Supt. William R. Seaver, the first person to have worked for the Conejo Valley Unified School District for 35 years, will be honored by school officials next month.
A total of 135 people who have worked for the school district for 15, 20, 25, 30 or 35 years will receive awards at a Nov. 18 ceremony that was begun by Seaver when he was assistant superintendent of personnel.
Seaver, who also served 30 years in the Army and the Army Reserves, worked his way through the ranks in the school district, which was originally part of the Oxnard Union High School District. He started teaching agriculture at Oxnard High School in 1956 and transferred to Thousand Oaks High School when it opened in 1962, taking a job as a counselor. Ten years later, Seaver was named principal, which he fondly recalls as the job that was the "most fun."
"A high school principal has the advantage of being close to the kids, and you can have a positive effect on instruction. You can help pick good teachers," said Seaver, 61, who has been married for 39 years and has four grown children and three grandchildren.
Even after he came to the district administration offices in 1975, Seaver didn't lose his connection with the classroom. He frequently visits campuses and challenges student government leaders to do a good job. A new set of student artwork is put in his office and the adjacent secretarial office each month.
Seaver, who describes himself as a workaholic, is credited with raising morale among employees after he became the district's third superintendent in 1987. Even those who aren't working in the education field have noticed the changes.
"Morale was bad, test scores were down, and facilities were dilapidated before he was superintendent. . . . He has turned it into one of the best school districts in the county," said Assemblyman Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks), who had Seaver both as a counselor and principal at Thousand Oaks High in the 1970s.
Although he would like to travel and catch up on some reading, Seaver said he has no plans to retire.
"As far as I'm concerned, as long as I want to stay in education, I'll stay right here in the district," he said.
"If I had decided to retire, I wouldn't tell anybody. There's always somebody who wants your job. And I don't think that's necessarily bad. I just don't want them trying to take the job while I'm in it."