- What are your top 3 favorite memories from all of your years at Memorial? 1. Winning the state championship as the boys’ varsity soccer coach in 1989. 2. As a student, the many spirited assemblies, bonfires, and athletic events that I attended in the four years. 3a. Being carried off after the gimme cheer a couple of years ago. 3b. Having fun with the rest of the faculty in the many school faculty plays.
- What advice do you give to Freshmen? Go to class and don’t get caught up in all the drama that high school can bring. Many freshmen need to retake classes because they either do not go or do not do homework or do not study for tests. It is hard to fail high school classes, so you really need to work at it.
- What advice do you give to Seniors graduating? Don’t forget where your roots are. My class, the class of 1971, is a very strong and together group. We enjoy coming back and talking about all the good times we had and the good times in life. In addition, seniors need to know that they have a long life ahead of them, so don’t burn bridges. Make good friends, keep good friends. There will be many times in life when you will need to start over again. Those are the times that you will need a good family and friends as support when starting over.
- What were some of the learning curves you had to go through becoming a teacher and assistant principal? At the beginning, the first learning curve I had to come over was that I was not a student anymore. I was the students’ teacher and not best friend. That was also true as a coach as many of the recreational teams that I played on had some of my high school soccer players playing on them. As an assistant principal, the toughest learning curve was to know when to give consequences and how much. Teaching students that consequences always came with mistakes were important, but learning from your mistake was the most important thing.
- What was your favorite part of being an assistant principal? First the toughest part of being an assistant principal was making the decision to be an assistant principal. I really enjoyed teaching and especially the coaching aspect of teaching. Leaving that part of education was tough. After talking with many of my colleagues and family, I decided that I could help a lot more students, especially the students who needed my help, by becoming an assistant principal. I really enjoy being a second or third parent to many of the Memorial High School students. I especially enjoyed being part of their lives in different aspects. I like seeing them participate in athletics, concerts, and other school activities. I like seeing them dressed up at the prom or semi-formal. I enjoy talking to them at their work like grocery stores or restaurants. I enjoy seeing them perform at the Palace Theater or seeing them at church. I think it is important to be a part of their whole life.
- What are your plans for retirement? At this point, I have not thought about it much. I know my wife Martha and I love to travel together. We love cruising, so I am sure we will do that. I can see Hawaii in my future travel plans. Our son teaches and coaches in Tampa, Florida, so I am sure that will be part of it. I now have four beautiful grandchildren to keep me busy. You will still see me volunteering at the Kids Cafe at the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and the Palace Theatre. I will still be very active at my church, First Congregational Church. I also believe active people like myself need to stay busy, so I will be working a little at a part-time job either subbing a little or driving a van somewhere.
- Are you deciding on becoming a substitute? My name is on the list. It may be a way to come in and say hi to all of you.
- What advice do you give to those who wish to make a difference in schools/education? Remember that to the students you are not just working a job. As educators, we need to give 120% percent of our time to our students, and it is not just the classroom that is important. Try to make school part of your life as I have for over 40 years.
- In what ways did Memorial change since you attended here? Because things like cars and cell phones (material possessions) are really important these days, I really believe that school spirit and being active at school has taken a hit. In my eyes, teenagers seem to feel that it is more important to have a job than to play a sport or join a club or even study or do homework. In the 60’s and 70’s, we still worked to support our future college thoughts, but we still kept doing everything at Memorial as much which was important.
What are your greatest accomplishments at Memorial in all of the positions you’ve been? As a teacher and coach, I believe my students and players would remember that the most important thing that I taught them was that being responsible and having respect for everyone was the most important thing in life. As a coach, it was more important than winning, but winning came out of it. It was also important to give all the heart you could in all of the situations. If you gave it all, you could feel good about what you did whether it was getting an A or a C or winning or losing a state soccer championship. As an assistant principal, I believe that the greatest accomplishment was that students would learn from any situation that they were in. I also would hope that students could say that Mr. Perich was there for them whenever they needed someone to talk with or a shoulder to cry on. Last, I believe that my best accomplishment would be that Mr. Perich enjoyed coming to work each day, because he helped make the school, Memorial, and the students at Memorial the best that they could be.