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Commemorating The Retirement Of Sue Galbreath-Sly

Rep. Michael M. Honda

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the outstanding career of Principal Sue Galbreath-Sly. She is set to retire at the end of this academic year from a long and distinguished life in the field of education. Currently serving in her eighth year as principal of the Julia Baldwin Elementary School, Mrs. Sly, as the students call her, started teaching in 1960. Nearly forty-two years later, Mrs. Sly has served as an educator in three states--Kentucky, Ohio, and California--at both the elementary and secondary levels, in the classroom and as an administrator.

Sue Galbreath-Sly began her career as a teacher in Kentucky in 1960, and the spirit of teaching has remained strong in her to this day. Visiting the principal's office at Baldwin Elementary today, one might wonder if it is a classroom because it is always filled with students seeking Mrs. Sly's guidance and friendship. She successfully presents herself to her students as just another teacher; however, she is anything but ``just another teacher.'' Rather, she is the best kind of teacher, seeing her educational mission as a year-round job--spending weekends chaperoning students to various competitions, fairs, and conferences and recruiting students for summer enrichment programs.

Throughout her long career as an educator, Mrs. Sly has been recognized for her excellence not only by her students, but also by her fellow professionals. She has received numerous awards, both as a teacher and a principal. In fact, just last year, her school won the 2000 California Distinguished School Award, a true testament to her exceptional stewardship.

Not only does Mrs. Sly help develop and educate our youth, but she also works to develop her fellow educators. For example, she currently serves as a mentor for new principals and an advisor to the teacher credentialing program. She is also active in community outreach, expressing her philosophy eloquently: ``We must expand the four walls of our school site and guide children to take advantage of every learning opportunity.'' As a teacher at Baldwin Elementary, my wife, Jeanne, has benefited from Mrs. Sly's holistic approach to education. As a fellow long-time educator myself, I express my deep respect and sincere admiration for Sue Galbreath-Sly and her life's work.