December 3

IT'S ALWAYS A PLEASURE to welcome new people to the Sunol family, and I am delighted to introduce you to Sunol Glen School's new Maintenance Lead, Brad Taylor. Brad joined the school staff in September and has quickly become a favorite with co-workers and students. When asked for his official title recently, Brad responded, "Playground Tackle Dummy!" One of Brad's many jobs is occasionally supervising the students during recess, and word is the kids love to crash into the big man with the big smile. "I'm a terrible Yard Duty, because I let the kids have too much fun." Nobody seems to mind.

Originally from Alamo, Brad has lived the past seven years in Brentwood with his wife, Rhonda, their son, Jacob, a second grader at Ron Nunn Elementary School, and their brand new baby girl, Jenna Elizabeth. Jenna arrived on November 13 and weighed in at 8 lb., 6 oz., bringing much joy to the Taylors and Rhonda's parents, Buddy and Caroline Holder of Visalia.

The appreciation and affection felt toward Brad by the staff surfaces in good-natured teasing and many compliments. "Brad pacifies the staff by fixing all the little things," Adrienne Hoxie, Instructional Aide said. "Right!" agreed Administrative Assistant Debbie Scanlon. "We were all so tired of burning our hands on the boiling hot water in the faculty rest room. Brad heard about it and, presto, it was fixed." Obviously enjoying the kudos, but maintaining his easy-going manner, Brad blushed and shook his head. "Oh, I just turned the thermostat down - no big thing."

Such humility is part and parcel of Brad's charm. He is also the school's Emergency Coordinator, making him responsible for gas and electricity shut-offs and other emergency response tasks. "You poor guys, dependent on me in an emergency!" he laughed, but then went on to report that he is in the process of getting his amateur radio license so he can man the school's ham radio during a power loss. He is also quick to give credit to others. "Leo (Marquez, the school's custodian) is amazing. I may have the title, but we're equal in getting things done here. And Theresa (Donovan, District Clerk) helps me get the bills paid. I really depend on the staff."

The committed family man gave up his beloved hobby of racing cars a few years ago "for a bigger house in a nice neighborhood." Debbie chuckled at this news and said, "Yeah, but ask him how long it takes him to get here from Brentwood!" Brad chose Sunol Glen in spite of the long commute, because, he said, "This is a really neat school and these are very nice people to work for. Sunol is just such a place to be." And nicer with Brad in it, everyone at Sunol Glen would agree.

Another gentleman we are all proud to know at Sunol Glen is fifth-grade teacher Philip Mumford, who was recently selected Sunol Glen Teacher of the Year. At the November 27 school board meeting, Trustee Bob Foster read the board's resolution acknowledging Phil's accomplishments. The resolution states that Phil has served as an outstanding teacher here since 1979, as well as having held the post of President of the Sunol chapter of the teacher's union since its inception.

"Philip Mumford has been a creative, bright, enthusiastic mentor and role model for his students and peers," the resolution continues. "(He) has voluntarily expended untold hours, days, nights, Saturdays and Sundays, breakfasts, lunches, dinners and holidays imparting superior service to the students of Sunol Glen Unified, (which is) grateful and appreciative of (his) honesty, forthright manner, unselfish service and devotion. The board of trustees is proud to acknowledge Philip Mumford as Teacher of the Year for the 1001 School Year."

I have the personal privilege of knowing Phil as both my daughter's fifth-grade teacher and as a colleague in the Sunol Repertory Theatre. I can add to the board's list of Phil's wonderful traits his sometimes hilarious, but always clever and fantastically dry sense of humor. Phil, you're the best! Congratulations to a very deserving teacher.


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