Editor’s Note: David Carlin submitted his story on May 16, 2013 as part of the District’s Centennial year celebration.
David Carlin was a student, teacher and administrator in Round Rock ISD. He was one of the founding members of El Amistad. In 2017, the organization was named a “Local Legend” by the City of Round Rock.
There were 62 graduates in my Round Rock High School Class of 1962. We thought that was pretty cool. After I graduated, I went on to get a degree at St. Edward’s University in 1966, and Superintendent Noel Grisham asked me to come back to Round Rock High to teach. The school was integrating that year and he said wanted a “minority presence” among the faculty. I thought he was joking but he was serious. So I became a social studies teacher in 1966 and taught for 12 years until 1978. Then I became an assistant principal at RRHS in ’78; and associate principal ’90. I retired in 2000.
“Even with all those students, the school was a close-knit family. Teachers steered and nurtured kids. We knew who was who. We had an environment where everybody had the best chance of learning. We had dedicated administrators and teachers.”
I really, really enjoyed working with young people, loved every facet of it. There was a nucleus of professionals who genuinely cared about young people. The teachers set the stage for a harmonious atmosphere in the school, even when RRHS had 3,600 students!
When you have that many students, everything is multiplied. We had 36 classrooms in portables. A graduating class had 700 kids. A freshman class had a thousand. The core facility was built for 2,300, but we worked it out. We had four lunch periods, parking permits were more than like hunting licenses for 400 cars. Classes were everywhere including on the stage and in the gym; dividing walls were put in classrooms to make two. We were ingenious in making space.
Even with all those students, the school was a close-knit family. Teachers steered and nurtured kids. We knew who was who. We had an environment where everybody had the best chance of learning. We had dedicated administrators and teachers. I remember Joe Lee Johnson and his wife, Mellownie Johnson, and Petronella McConico. They all cared so much about students’ learning and being successful after high school. It was a privilege to be their colleague.
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