Today I’m going to see the kids at Holland Elementary School in Springfield. Principal there is Gary Tew whom I’ve known for years. When I was researching for a Step Into Reading book, MISS GRUBB, SUPER SUB! that came out in 2005, Gary was at Pittman Elementary School where my friend Maryann Wakefield had been principal before that.
When Random House asked me to do the book, it was for a new series called “Write-in-Readers,” meaning that authors would need to leave spots throughout the telling for young readers to add to the story with their own words and pictures. Also by request I wrote the inside page of introduction, called “Dear Parent,” that went in all the books in the series.
I went to Pittman Elementary to interview several people about their jobs so that my Super Subb would have the right information. Among those who let me interview them were the custodian, the librarian (Mrs. Lairimore), the nurse (Mrs. Teeling), the head cook (Mrs. Farmer), and, of course, Mr. Tew. I enjoyed the day at Pittman and loved writing the book.
So here we are eleven years later and Gary has invited me to Holland. I’ll take along a copy of Miss Grubb to show the kids that their principal is a famous man with his name in a book!