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Who’s Who in Lincoln

A portrait of a person who is part of your community
By: Cheri March
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Name: Terri Dorow Age: 53 Occupation: Principal at Carlin C. Coppin Elementary School Residence: Granite Bay Family: Husband Tom, and daughters Jody, of Roseville, and Katie, of Fullerton When did you know you wanted to work in education? “I can remember babysitting three little boys and just playing and thinking, ‘Being with kids is really fun – I’d like to do something with children for a living.’ I worked over the summer as a volunteer in day camps and by then, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.” What’s a typical day like as a principal? “The good thing about a typical day is that there is no typical day. That’s what keeps it fun and exciting. You could come in with a plan, but maybe a parent will want to talk to you or there will be an issue with a student. A plan is more in Jell-O than it is in stone.” What’s the best part of the job? “I’m very much a people person. I enjoy the contacts I have with parents and students and knowing that hopefully I have something to offer.” How about the most challenging part? “Most of us, in any position, have high expectations for ourselves, and the challenge is meeting those expectations. You want to do the best for the kids and obstacles sometimes present themselves that you have no control over.” How do you keep kids excited about school? “We try to make learning relevant, so kids understand why what they’re doing is important. If they understand that, it makes a difference.” Why did you want to work in Lincoln? “I’m from what was considered (in Southern California) to be a small school district, though it was twice the size of this one. I researched a lot of areas, and I like the idea of a small district. The beauty is in building relationships – you really get to make a difference.” What do you do in your spare time? “I love travel – it’s one of my biggest passions. My favorite (trip) was to Italy – we spent three weeks in Rome, Florence and Tuscany – and I also enjoyed Tokyo and Bangkok. We go to Mexico frequently. I also got a new house with a good-sized yard – well, it’s bigger than what I’ve had in the past – so my husband keeps telling me I will have to learn how to garden.” Did you ever get sent to the principal’s office as a kid? “I really was well-behaved, although I did talk a lot. My report cards said, ‘Terri is a very nice girl, but she needs to learn to raise her hand when she speaks.’”