By Darren Simon
7:17 PM PDT, April 11, 2012
When Mary Ann Kline attended Iowa State College, she pursued a major in home economics and education. Her goal was to become a teacher — a decision driven in part by finances and the opportunities available to a young woman in the 1950s.
“There were only so many things you could do (as a woman) — become a nurse, a teacher or a secretary,” she says. “I liked working with children, so it was an easy choice.”
When she earned $3,100 for her first 10 months as a teacher, “I was in heaven. I went out and got myself a used car.”
Mary Ann would go on to teach in a career spanning nearly four decades.
For her son Doug Kline, the youngest of her three children, who since 2006 has been the superintendent of the Calipatria Unified School District, finances were exactly the reason he first decided against becoming an educator.
Instead, he pursued economics as a major at the University of California, Irvine and, upon earning his degree, went into sales. But, thanks to the advice of his parents, he eventually found his way into education.
His first year’s paycheck as a teacher was $31,000, and he wasn’t thrilled. “I thought is that it for a year’s worth of work.”
Ultimately, for this mother and son who share so much in common as past and present educators – Mary Ann retired after 38 years in the classroom – teaching is about making a difference in the lives of students, and while they joke about finances, their shared passion for helping young people to learn is their real motivation.
Read more about Mary Ann and Doug Kline in the March/April 2012 edition of Valley Women Magazine in print or our online E-Edition.
Copyright © 2013, Imperial Valley Press