The Haisley Hawks Huskies Goat Things

NPJane brought up an interesting question in yesterday’s comments: “following [t]his logic, the former principal would also object to the bald eagle as the national bird/symbol?” The answer is, “I don’t know.” But this threw me into memory lane big time.

Haisley School was built in 1950 and if I’m not mis-remembering, that’s the same year that my loverly old grade school was built. Stinkin’ Lincoln. I’ll save my Stinkin’ Lincoln memories for some other day. A series maybe? Suffice it to say that when I first set foot inside Haisley, it was pretty familiar. Nowadays, it seems as though the Planet Ann Arbor school district plays a yearly game of musical chairs with principals. Back in my time, a principal was allowed to rule the roost for any number of years. At Stinkin’ Lincoln, it was Mrs. Morrow. At Haisley, it was Mrs. Ritsema. Back in the 1990s or thereabouts, when Mrs. Ritsema was long retired but still living in the neighborhood, I once heard an interview with her on the radio. One year during her long tenure, the superintendent decided to shuffle principals and wanted to move her to a different school. She told him in no uncertain terms that she was NOT going to move. And… That was that. He backed down. Not so in this day and age. Principals come and go.

One of the things Mrs. Ritsema contributed to the school was a collection of stuffed birds. I mean stuffed by taxidermy, of course. Those birds were very important to Mrs. Ritsema and they were still in the school during the era that the Beach Urchins attended and would get trotted out when she visited. I don’t know if that had anything to do with the school’s hawk mascot or even if any hawks were among the specimens.

At any rate, by that time, Mrs. Ritsema was long retired and we had another principal. One who did not like stuffed birds hanging around her school. Or politically incorrect Halloween costumes. Ask me. When I was the newsletter *co*-editor (read: tyrannograph slave), I was once called into her office because my *co*-editor had illustrated the newsletter with a cartoon graphic of a kid in a robber Halloween costume. Guns drawn. Not politically correct. Bunnies and fairies, people. We won’t talk about the parking lot. Or the lobby furniture.

Or maybe we will mention the lobby furniture. Because I got her back for that Halloween infraction big time. I got myself out of the newsletter job by taking on the PTO treasury, which many schools regard as a bank but that’s a whole ‘nother story. I am *good* at bookkeeping. I am darn good. When I inherited that job, the previous treasurer handed me this big old business checkbook and said she couldn’t figure out why the checking account didn’t balance. And there were these threatening letters from the IRS that I don’t even want to begin to explain. 501c3, that is all.

Aaaannnnd the dictator principal was after me to hide money. Yes. She wanted to buy new lobby furniture. Others disagreed. I basically stood up as straight as I could and told the dictator principal that I could not *hide* money. I said that there were a lot of problems with the books and the IRS was after us and we may even need to hire a CPA to straighten it all out. She backed off. I fixed it all. I spent several weeks tracking down transactions for the last six years and balancing everything. I had so many spreadsheets linked together on my old MacPlus it was smoking and I was knee deep in papers. The Beach Urchins taught themselves how to cook during all of this. They cooked spaghettios. I found the pan on a front burner and a stool in front of the stove. You go girls!

In the end, we got the new lobby furniture. I didn’t care one way or another about the damn furniture but I finally broke character and gave my opinion that we should buy it. I just wanted to shut the dictator principal up. At some point, I was told that the dictator principal said that I was the best PTO treasurer EVER. Go me. I guess.

The Haisley mascot is not the hawk anymore because that (long gone) principal hated the stuffed birds she had inherited *and* didn’t want the mascot to emulate the predatory nature of hawks. If I have it straight, the school kids were allowed to vote on a new mascot. I liked the hawks as a mascot. I’m not sure where all the stuffed birds are now. The GG hopes they didn’t get put in the trash but I suspect they did. And there have been three or four or five principals since then.

3 Responses to “The Haisley Hawks Huskies Goat Things”

  1. Mouse Says:

    In my defense, a pointy-snouted four-legged creature posed near hay bales and pumpkins suggests “goat things” long before “huskies”.

  2. Pooh Says:

    “Watch out where the Huskies go, don’t you eat that yellow snow!” Go, Huskies!

    I have more thoughts about lobby furniture and merry-go-round principals, but not enough time to write now, so I’ll just quote a Frank Zappa song from back in the day.

  3. kayak woman Says:

    I’m sure Mouse thinks I’ve gotten waaayyy too much mileage out of this “goat thing” mascot but I actually LOVE the idea of a goat mascot for a school.