The San Marino High School PTSA

Folks, this morning I attended a meeting of the San Marino High School PTSA. The dang thing went on for three hours. The president, Mary Falkenbury, was kind enough to let me say a few words on behalf of saving the adobe, and I hope that I was able to convey a sense of the excitement I feel about Michael White’s story and the building as a center for the community. The rest of the time I was listening.


What I heard was that San Marino is getting pulled in a number of polarizing directions. There are New Residents vs Old Residents. You have City vs School. You have a median population age group that is getting older and enrollment in the schools is starting to drop. Everybody is worried about money. Elections are coming up.


The PTSA is caught up in all the pandemonium just like everybody else, and more or less are getting it to work. Why? Because, deep in their hearts, these ladies want what is best for their kids. They might disagree on some stuff, but basically they want their kids to be safe, to make good decisions and they support extracurricular activities just as much, maybe even more, than academics.  


And their work shows. The school is clean, well-ordered and there is a happy chaos of synchronized activity going on. Preserving the Michael White Adobe might not be on the top of everyone’s priority list, but it fits in very well with the character of the school. Restoration isn’t an option right now – there really isn’t a budget for it, but its destruction is an unnecessary expense for the school to take on as well. I say,  just leave it be. Let this storm pass. Heck, the school was founded on that building, and it still has somethin’ to offer everyone – a catalyst for hands-on learning, a rallying point for the community, a sense of continuity with past, present and future. It might just last another 165 years – and be telling us something about ourselves all the while.

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~ by ravenjake on October 21, 2009.

2 Responses to “The San Marino High School PTSA”

  1. I am with you. Leave it be.

  2. Dr D., gracias, amigo! This little building has so much history. It makes me glad to see it. But seeing it there next to the pool and realizing that the folks who own this treasure do not value it is hard to understand. A frined said to me today. "They don't see it because they are afraid of their own shadows." His higher meaning was clear… Thanks for sharing your thoughts. RJ

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