Wahoo! Small SoHum School Gets $3000 Christmas Present

Casterlin school

[Image from Casterlin School website]

Casterlin Elementary received a Christmas present from the Monroe Tobin Family fund–a $3000 present.

The Friends of Casterlin Elementary (FOCS) announced today that the Fund which is part of the Humboldt area Foundation donated the money to help keep a third teacher for their small school.

“The money will be used to pay ½ the salary of a teacher position, allowing for smaller class sizes as each classroom continues multiple grades,” the FOCS said. “The support of the Monroe Tobin Fund is greatly appreciated, and their grant will help ensure the students’ academic success.”

Note: The initial report from FOCS gave an incorrect number for the donation. It is now corrected.



    • $5000 dollars is half a teacher’s yearly salary. And conservatives will tell You that they are overpaid civil servants.

      Teachers are the D-Day vets of this generation, heroes doing the shittiest, most emotionally draining and societally necessary on a barely livable salary.

      • I’m guessing that the donation is being added to make 1/2 of a salery to maybe other funds raised previously?
        Just guessing..

      • As a former teacher at South Fork, I was adequately paid. In 2017 the average teacher pay at S. Fork was $54,280, plus another $20K in benefits.There are long serving teachers with Masters degrees that get paid nearly $100k plus benefits.
        It is very easy to get a Masters degree in Education and a teacher who wants to
        can get their Masters while only only traveling to a college a few times.
        I know this because I did it.
        Now technically we have 240 days a teacher has to work, but reality is different.
        A lot of those days are not spent teaching.
        We have minimum days, 5-10 days before school starts and the same when the school year is done.
        In my 8 years of teaching, I averaged 150 days of actual teaching.
        Add in the fact that it is nearly impossible to get fired for simple being a bad teacher.
        I averaged 6 hours work/day, I got paid an additional hour/day to do nothing.
        While at S. Fork I also taught through the Mattole Valley Charter school via computer. I was making over $110,000/year and that was was 1995-2003.
        The teachers union was a major problem that dove up costs. I didn’t have any use for the health benefits, retirement etc. as I was already retired and had that covered.
        Go to http://www.transparentcalifornia.com to see most of the Humboldt County school district salaries. You will see many, many teachers with $100,000 salaries and benefits, which is more than twice the average income for the County.

        • The Hermit of Grizzly Mountain

          FYI, The CalStateTeach induction program is entirely online and is designed specifically to support rural and urban schools. The program is run directly out of the CSU Chancellor’s office in conjunction with CSU Fresno or CSU LA for accreditation purposes (because the Chancellor’s office is not, itself, an accredited institution).


        • Wow, I’ve worked a defense industry job and did very little work and made lots of money. Whose responsibility was that, the defense industry union?

          So, you were a mediocre educator who did everything for money made lots of money and did very little work. I also taught, worked very hard, was very successful. I found an amazing community of support among dedicated administrators and committed teachers. At other times I was taken advantage of by administrators who were over their head in their jobs. The children were used as pawns by some teachers and administrators who thought the students were there for the benefit of the staff. Some of us put our whole beings into teaching both the easy students and the ones who were already burdened by their circumstances and a system that didn’t serve their needs. There were gifted students and abused students who needed extra support (some were both at the same time). There were families in crisis who were falling apart who begged for help for their kids. There were others who relieved their stress by amplifying drama with the school staff. I worked my butt off to improve the lives of all of their kids. I had plenty to do and still wish I could have done more.

          I still work in education but do so independently because the work of a classroom teacher is the hardest work I’ve ever done. (I’ve fought fire, worked in the woods, done farm labor- second hardest, raised kids, worked in industrial chemistry.) I work with teachers and frankly more of them are dedicated and work harder than most people in most other jobs I’ve observed.

          Their are a lot of problems in our educational system; teachers are pretty low on the list. People who make all teachers’ lives more difficult because they know four teachers who coast in their jobs or taught once and were slackers themselves and the non-solutions those folks promote are higher on the list. They satisfy themselves by spending a lot of time complaining while making things worse.

          • Thank you for your excellent post.

          • There are people who find getting a Master’s easy and those who find it hard (a thought worth considering when saying how hard it is.) The same thing is true for pay, such can vary from district to district. There are many perks to being a public school teacher. Talking about a relative low starting salary without talking about the amount of leave that is comes with it instantly on being hired or the retirement benefits or the length of the work day or the amount of holidays is

            There are negatives of course. That teachers think that having to talk to adults like parents or the public is a negative is very telling. That there are teachers who work very hard is of course very true. That there are teachers who don’t or do a lot of damage yet stay year after year is also true. It is part of working with other humans (children) that makes holding teachers to a standard of effectiveness so hard. Who is at fault if the child fails? The teacher? The parents? The child? Hard to pin down although opinions abound.

            • Gubbernut printed school books of common core curriculum, is my guess. My daughter stopped teaching, after five years in Oakland, three years ago. Two more of her friends at Santa Rosa Elem. schools, gave it up this year. My daughter said she spent more time in the classroom filing out Gubbernut ‘evaluation’ forms for each child, 3 and 4th grades, than time spent teaching. One or two of the kids would have a seizure every so often (taking pharma. meds of some sort), half of them couldn’t speak English., union meetings and dealing w/a principal who was new, gung-ho common core, and younger than she was, ended her dream of teaching, What a shame, these young women were so hopeful at their graduation.

