to another section. We don't have the whole school in disarray while a certain portion of it is being painted. Now again, that goes back to the philosophy of your school system. Nash County had an excellent maintenance crew that took very good care of the schools. I am finding the same thing here in Burlington. Wilson, that was one of our problems. "I was called in by the Superintendent and told to get off the maintenance director's back." And I was on it, I was on it. Publicly I was on it. They didn't take care of the schools there. The schools were dirty, we didn't have enough personnel to maintain the schools and they had no budget for preventative maintenance. They waited until it broke down and then fixed it. It is wasting taxpayer's money. Then when I came in on board and I wanted this done and that done, and I wanted it done right the first time. I think what I told the maintenance director is my philosophy. You fix it for me or you replace it and you're not going to have to deal with it again. If the kid's tear it up, then they're going to fix it or replace it; if the teachers tear it up they are going to fix it or replace it but I want it right one time. Get it right for me and I'll take care of it. It was a battle. I came out on the losing end of it because it is part of what led to me leaving that school system, the fact that the Superintendent just didn't have the guts to go into that maintenance department and straighten it out. Then he hired somebody, get this now, he hired somebody to do that, hired a man, paid him $52,000 a year to go into the maintenance department and correct some of the problems and I'll be doggone when I left he was part of the problem. It depends on the system. It really does and it depends on the attitude and the philosophy of the system how nice your schools are kept. Some schools are always going to be showplaces, other schools are going to look a little run down just because of the school but there is never any reason but there is never any reason why the school shouldn't be clean. We can keep them clean. We may not be able to keep them new but we can keep them clean. And it is amazing what a little paint will do.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
I want you to tell me the relationship that your

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school in Wilson had with the community.
ROBERT LOGAN:
Unusual. It was a good relationship but it was unusual that the relationship was that positive from the standpoint of how spread out everybody was. See here, I've heard this bus route is only ten miles so everybody is in a real close radius to the school so what you expect consequently--Cummings has a tremendous following for its programs; its music programs, its athletic programs. Community support for the school is good. In Wilson on the other hand, some of those children didn't see each other any other time except at school and they lived so far apart. They didn't come from communities, they came off farms and they may live three or four miles apart. Yet the parents would come to the school. When I would have a program, be it a music program, an open house, a college night, college day, athletic events, they would come. The would attend the stuff. It was sorta like that is all there is to do and so they came out to the school. Even people who didn't have children in school would come and support the school and I found that unusual because it was so rural and so spread out.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
So it was still the center of that community.
ROBERT LOGAN:
They came and it was definitely not a community school. We had children that rode the bus fifty to fifty-five minutes one way morning and afternoon so there were some kids who were on buses just short of two hours a day, riding school buses. We were busing from the county line into the school and that is not uncommon for the rural school districts in North Carolina to bus the kids in. You've heard all about the Basic Education Plan and Senate Bill 2, and you've heard all about what is wrong with education in our state. What is wrong is they still have not addressed the equality issue. That is what is wrong.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
That's right. Giving you the amount of money, say give you $50,000 down there and $50,000 up here. There is a big difference. You have to fill a hole down there and here you can just add. I think that really needs to be addressed. You know it is not the same on the other side of the fence.
ROBERT LOGAN:
That was my argument with Senate Bill 2. When they came up with Senate Bill 2 and they wanted to tie this 2% per year incentive money on to it, I said okay we are going to base it on implements of improvement. Right? Yes but at a certain time we want you at these standards. I said Doc, I'm sorry. There are certain schools that will never reach--I want to see the school that reaches that drop-out standard in three years. I want to see that unless it is just already a great high school that the children just love it.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
What about attendance?

