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Legendary Educator To Be Honored At Avery Middle School

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Sonora, CA — Tom Eising, who has served as a teacher, basketball coach, principal, athletic director and school board member, is receiving very special recognition.

The Vallecito Union School District has decided to dedicate the Avery Middle School Gymnasium in his honor. The community is invited to a special ceremony on November 16, at 4:45pm, in the gym.

Eising began his career with the district in 1971, as a teacher at the former Murphys Grammar School. Built in 1860, it was the oldest continually run schoolhouse west of the Mississippi River up until its closing in 1973. That year, Eising became one of the founding staff at the new Albert Michelsen Elementary School. For 20 years he taught courses like social studies, math and physical education. In 1993, the district opened Avery Middle School, and Eising became one of that school’s founding staff members.

Throughout his years at the three schools, he spent a collective 30 years coaching boys and girls basketball.

Current Albert Michelson Principal, Josh O’Green, played for Eising in 1988. In a statement from the district, he recalls, “Besides being an excellent teacher, Tom was always a great basketball coach who we loved playing for. Every year, he took the eighth-grade boys on a trip to Lake Tahoe to play in a tournament for a few days. The trip was always well thought out and he made sure everyone had a great time.”

Eising retired from teaching and coaching in 2005, but continued to stay involved by refereeing basketball games, filling in occasionally as a substitute principal, and for a period of time being the interim principal at Albert Michelson.

In 2018 he was appointed to the Vallecito Union School Board and continued to serve until his retirement this year.

Reflecting on what he enjoyed most, over the past 50 years in education, Eising says, “It keeps coming back to the fact that I just enjoyed going to school. I enjoyed the students. I enjoyed the people I worked with. I probably got more out of it than the kids did. It was rewarding in so many ways, especially the relationships I built along the way. I can honestly say I never regretted getting up and going to work for a single day. I even looked forward to the school board meetings, though sometimes I couldn’t get a word in. It was a terrific career choice and my family is proud of me and the work I’ve done.”

The November 16 ceremony is expected to last around 45 minutes and will take place immediately before the 5:30pm school board meeting.