About the Author
Dr. Jeanne E. Hon has had a rewarding (and she says hilarious) career with the nation's second largest school district, Los Angeles Unified School District. Married at seventeen (causing her parents considerable hysteria), she worked as a secretary to put her young World War II veteran-husband through college. She then entered college herself, and to her husband's surprise, attended for the next twelve years, simultaneously achieving many university degrees and a son and daughter. (He wasn't surprised about the son and daughter) Her experiences as a psychologist, counselor, coordinator of the gifted, principal, and administrative consultant afforded her a wonderful opportunity to view educational reform, integration, innovation and chaos. She has been a lecturer at the university level since 1974, giving her the opportunity to view education from both theoretical and practical aspects. She has had too many awards to mention, from being selected as The L.A. Times' Teacher-of-the-Year to the "Honor of Excellence" Program, cosponsored by the National Association of School Principals and the Council of Chief State Officers, recognizing the outstanding principal from each state. (She states, "With my usual luck, the President of the United States was unable to present the award, and at the last minute Vice-President Dan Quayle presented the award in his place") She felt that her most interesting assignment was as a State Department lecturer. Requested by the United States State Department to lecture throughout West Africa to the Peace Corps and Secondary Teachers, she was part of an educational reform process that Senegal embarked upon. Although she has had numerous articles published in prestigious educational journals, this is her first foray into narrative: relating her particular experiences-informative, shocking, and humorous-in the fledgling magnet program at a K through 12 Alternative School in LAUSD.