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ROBERT LOGAN:
That is another toughy. Daily attendance. That is going to be tough and I think some of them are really a little unrealistic.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
How much administrative power and control did you have over your school in Wilson County?
ROBERT LOGAN:
That is why I left. The Board of Education wanted to run the school. Not the Superintendent, not the parents, the Board wanted to run the school. Not just mine--all of them.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Did the Board know enough about education?
ROBERT LOGAN:
The Board didn't know squat. I have some theories about what is wrong with education too. And one of my theories is that, I'de like to see some research done on the effect elected Boards of Education have on educational outcomes. There are basically two types of boards in our state as you know. There are the appointed boards, that are either appointed by the city council, and there are only eight of those left, there are 132 school systems there and eight are appointed. The remaining districts are elected and even though they say the election of school board members should be on a nonpartisan basis, they say that, these guys are doing everything from running on party tickets to coming in with agendas and the unfortunate thing that I found about elective boards of education most of the people that run, run on the platform-on the agenda that they have an ax to grind with somebody in the school system. They either want to get rid of a principal or a number of principals or they want to get rid of the Superintendent or they want to fire or get rid of somebody in the school system because of something that happened and they don't come on board with an agenda of improving education for children they come on board with a vendetta against somebody and that overrides the good that they can do. People have asked me--don't you have any aspiration to be a superintendent? No, I don't. My hat is off to the man. Something else--as soon as they do away with tenure for principals, I'll probably get out of it too. It is coming and it will probably lead to me finding another profession for this reason. Right now the average term for superintendent in the country is something like 4.8 years. The average term for a superintendent. What do we know about organization. Haven't Hershey and Blanche done enough organizational studies that we already know that one of the key aspects of the success of an organization is not only the leadership but the persistence and consistency, the continuity with which the changes are taking place in the organization and that there is a plan for the change. The leadership and the approach stays consistent. How much improvement can be done when every four-five years the leadership changes--thus the direction of the organization changes. What if Ford Motor Company, IBM, the Postal

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Service, what if any of the major businesses of this country every few years, there CEO's and their senior Vice-Presidents were changing. They would be failing too. We do this to our leadership in education in our state and now we want to come down to the level of principalship and we wish to yank tenure away from there because there are those out there saying that a lot of principals after they stay awhile they develop more political support than the superintendent and that they don't have to be a team player. I disagree with that. I have never been maverick, yet and still I have met very few superintendents that wanted to do what was needed. Most of them are going to follow the lead of that board because the board holds their board contract and what we need to be pushing for is tenure for superintendents and not the removal of tenure for principals. If you want to see education go to the dogs in our state wait until they snatch it away from principals. Then any sort of continuity in our high school system whatsoever in our whole educational system will fall apart. Because principals will then become the transient roll-over type leaders. They will become show pieces. It won't be a matter of what substance you have but how politically appeasing you can be to a group, how well you can come in and sell yourself and do a few things--either move on or smooth over problems--not really address the problems and really handle the hard core issues. Now with that said I would like to address the difference between minority and majority principalships.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
How did the desegregation of schools affect your role as a principal?
ROBERT LOGAN:
With that said, can anyone not see what could happen then primarily what is already happening now. If we go to that type of system, where principals are under contract, superintendents will have less authority to hire principals. Boards will not only then be hiring superintendents they will be hiring principals. Everyone is under contract with the board but the way the law spells it out principals are to make recommendations to the superintendent for employment of teachers and superintendents are to make recommendation to the board for the employment of principals and what will become the reality will be that boards of education will not only employ the superintendent but then they will employ the principals that they wish to work with that superintendent. And one might say, well good, then you have a team approach. The superintendent can come and he can bring his team. Yes, maybe. And what you may have on the other approach is that old ugly nepotism where you may have board members that will run on political issues, get elected and then start to put their constituents in the principalships because they either supported them or helped them get elected to the Board of Education and the people may be good educators and they may not be good educators. We don't know if they are good politicians or bad politicians

