This article originally appeared in the fall 2011 Harker Quarterly.
We caught up with retired lower school teacher Howard Saltzman to find out about his years and fondest memories as a Harker teacher, as well as how he spends his post-Harker time.
Q: What did you teach at Harker and for how long?
A: I taught at Harker for 31 years! I was a fourth grade teacher for the first 13 years and taught third grade the last 18. At first, I taught all subjects! Once third grade was departmentalized, I taught just social studies. Ultimately, I really enjoyed teaching California history.
Q: Did you coach any sports or advise any clubs?
A: I coached fourth and fifth grade sports after school for about 15 years. It was so much fun coaching football, basketball, soccer and softball. I stopped coaching once my son, Michael, was
in sixth grade so I could watch him participate in those same sports.
Q: What is your typical day like now that you are retired?
A: Now that my wife, Susan, and I are retired, I enjoy working in the yard, walking with my dog and doing a little traveling. We have had a chance to go to Sydney, Australia; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Vancouver Island, Canada; and Las Vegas, Nev.
Q: Are you pursuing any long- desired goals, now that you have time?
A: On May 25, my daughter, Kari, gave birth to our first grandchild, Kiora! So, we are excited about being able to take care of her Monday through Friday, so Kari can teach English at Palo Alto High School. Our son, Michael, is an English teacher at Irvington High School and coaches football at Saratoga High School.
Q: What is your fondest memory of teaching at Harker?
A: I have so many fond memories of my days at The Harker School. Those memories all revolve around the terrific students and colleagues that
I had over the years. I was always surrounded by truly outstanding teachers at Harker. Howard and Diana Nichols were both visionaries! I had the chance to see both of them take Harker from a one-campus,
K-8 school to a three-campus, K-12 school. They constantly strived to make Harker the best that it could be. Betty Koski and Marla Vallone worked with me for the first 13 years in the fourth grade. They were terrific teachers. I could not lose.
Q: Do you keep in touch with any former students?
A: I did have the privilege to work with Grace (Sabeh) Wallace ‘95 the last few years at the Bucknall campus. She was an outstanding student in
my class when she was in the fourth grade. Also, I recently had a chance to connect with both Matt Baker ’83 and Karri Sakai ’84. Matt was in my first class at Harker while Karri was in my second class. Now, they’re married and have a daughter in the first grade at Harker who had Grace Wallace as a teacher last year.
Q: Can you share a memory of your days at Harker with us?
A: Pat Walsh and I taught together all 31 years! What an outstanding teacher and great friend. His sense of humor made all my years at Harker so much more enjoyable.
Q: Do you have any message for the current students or the Harker community in general?
A: How lucky I was to have been a teacher at The Harker School. My own children had a chance to attend Harker and both were very well prepared for high school, college and life.