Al Slawson started his teaching and coaching career in Schenectady, New York, in 1957. He came to Tucson in 1960 and served Tucson Unified School District at Utterback Jr. High and Palo Verde High. Then he was selected by Hank Egbert to be the first Assistant Principal for Pupil Personnel Services at Sahuaro. This included Curriculum, Counseling and Guidance and the Registrar’s Office.
He developed a dichotomous Counseling and Guidance Program, which freed the counselors from burdensome paper work and maximized counselors’ time for individual counseling, group counseling, and working with teachers. Guidance specialists were responsible for registration and career information. He developed and implemented with counselors, faculty communication groups with the goal to improve staff relations and ultimately make the total school environment more humanistic. He also developed and implemented a modular scheduling concept that allowed teachers and students more time for individual contact.
Al saw a need for alternative programs in order to keep kids in school and was named Chairman of the District’s Alternative Education Task Force in 1972 that led into the Directorship of Project M.O.R.E. (Models and Options for Renewing Education). From 1978 to 1980, he was Principal for Secondary Education, which included seven secondary alternative education programs. From 1980 to 1988 he served as Director of Instructional Support, Regular Programs for K – 12. Over the years he has belonged to many professional organizations and received many awards for his work.
Al and his wife, Betty June, have two children, Yvonne and Michael, both graduates of Sahuaro.