Q&A with Scott Fitzpatrick
June 17, 2020
Fitzpatrick has been a special education case manager at Lincoln for 15 years.
Tell me a little bit about what you did on a normal school day.
My normal school day involved ensuring that the Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for Lincoln High School students were being implemented. Each year, [my] students [came from] all four grade levels and multiple disabilities. Teaching, counseling, consulting with teachers, assisting with coursework, testing, organizing, scheduling and facilitating meetings were [also] all a part of my day. The most important part of my day, however, was ensuring that the Learning Center was a positive place to go for the fantastic students I was privileged enough to work with.
What was your favorite part about Lincoln?
My classroom was located close to the Drama and Music departments. Listening to students regularly create has been such a joy. Unlocking my door in the morning while students were singing, or the piano was playing, is a fringe benefit that I’ll never forget.
What is your favorite memory from all of the years you worked at Lincoln?
My favorite memories include the regular and thoughtful student activism that I’d see year after year. The collective student expression on issues such as gun violence, justice and systemic racism filled my spirit with hope and gratitude.
What was the most difficult part of your job?
Without a doubt, the most difficult part of the job involved the chronic understaffing of the special education department in a comprehensive high school of [around] 1700 students. I never resolved this, though I did try to bring it to light. Also, on a lighter note, preparing and eating lunch in a relaxed manner during a 30-minute time period [was extremely difficult]. This I never resolved either.
What will you miss most after you leave?
I will miss working with students and their families. It’s been an honor. Such brilliant spirits!
What do you plan on doing in retirement?
In retirement, I plan to continue working in areas involving service. I have some ideas. I may briefly [serve as a] substitute [teacher at schools in the district]. I also plan to continue to surf, and I look forward to getting into the water more during the fall, the time when Oregon [surfing conditions] are so good. I’m almost 60, so I need to get out there while I can. My wife and I will travel, and I have a long list of home projects for my 100 year old home. And golf. Yes, more golf is in my future.