Wildcat News

Oakland High School Secretary Teri Isono Retires

By WAA Staff
Thursday, June 17, 2010

After 40 + years association with OUSD, Oakland High School secretary Mrs. Teruko "Teri" Isono is retiring. Mrs. Isono's retirement was celebrated twice, first at the Lake Chabot Golf Club for the Oakland High "End of the Year Party" and again at the Silver Dragon Restaurant, Oakland Chinatown. Mrs. Isono began her service to Oakland High as a parent volunteer in the attendance office and ended as principal's secretary. In the interim, she served as Vice Principal's secretary for over ten years under Henriette Green.

Speaking at the Silver Dragon dinner, Ms. Green told the gathering that she considered Mrs. Isono an equal and a friend. Former Principal Joanne Grimm reminisced about Teri's ability to raise needed materials for the schools from local businesses. Mrs. Grimm also revealed that her old friend turned employee regularly came in for a chat and when she closed the door, Grimm knew that her old friend was about to tell the principal what detail she'd missed that needed her attention. As often as not, Grimm turned the job over to Isono, her trusted confidant.

A brief skit highlighting Mrs. Isono's most memorable qualities was performed, with Georganne Ferrier portraying the venerable Mrs. Isono working on timesheets and master calendar and Judi Yeager portraying the teacher who just can't follow the rules. The entertainment culminated in hulas danced by Mrs. Isono's granddaughters Kiana and Keilani.

Ten alumni and 29 former faculty members joined current staff to celebrate at the multi-course dinner at the Silver Dragon. Oakland High alumni present included Aya Allen, Julia DeGuzman, Georganne Ferrier, Stephen Johnson, Linda (Lee) Louie, David Ponas, Shirley (Smyers) Shelby-Watson, and Judi (Gates) Yeager. Of course, the most important alumni attending were Steven and Richard Isono, Mrs. Isono's sons who graduated in the 1970s. Both stated that Oakland High had been like family to their mother.