I-"Undercover Student" - Shann Nix - San Francisco Chronicle

I-"Undercover Student" - Shann Nix - San Francisco Chronicle

Firsthand Look at an S.F. High School

by: Shann Nix | publication date: November 16, 1992 | Publication: San Francisco Chronicle | journal issue: 16 November 1992 | pages: A1

". . . The principal, Al Vidal, is an imposing bulldog of a man with a kind face, creased by his long battle against discouraging odds. Teachers tell me later that Vidal is an exceptional administrator, loyal to his staff members and his school, determined to keep all of Washington's programs alive despite the fact that he has only $35.60 to spend on each student each year for books, supplies, everything except salaries. "A single textbook costs an average of $30. "The only person in the building besides Vidal who knows my secret is guidance counselor Linda Plack, a slender blonde with a sympathetic air and Susan Sarandon eyes. She arranges my schedule -- English Lit., American democracy, drama, auto shop, French 3 and art history. I would have liked to take P.E., but the tennis class is full and the weights class conflicts with English. No math -- I told my boss she isn't paying me enough to take trigonometry. "Erica, a petite, soft-spoken girl with shoulder-length dark hair, shows up to give me a tour. I try to make conversation as she points out the library ("It's usually closed") the cafeteria ('No one goes there') and the bathrooms ('Don't go in if you can help it'). . . . "

Copyrighted, used with San Francisco Chronicle permission.