Page 20
but the process will become less objective, it would become less of a professional process and it would become more of a political process and where the racial breakdown comes there is even fewer Black superintendents and fewer Black board members than there are principals counting minority principals and you could see a severe, severe decline in the number of minority administrators in the state due to the fact that they would start to replace them with their buddies. Down east the good boy is what is in effect now already and if you legally make it okay--that's what happened to New Jersey. That is why the state had to step in and take over segments of the school system in New Jersey. It has already happened in California. The state has had to step in and take over certain school districts out in California because the Board Members were squandering away the money and putting their buddies in positions--not only were some not qualified they didn't have the experience, the background and hadn't earned the positions. They definitely were not the best persons for the positions. Some weren't even qualified for the position. Now something else that I have noticed that obviously is taking place due to declinement. Very seldom have we been able to maintain when a Black principal retires or is promoted it is very difficult to find another Black administrator to replace him with. In my four principalships I have followed three Blacks and one White. I followed a Black at Central, a Black at Cedar Grove, a White at Bedingfield, and I followed a Black here. What some school systems will try to do and I was replaced by when I left those schools, I was replaced by White, White, Black and I haven't left here. After the whole thing shakes out we are down one in the replacement process. I've been replaced by so far two Whites and one Black and I replaced three Blacks and one White. I'm not saying that that was done because of the good old boy mentality. In one situation they honestly did have a Black candidate to put into the job. They took the next best prepared candidate in this system and it just happened to be a White female.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Were you sought after because you were Black for this job?
ROBERT LOGAN:
For this job, I think so. That was not the case in Wilson. I think it was the case here because of this systems desire to keep a racial balance, not to keep a racial balance but to keep some minority administrators. There are only three of us here.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
How many administrators are there?
ROBERT LOGAN:
Eleven. Three Blacks, one female who is at an elementary school, one male in an elementary and I am here. That is not a lot. I applied for a job in my home county and there was not then and is not now a single minority administrator and the committee that interviewed me liked me

Page 21
and wanted me and the Superintendent said, you're a bright young man. Go back to school and get your doctorate. I left Wilson because the boy and I--we just bumped heads. How am I viewed? For people who have worked with me they have the upmost respect for me. For people who know me, they think well of me. For people who have not had the best interest in mind for the school or the children--I have been very controversial with them. I have had a superintendent to come sit down in my office and point blank tell me to get off the Board's back. The leave the Board alone. I was publicly criticizing him. That was not very professional but then what they were doing was not very professional either. Now, yes you are sticking your neck out on a limb because you stand a chance of getting blackballed. But and still you stand a chance of getting fired if it wasn't for tenure. Yet and still if you see an injustice being done to children or to a school system I just feel it is your responsibility to speak up and say something about it. Again, this school system, it was Wilson, it was out of wack. Evidently it did some good.
Four of the seven board members were unseated last November. Maybe it had some effect. You see I was telling the newspaper or anyone who would ask me. I was telling them what was wrong and the problem was they weren't letting the superintendent and the principals run the school system. The Board was giving him programs they wanted to see implemented. They aren't educators. They consisted of an attorney, a banker, a dental hygienist, the ex-governor's wife, Hunt's wife (he had his nose in everything too. I hope he does run for something else) two retired principals who should have known better and a minister. It was a seven member board.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Were there any Blacks on that board.
ROBERT LOGAN:
Three of them were Black.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
But they were not vocal?
ROBERT LOGAN:
One was too vocal. He was adversarial so he kept the other ones angry and so you know what would happen then. They would just vote against him. And one of the other gentlemen probably the more visible and respected Black board member just resigned. He was elderly and he just resigned.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Did you enjoy your principalship there?
ROBERT LOGAN:
I've enjoyed every one of them. The controversy and the adversarial nature of the job, I sought of thrive off of it. It doesn't bother me. Be it something positive that we are doing or be it something negative that we have to be involved in that doesn't bother me. I sort of enjoy the fight. Maybe that is because of the competitive nature--I am competitive--what does bother me about administration is the

