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A tribute to Dr. Sylvia Tucker


Last updated 12/27/2018 at 7:57pm

Dr. Sylvia Tucker is part of a generation of Americans who have been characterized as persevering through difficult times. She was raised in an era where values of “personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith” were promoted. Without a doubt, Tucker is a perfect example of a person with these traits.

Responsibility is looked upon as an honor by Tucker, who has demonstrated leadership through her deep commitment to a personal responsibility. Along with her service in the U.S. Navy, she has been a teacher, a counselor, dean of education at Oregon State University, graduate dean of the University of Cincinnati, dean of women at University of California Riverside and of course, 22 years as a Bonsall school board member. However, these responsibilities were not commonly known by the public due to another quality of Tucker’s – humility.

Tucker has an expectation of dignity and modesty in life. Society has held people in positions of responsibility to a higher standard. At the heart of this expectation was humility. It was seen during her tenure as a school board member by her interactions with her colleagues. During each and every school board meeting, Tucker never berated and was never condescending nor disrespectful toward any board member. That just is not her way. Her desire to hear from other board members as well as members of the community allowed her to make thoughtful decisions for BUSD. This humility goes hand in hand with her work ethic.

I believe Tucker’s mantra before any board meeting was “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” For every board meeting, Tucker spent countless hours reading, researching and studying the agenda. She came ready to ask questions to better understand decisions that were to be made. This study, her considerable experience in education and a Socratic approach allowed her to make decisions that were in the best interest of students and teachers in the district. You see, Dr. Sylvia Tucker was committed to trying to make the Bonsall school district the best it could be.

The mere fact that Tucker spent 22 years of her life on the Bonsall school board indicates her faithful commitment to the district. She has stayed current with educational research and writings about learning. She understands how the brain learns and therefore knows what methodologies are most effective with different learning styles. She understands the consequences to students and teachers alike with each decision made by the school board.

To say that her presence for 22 years on the BUSD school board has been invaluable to this district is truly an understatement. Her absence leaves a void that none can fill. Hopefully, the voice of Tucker will still be heard in the educational community for many years to come. Not only is she a part of the “Greatest Generation,” but she is also one of the greatest.

Jan Patterson


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