[Congressional Record Volume 147, Number 96 (Wednesday, July 11, 2001)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1314]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                        HON. FORTNEY PETE STARK

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, July 11, 2001

  Mr. STARK. Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to a legendary 
educator in my congressional district who retired on June 30, 2001 
after an illustrious thirty-six year career filled with memorable 
contributions to the Hayward, California school district.
  A native of Alameda, California, Larry began his career in 1965, when 
he worked as a history/government teacher and counselor at Mt. Eden 
High School. Four years later, he became an administrator at Tennyson 
High School where he took the reins and lead with vigor and creativity.
  He stood on hot coals more than once for a good five to ten minutes 
during pep talks to student leaders at their annual weekend retreat.
  Many recall the time in 1970 when Larry rode a galloping horse 
between the Tennyson High School buildings to chase down a truant 
student--a legendary story that people still talk about three decades 
  In 1971, Larry became vice principal at Hayward High School and five 
years later he led as principal of Sunset High School until it closed 
in 1990. He returned to the 1,900-student Hayward High School as 
principal, the last position he held before his retirement.
  ``You got to have some pizzazz,'' Larry said, while wrapping up his 
final days as a public school administrator. ``You are competing with 
the MTV culture.'' Larry describes his career as ``fun.'' He said, 
``There were days when it was not fun and hours that I thought, ``Why 
am I doing this?''
  Having once considered being a lawyer, Larry enjoyed the excitement 
of a high school principal's life, that every day was different. He is 
proud of Hayward High School and its wide class offerings and plethora 
of extracurricular student activities.
  Parents, teachers, students, administrators and community leaders 
express great admiration for Larry Ratto's three decades of outstanding 
leadership in education as well as his exemplary involvement in 
community activities. I ask my colleagues to join me in paying tribute 
to this colorful, legendary educator, and community leader.