for July 2004
Winner for July
Kevin Skelly of Saratoga, California
(We go back to the archives as there
were not enough jokes this month to make the contest.)
Texan at O'Malley's Pub
A Texan walks into O'Malley's pub in Ireland and clears his voice to the crowd of drinkers. He says, "I hear you Irish are a bunch of drinkin' mothers. I'll give $500 American dollars to anybody in here who can drink 10 pints of Guinness back-to-back".
The room is quiet and no one takes the Texan's offer. One man, (apparently from Cork) even leaves. 30 minutes later the same gentleman who left shows back up and taps the Texan on the shoulder.
"Is your bet still good?" asks the Corkman.
The Texan says yes and asks the bartender to line up 10 pints of Guinness.
Immediately the Irishman tears into all 10 of the pint glasses drinking them back-to-back. The other pub patrons cheer as the Texan sits in amazement.
The Texan gives the Corkman the $500 and says, "If ya don't mind me askin' where did you go for that 30 minutes you were gone?".
The Corkman replies, "to O'Halloran's Pub down the street to see if I could do it".
Kevin is leaving as principal of Saratoga High School, California.
A graduate of Harvard University, where he graduated with honors in economics (training for education?), he also earned a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Administration from UC Berkeley. He has four children ages 9,7,5, and 3. He and his wife Carrie, a lawyer by training, live a few blocks from the high school.
Kevin began his educational career working with bright kids from poor neighborhoods in Washington D.C. and spent a year working with shoe-shine boys in Quito, Ecuador.
He grew up in Virginia where he was an all-state basketball player and a nationally ranked tennis player. His parents grew up in Ireland and emigrated to the United States when Kevin was two years old. We will miss him in this area as he has accepted the job.
Here is the local Saratoga News about his leaving:
Skelly leaves Saratoga, takes administrative post at Poway
By Lisa Toth
Saratoga High School is losing Mr. Toga.
The school's principal, Dr. Kevin Skelly, is leaving the place he's come to love and call his home away from home for the past 11 years. The news came as a complete shock to administrators and teachers on June 22 in the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District.
District Superintendent Dr. Cindy Ranii announced Skelly has accepted an appointment as the associate superintendent for the Poway Unified School District, in Southern California's north San Diego County. The district has more than 30,000 students.
"This move is so bittersweet," said Skelly. "When I was first encouraged to apply for this position in March, I hardly considered it. I saw myself as the Saratoga High School principal until I retired. I love this school and the people here so much."
Skelly's last official day with the district is Aug. 5. An interim principal will be appointed as soon as possible, and the district staff will conduct a search process to select a permanent replacement.
During his tenure, Saratoga High's campus population has grown from 905 students to an anticipated 1,325 students this coming fall. Under Skelly's stewardship, Saratoga High—nationally recognized for excellence and a California distinguished high school—has risen to become rated as the No. 1 comprehensive high school in California, as measured by the California Academic Performance Index.
"He has become Mr. Toga," said Saratoga High Assistant Principal and academic adviser Brian Safine. "This is his school, and it feels like it has been his school. You can see Kevin at a vast majority of sporting events, musical, drama, all the extracurriculars that work in support of students. It feels like his place, and he takes a tremendous amount of pride in his school."
Reports from the California Department of Education and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges consistently commend the students' achievement at Saratoga High, as well as the community and faculty for being dedicated to the young scholars. More than 97 percent of Saratoga High graduates enroll in college, and 8 percent of the senior-class students were recognized as semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Skelly has contributed extensive efforts to lead successful building and modernization programs on the campus. His leadership with booster groups and the Saratoga High School Foundation have played a major role in additional improvements not included in the 1998 bond measure.
In Skelly's new position, he'll be responsible for learning-support services, which includes staff development, gifted and talented programs, alternative programs, assessment, student support, special education, English-language learning programs and technology.
Skelly received his master and doctoral degrees in education policy from UC-Berkeley after earning his bachelor's degree at Harvard University in economics. Skelly, his wife, Carrie, and their four children will be relocating to the Poway district in time to enroll for the upcoming school year.
"I'm extremely proud of Kevin for taking on this new challenge and happy for him and his family that such a rare opportunity became available," said Ranii. "We will miss Kevin and his considerable talents. His dedication to Saratoga High School is enormously appreciated."
Even though he's leaving, Skelly said he'll always remain a Falcon.