Dan O'Brien '52

An email from Dan O'Brien to Rick Gardner and Mike Niklas in January, 2005.

I am finally getting around to writing an article for the newsletter of the Alumni Assn. as you asked.  Writing about oneself can be a little unnerving, but I will give it a good try.  I left Duns Scotus in the third year and final year (for me) and did not renew my final vows.  It was finally clear to me that I wanted to be a married person.  I remember that my Dad drove up to Michigan to take me home and he seemed to be happy I was coming home.  (I know that I was!!)  Dad also gave me the money to pay for the senior year at Xavier.  I repaid him after the year and worked the summer at the swimming pool and also took several courses at X.

By the way, my father, James J. O'Brien was a teacher at St. Bernard High School for over thirty years.  - Hard years in the depression days with six children to feed!  Dad used to be paid monthly and he would walk around the neighborhood paying the butcher and baker with my brother, Jim, and I trailing along.  He had always said that I shouldn't go into teaching, since there was "no dough" in it, and, of course, that is what we both did - 46 years of it for me.

When I graduated with the class of 1957, at Xavier, I worked that summer and also took several Edu. classes and realized that I needed some more education yet - however, Uncle Sam intervened and stuck me in the six month program at Fort Knox.  (In those days you had to either take six months at Fort Knox plus six years in the National Guard or two full years in the army.  That was a no brainer for me and I took the National Guard on a part time basis.)  Our Battalion in the N. G. offered me and several other men extra training toward becoming officers.  All four of us completed the advance training - at Columbus, becoming Officers.

The times were peaceful during these years and we were lucky - Korea had simmered down and there was a strange peace in the country for at least ten years.  I was a Captain in the artillery finally and liked the military but after the eight years I retired.

In the meantime, I became a school teacher at Reading High School and Raymond Walters College - for eight years.  I enjoyed teaching and also being a basketball coach after school.  I was very fortunate that I got a two year scholarship at UC in order to teach handicapped children and their teachers.

When I was finished with the two years I was hired as a Principal for handicapped children in N. Kentucky.  In my mind this was the best of the jobs I had.  There was a great need for these children, since NO funds were alloted for this in Kentucky.  We finally got this changed in KY and the children were allowed in the public schools.  This final job lasted for me some 37 years, plus the earlier 8 years.  I was the Director of Special Ed. for many years.  Kenton County had some 1100 handicapped children in the county and 12,000 in the whole country.  My last year in Kenton County was as Acting Superintendent for the district. -- until a new man was hired.

Finally, I worked at No. Kentucky University on a part time basis.  I enjoyed this a lot since it was part-time and easy to do.  I always loved the education profession and would go back if I could.....

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