              One morning she telephoned and said, just beyond the schoolyard there were chalk outlines of two bodies on the sidewalk from a gang-related shoot-out the night before.

              Family involvement and community support -the girls and boys growing up in HumCo. are fortunate indeed.

          • So you made weapons, to kill people, and we’re respected, well paid, lots of benefits…while teachers are underpaid, disrespected and overworked. That says a lot about this society’s convoluted and immoral value system.

        • Billy Casomorphin

          I love people, like “hooktender” who say stuff like the above drivel, especially when they say it’s so “easy” to get a Master’s degree…

          What a load of crap! Teachers and school employees should be paid twice as much, on average, and in gold!

          My wife works in a “continuation school” in “special class” for “ED” students, as an MFT. She started out at $45,000/year, after she got her “easily obtained” Master’s degree and worked 2000 hours, essentially unpaid, pre licensure, and, during the training and the first 3 years of her licensure, she worked extra hours, unpaid, “writing notes” and doing administrative tasks like Medi-Cal billing etc.

          Yeah, it’s easy to prepare for these jobs! And “adequately compensated”…

          My brother spent 30+ years teaching High School science. He now lives on “teacher retirement” of about $40,000/year, while his wife is dying of cancer. He is sure to end life broke, homeless, and living with other family members.

          Myself, I worked a low paid healthcare job for over 40 years. Social Security pays $30,000/year, and you have to PAY for your own healthcare insurance! Whooooo!!

          People who dedicate their lives to serving the public are pretty much screwed, coming and going!

          It certainly does not help to hear someone talk about what a “skate” job it was, or how the money was “just fine”.

          It’s not easy, and life comes to a conclusion. I am certainly glad to report that my children make lots more money than I ever did!

      • Jaek is absolutely right on this one. There are reasons California in general and SHUSD specifically can’t keep good teachers. SFHS lost another good one today.

        • https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/careers/2018/05/16/states-where-teachers-paid-most-and-least/34964975/

          Not exactly. There are many reasons for relatively low teacher pay. The prosperity in the school district in general, the size of the district, the other job opportunities, low cost of living, etc. But in general California is right up there in pay.

          • Statewide 3rd highest in cost of living and in pay. No problem there IMO. It’s the emotionally draining part that I think causes the problem.

            Many (not all) students don’t value the education, don’t want to be there, and don’t do their best. Some (not all) parents don’t care. Some (not all) parents blame the school if their child earns a poor grade through lack of effort. Many teachers deal with poor administrators. These people make a tough job brutal.

            There are also many great, reasonable, involved parents and great kids eager to learn and doing their best. These people mitigate the brutality.

            All the students (even the ones who don’t care) are why any good teacher is there in the first place.

      • “conservatives will tell You that they are overpaid civil servants.” -Jackelopterus
        Since when?
        Conservatives Will tell you that govt does not belong in Education, bedrooms, religion, or wages.
        Conservatives Will tell you that teachers are under paid.
        Conservatives Will remind the next wave of voters that every tax increase steered towards improving the living wage of the avg teacher does not end up where it was supposed to. Sure, they’ll get small.. as in… s m a l l … increases, but it’s the bureaucrats that get the huge raises. Sometimes they slap the teachers hard by hiring non essential teachers to teach non essential classes. The 3-R’s have turned into the 3-maybes with a dose of 44-FFS tossed in. The teachers can’t even teach anymore, they have to comply with the ‘global’ one size suits all common core or find a new job type of ‘teaching’. The common core strips away the wonderment of learning new things from other people because it forces every student to learn the same exact thing.
        That is what Conservatives are against. To put it another way, Non conservatives are for one world dumbing down, ridiculous padding of coffers, poverty stricken teachers and students, and govt involvement in every area of everyone’s lives.

        In the old days, conservatives taught everything from home. Civics, reading, writing, math, arts & crafts, first aid, agriculture, home economics, gardening, self sufficiency, manners, and self responsibility. Some kids failed, most didn’t. If it weren’t for the ones who didn’t, we wouldn’t be typing on keyboards, we’d be drawing with sticks in the dirt like what common core is striving towards. Everyone equal to the least learned among us, for no child left behind.

  • Whitethorn School is also working very diligently to keep this small but valuable school open and have been looking at what options are available to keep its doors open and continue to encourage the value of small class sizes and not traveling long bus rides to schools further out especially in elementary grades.
    We have wonderful dedicated parents and teachers and volunteers!
    Nice to see the wonderful donation that the Tobin family was generous with giving

  • That beautiful redwood Casterlin Cougars sign was carved, painted and put solidly in place by the inmate crew at the the Calfire camp in lower Redway, about 4-5years ago . The redwood planks were donated by Dean Bowler who lives on the Ave of the giants near Elinore.. thank you all! Thank you Monroe Tobin family…Casterlin is a wonderful school with a great bunch of hard working teachers and staff and wonderful students. Casterlin rocks!

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