Page 22
quality of work in comparison to the monetary payoff. Again for the number of people that the average principal has to supervise the responsibility that is on his shoulder. Just think about it. I am a principal. Your average principal any level is expected to know something about motivational techniques, organizational theory, productivity, learning outcomes, people management, facility--everything from facility maintenance to energy conservation, transportation and the laws that go with transporting people, everything from computer technology to what we are hired to do--educate kids. We are one of the poorest paid management forces in the country. But you better know finances or you will be in trouble. Very few principals are fired for incompetence. They are either fired because of messing around, messing up the money, or alcohol or drugs. Those are the three things that will get you fired quicker than just doing a lousy job. Which should be the first thing that would get you fired if you don't do a good job. But those other three things having an affair with one of your staff members, or mismanagement of funds, or oh, I left out budgeting. You'de better know something about fiscal management. That is a biggie and that is a shame.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
So you enjoyed the job and you think it was because of the fight and it gave you a chance to be competitive, the challenge.
ROBERT LOGAN:
Any school in the nineties will be a challenge. Be it the smallest elementary because of the problems you are going to have with dealing with the smallness of your school, to the largest high school and all the problems that they are going to automatically carry--be it in the city or be it rural. The problems are going to be different but the challenges are going to be there and the opportunities to impact children--one of the most rewarding things is when you really help a child. This past Christmas I received Christmas cards from kids I worked with ten years ago. I remember the first professor I had a difference in my life. I remember my high school trig teacher, I remember my high school senior English teacher. There are people who make an impact on your life that you--well, is one not the combination of his life experiences? As we impact the children, be it positively or negatively, we are teaching them for something and we are teaching them something.
One other point about being a minority administrator that I want to work in. I really feel that there was once a time shortly after desegregation when a certain number of minority administrators were either kept on board or sought after to try to keep balance in our county and in our state. To have a certain number of minority administrators to deal with the political backlash of the minority public citizenry that would say, that school has 50% that school has 40% Black population and you don't have a minority administrator in the school or even in the system. Our county is made up of 48-

Page 23
45-40 % Black population and we don't have but one or two Black school administrators. Where is the role model for our children? I really feel that that was a cry right after desegregation and that helped the minority administrator. Now, after Ronald did his thing to us and what the country went through in the eight years under his administration, I really feel now there is more or less an attitude we don't have to keep anything balanced. We are going to hire who we want for what position we want. To show you a prime example of that, I'm going to call the school, I'm not going to call anyone's name, I'm going to name the school. I was interviewed two years and verbally told my name was being recommended to the Board of Education for Athens Drive High School in Raleigh. Athens Drive is a predominantly White, more or less middle, upper-middle class high school and on one of the better sides of town. The interviewing committee wanted me, the parental committee that interviewed wanted me; when they took it to the Board of Education, when the Superintendent presented it to the Board, the Board kicked it back.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Was there any explanation?
ROBERT LOGAN:
The Board doesn't have to give one. See that is the problem. Then they turn around two years later, in this past year, they offer me Enloe. Are you familiar with Enloe?
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Yes, that is the high school.
ROBERT LOGAN:
One of the largest high schools in the state, if not the largest and it has the problems to go with it. Now why not give--my whole point now--what I'm getting at--we're going to find fewer and fewer minority administrators. Look at our cities and our Black mayors. We're not going to give a minority an opportunity to become the mayor of a city like Las Vegas or San Diego that's got something on the ball and is doing well, we're going to stick them in Detroit, New York, Philadelphia where they are already broke, they got more problems than they can even imagine solutions to. They are already on the verge of failure--they are failing when they put the man in there and then they…
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
That was my theory, that was my theory too some years ago.
ROBERT LOGAN:
It is going to come to pass in education that they are going to continue to put… I have been in and I can say this with all honesty, each principalship that I have gone into I have walked on board a sinking ship. Two situations I knew the doggone ship was listed in two of the situations. I can honestly say in one I thought it was in pretty good shape but I have yet the opportunity to come into a flagship school yet and still I think I have the skills, I have the know how and I have the expertise now in the

