Feature of the Week
July 8, 2020
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Field retires from Special Education

By: Irene Hilsendager
May 17, 2019

Beth Field has been an educator for 35 years and retirement is looming very near.

Beth was born in Los Angeles and moved into Sonoma County in 1977, mainly as following a friend to UC Santa Cruz, but she attended the Sonoma State University to get her teacher’s credentials and a B. A.

She met her husband Andy in 1982 while working at the Last Hiding Place inside the now Redwood Cafe.

Beth has one son, Dylan, age 27. He is the CEO of his own company called Figma in San Francisco.

Field has taught in four different schools in the district, LA Fiesta, Rohnert Park Junior High, The Ranch and Thomas Page Academy.

When asked why she chose the field of special education, she says it stems back to her childhood. When she was about 10 years old, her mother knew someone whose child had cerebral palsy. He would come to Beth’s house riding his bike, but grunting and groaning with strange movement, but Beth did not care. 

They would hang out and play and they both were happy just be friends. Beth says, “Everybody needs an advocate, everybody needs a friend.” She feels it is very important to be a friend.

Field’s students are like family and she cares tremendously for the kids. She knows she can make a difference in their lives. Everyone should feel good of who they are even when everybody has issues in life.

Beth feels that nobody should belong in categories and knows special students should not get placed in a category in order to get funding for schools.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood.

The symptoms of CP vary from person to person. A person with severe CP might need to use special equipment to be able to walk. A person with mild CP might walk a little awkwardly, but might not need any special help.

Beth says she knows her students, knows what make them tick and helps them move forward.

Since teaching at Thomas Page Academy for 30 years, she is great friends with Mary Campbell, a former principal at Thomas Page.

Field has plans; big plans! She is going back to school full time to get her Master’s degree in early childhood education-having only one year left. She will be visiting her parents in Palm Desert over the Fourth of July weekend to help her parents celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary.

Living in rural Penngrove, Beth does not have time for boredom. She has yards, gardens and friends who visit on a regular basis. Beth says she is perfectly happy being in Sonoma County where she has great friends and a good place to live. 

However, she was very adamant that she will not do substitute teaching-she will volunteer as there are many challenges out there.

With Beth’s last comment she says, “Our kids are the future and the biggest assets so why not put money into education, as public education could be so much more. Teaching is not a noble profession anymore; it is just a never ending job.”