Dog sparked Andrews' call to education

December 06, 1990|By Mark Bomster | Mark Bomster,Evening Sun Staff

How did a hot-shot school administrator get his start in education?

"That's a funny story," says J. Edward "Ed" Andrews, deputy superintendent of Baltimore schools and formerly head of the Montgomery County schools.

"When I got out of high school, I didn't know what I was going to do," says Andrews, a Cumberland native. "I drove a cleaning truck. I used to have to go up and knock on doors, 'Any cleaning today?' I didn't like that job much, obviously, but didn't know what I was gonna do.

"One day, I'm knocking on a door and the door opens, a great big dog jumps out and bites me. I thought, 'Boy that's good! I'm quitting this job!'

"So I quit the job, went home, told my Dad. He says, 'All right, son, you got two choices: Go in the Army or go up there to Frostburg State College up the road.'

"At that time, it was Frostburg State Teachers College -- the only thing it had was teacher education. So there's my great commitment to getting into teaching....But I figure that dog helped me."

And he admits that education was his second career choice -- if he'd had his way, Andrews would have been a professional jazz musician.

He came close, playing flugelhorn one summer with big-band leader Woody Herman's outfit.

"It was a summer audition really, and they were doing a recording date in New York, one week," Andrews says. "We went into the recording studio. One of the other trumpet players opened up his case -- and no trumpet.

"What was in there was a great big was a syringe is what it was. And back then, the only people into dope were jazz musician and they were really into it bad.

"And I got scared," he says. "I mean I did't know any of that stuff. I was a kid from the hills of Western Maryland.

"Anyway, I didn't make the band. So I came back to Montgomery County as a teacher."

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