Page 24
background that I can run one just as well as anybody else. This conversation I have a lot with my wife. And that is why after this principalship my wife and I have discussed our career option, if I'll stay with it or if it is back to school for further education maybe even a change in profession. I feel I'm at a crossroads. I'm thirty-six, this will conclude my fourteenth year in the business. I think I have been relatively successful. I have received national awards for programs that we have done in the schools. I have turned three of the four schools around that I went in. This school is in pretty good shape except for the discipline. Things run real well here. Mr. Freeman had done an excellent job here and this is an excellent school. I'm not pleased with my SAT results and I'm not pleased with my overall achievement test results but then again those scores are a reflection of your society not of your school in a population that we are serving. We may never be able to get our SAT's up to an average of 900 at this school. I don't know but again, back to my point. Four schools--I have been in all portions of the state, I have been point blank declined for two principalships I feel on the basis of race--they wanted Whites rather than Blacks for the school, either because the school was predominantly White or it was perceived as an ideal situation or the jobs that I have been offered have all been a challenge and a dog fight all the way. Even Bedingfield even though it was a rural school--that school is predominantly White but it still has the behavior problems of the school it takes on a real challenge or dimension to handle the discipline at this school. That is why we are doing the recognition program. That junior high school I walked into. It was predominantly White and it had the Country Clubs, both Country Clubs, the kids out of those neighborhoods attended that school yet what they had done they took the Country Club kids and bused them over with the kids out of the projects. We had a time orientating those kids, it took us two years to mesh those kids to where they would work with one another. We're not educating, we are socializing.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
We are the change agent and we are to do what society wants us to do. What do you consider the major problem of the principalship?
ROBERT LOGAN:
The decaying authority we have to do the job that we have been hired to do. I also feel that it is available but our principals aren't taking avantage of it. Principals need to be more innovative, more progressive and less and I know what--the leadership has done this to them. You take the principal. To be an effective leader in anything you have to be a risk taker. You have to stick your neck out there. Fewer and fewer--if I'm a CEO and I go out on the limb and I get my head chopped off, I have been rewarded such that I can recover and I can move on. You do it in the principalship, you go out there and you get the limb sawed out from under

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you. You're going to fall likely so hard that sometime you don't get up. The fear of failure is one of the problems that affects the principalship. Some principals are afraid to do what they know is necessary to be done because of either political or community backlash or maybe opposition to what is needed and then as I pointed out, the fact that we don't have the authority to do what the job requires to be done. And you say, well there are still methods and avenues to get all these things done. Yes, if you are superman. And then if you're that great, what you have found is what my previous family attorney told me. Our previous attorney was a high school principal. He told me he did the job for five years and he went to law school and got his law degree and making plenty of money. I'm not saying that that is everything. My point is, any individual needs to be rewarded for their contributions. I know that obviously we love children and we do this for the children but even after that one wants to look back down the path when his or her life is over and make sure that they have done both been a good professional and had a good career and been a good provider for their family. The conversation that I just eluded to with my wife, we're having a little problem adjusting here.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
And you'de like to live in the kind of house you'de want.
ROBERT LOGAN:
To just be comfortable.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
To be comfortable with your lifestyle is what would cause an educator to have to scrap.
ROBERT LOGAN:
I have heard a lot of principals tell groups of students to go don't go into education.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
I've heard that too and I've heard some say, I'm glad none of my children have gone into education. It is a shame because of the things you have to go through when you get to your thirty and thirty-five years and you look back and then somebody (especially superintendents) is looking over your shoulder or pointing their finger and you give them your whole life and people don't appreciate it. The most rewarding thing is what you see when you see other children and see the change.
ROBERT LOGAN:
In high school you can see a ninth grader, okay I've got two theories on that. I believe that seven, eight, nine is your last shot at them. If they are going down the wrong pathway and you don't get a hold of them during adolescency and get them straightened out, by the time they get to high school they're pretty much already set in their ways, they have already taken on a lot of their life long personality characteristics and behaviors that are going to be with them for the rest of their life and if the child doesn't like to read, if the child has not learned how to

