While at the podium at 7:20 pm addressing the school board at the Jan. 24 meeting of the school board in the council chambers at City Hall, Teacher’s Union leader Dave Meilke tossed a joke, “I urge you to vote no on item 9.4, the resignation of Jerry Chabola.”
But it’s not a joke – Chabola is retiring. When former School Board President Scott Zeidman came to the podium, he asked the coach to stand so he could properly “embarrass him.”
Zeidman ran briefly through the coaches illustrious and extensive career. “Jerry began teaching in our district in 1990. While teaching, he found time to coach Football, Baseball, and Girls Soccer, establish the Culver City National Girls Softball League, act as the president of the Culver City National Little League, coach Babe Ruth Baseball, and establish the CCHS Booster Club, a club that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for our high school. He’s also been a Culver City Parks and Recreation Commissioner, worked with CCHS Big Buddies, Co-founded Vanguard, and presented the “Every Fifteen Minutes,” event, cautioning students not to drink and drive. Jerry’s been our Athletic Director since 1994.”
Quick math fact- In the twenty plus years that Chabola been at Culver City High School, he’s positively affected the lives of more than 15,000 students.
Zeidman concluded, “Over the years, we’ve lost a great many teachers, and the losses are always dramatic. This loss, I fear, will be devastating, not only today, but in the years to come. I’m saddened that my two boys will not have the pleasure of being taught by Jerry Chabola. I urge you to vote NO on 9.4 III, and tell Jerry to come back ten years from now and perhaps then you will consider allowing him to retire.”
Board member Nancy Goldberg added to the accolades saying that he “was a tremendous colleague – you can disagree with him and still love him.”
When I approached Jerry (siting with Janet and Casey Chabola, of course-) and asked him “Why now? Mid-year, stepping down, why not wait until June or September?” He offered a candid and common sense answer. “It’s time. I have a lot of things I want to do, and this will give me a chance to start the transition and get things taken care of.” Janet added “We want to travel, and visit the family- You know, all those things you can’t do when you ‘re teaching a class.”
While no one can ever fill Jerry Chabola’s shoes, there are a lot of worn out sneakers and cleats (and shin guards, and shoulder pads – ) that might never have left the shoe store without his inspiration.