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John Knold authored
Song under the pseudonym Morrison Phelps in an effort to
guard against the possibility of his former students
mistakenly identifying themselves, or anyone else, as one
of the fictitious characters in the story.
career in education spanned over 30 years in a variety of
roles including—junior and senior high teacher, director
of career services at Seattle Pacific University, and
policy analyst for the Washington State Workforce Training
and Education Coordinating Board. John also has
journey-level industrial experience as a furniture maker,
and is a past member of the International Woodworkers of
America (AFL-CIO). He has a bachelor’s degree in
Industrial Education from Western Washington University,
and both a M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of
Washington. John and Becky, an artist and also a retired
teacher, have been married for over 40 years and reside in
John is dedicating the profits from
Bluebird Song to The Evergreen State College Gateways
Program for incarcerated youth.
"At age 45, having drifted too far from my original reasons for
becoming a teacher, I quit a cushy policy analyst job and returned
to the classroom. My colleagues thought I had lost my mind.
Teaching young felons, I soon discovered that my work at a state
education agency, my two-decades old teacher training, and two
graduate degrees were essentially useless. In retrospect, my ten
years working with troubled youth were by far the most rewarding,
and eye-opening, of a 30-year career."
- John Knold, from the back pages of
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