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study, if the child has not developed an appreciation for learning, then it is a little late. It's like the SAT. It's a little late to prepare them for the SAT when they are juniors and seniors. That is a little late. That is the same thing with children. But you can still watch a ninth grader grow from an immature, clumsy, bungling, little human being into a responsible, mature, beautiful at 18 or 19 years of age. You still see that transition. Even those who have it altogether, you can see the morals and the values fall into place and you really help to shape the children and for the children to become a contributing successful member of society rather than a burden on society. You can see that take place in high school and that is very rewarding. On the other hand, what is very disheartening about it too--you see your failures. Those that you for whatever reason could not reach and end up in prison, end up on skid row, end up a drop-out. Again what is most rewarding is watching that child succeed and grow up. I was in the doctor's office yesterday. My physician is still in Rocky Mount so I had to go all the way to Rocky Mount. I don't have a doctor in the area yet and when I left his office I went to the cashiers window to give him my right arm and while there the young lady said, Merry Christmas Mr. Logan. And I looked in the window and said, Merry Christmas. She said, "you don't remember me?" I said, Honey, no I'm sorry. She said, I'm Melanie Joyner. I said, from Nash Central? She said, "Yes Sir." This little girl worked as an office assistant and a student at that big junior high I was telling you about in 1983. Seven years later she was out of high school. She was at one of the community colleges and majored in medical secretarial work and she had a job processing--well, we was cashier insurance claims person at this particular doctor's office and she remembered me from sight, not that she had to look at my check or my name on the log or anything and stood there and carried on the most pleasant conversation with me and told me how much she enjoyed my working with them at the school. That is rewarding. When you see the kids that is rewarding. And something else too that's nice about kids. Kids are brutally honest. They are brutally honest to one another and to us. If you ask their opinion they will tell you and if something is not running right in their lives, they will tell you and if there are problems in their schools, problems in their homes, problems in society, they will give you their perception of it and they can be brutally honest with their sincerity and their opinion. And that is nice too. That naiveness is what leads to that honesty. You know as adults and as professionals sometime we tend to cut it short or tell the white lie not to hurt the feelings. The kids won't and if something is not going right they will tell you just like it is and I appreciate that in the children that I know I can still get an honest answer about--I'm not talking about if they are in trouble. Obviously if they have done something and you discipline them they are going to give you the best story to try to avoid the

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discipline but I'm talking about on other issues and other things children will give you their honest opinion.
I am a product of desegregation. I attended the first part of my educational public school education in a segregated school and my sixth grade year I attended a desegregated school and was one of three minorities at the school. The following year we were joined by a few more and the following year a few more and by the time I got to high school, I was in a totally desegregated school. It's been a learning experience for me as well as it has helped me to help the children that I work with today. Unfortunately to say, at times I can feel a resurgence of racism of that old coming back out.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
If you had some advice to give to a minority -- a Black person, male or female, that aspired to be a high school principal in the State of North Carolina, what kind of advice would you give that person?
ROBERT LOGAN:
(1) Prepare yourself well. Don't cut any corners, obtain the necessary degrees, put your years in as a teacher, put your years in as an assistant principal and when the opportunity presents itself for that first principalship, don't be too choosy. Won't you take one and you get some years of experience as a principal, it is sort of like when you get some years of experience as a coach, if you have coached and been relatively successful, not extremely successful, just relatively successful, you can find and move on and seek out the school or the situation that you desire but don't turn your nose up or turn down that first opportunity. Prepare yourself for it, when the opportunity presents itself, take it and then look for the more idealistic setting if you are not in one. More than likely your first situation may be a tough one. Go in there, do the best job that you can do and when the other opportunities will present themselves just be ready to move on. Don't be closed-minded, always be open-minded, be willing to try new things and to be successful as a minority principal too, we have to have good people skills. We have to relate if not equally better to all types of people because the expectation on the minority and secondary principal is not just to one race of people.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
I really appreciate you taking the time. I have enjoyed the interview. I have learned a lot and I feel that you are an asset to the educational profession and so pleased that you shared with me. You will get a copy of this research.
END OF INTERVIEW