But did you know that Jeff worked for 33 years in education as a teacher and principal at middle schools and high schools in the South Bay? “Some of my former students are now REALTORS ® who are members of PSAR,” said Jeff. “It’s great to see former students doing so well in their careers.”
The 72-year-old also was an avid runner for more than 30 years, completing two marathons (at age 59 and 60) and 10 half-marathons.
A native of Allentown, Penn., Jeff earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Bucknell University located along the Susquehanna River in Lewisburg in central Pennsylvania. Coincidentally, his three children, who grew up in San Diego, also attended Bucknell and later earned master’s degrees from Harvard, Columbia and the University of California at Berkeley.
After graduating from Bucknell in 1964, Jeff spent three years in the U.S. Navy, serving on an amphibious ship during the Vietnam War. He met his wife at a “Christmas in July” party in 1967. Jeff and Judy were married on July 6, 1968, in Granville, Iowa. He sold insurance for three years before enrolling at San Diego State University to earn a teaching credential.
In 1971, he was hired as an English and art teacher at Montgomery Middle School on Picador Boulevard in San Diego. Three years later, he was appointed assistant principal at Montgomery. After one year as assistant principal at Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach (1977-1978), he served as principal at Southwestern Middle School near Nestor (1978-1981), and at Chula Vista High School (1981-1985). While at CV High, the school was twice honored with a California Distinguished School award and once as a Blue Ribbon School award from the U.S. Department of Education.
He earned a master’s degree in education administration in 1974, and a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California in 1981. In 1982, he traveled to Washington, D.C. and shook the hand of President Ronald Reagan at a ceremony honoring outstanding public schools.
“Public education should not be afraid of evaluation and accountability, but I still believe it is the bedrock of democracy,” said Jeff.
He then worked for the Sweetwater Union High School District as director of instructional support services from 1985 to 1991, followed by another term as a principal, this time at Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista from 1991 to 1998.
“Overall, I did not have a lot of discipline problems with students and parents,” Jeff said. “For the most part, people like rules. Society works smoother when people follow the rules. And if you are consistent with the consequences for rule breaking, whether it’s detention or suspension, then students are likely to accept the punishment and move on.”
On several occasions, Jeff said former students have contacted him to thank him for demonstrating a positive influence in their lives. “You never know the effect or impact you can have on someone,” Jeff said. “That’s one of the greatest rewards of education.”
He retired from schools after serving as the principal of Chula Vista Adult School from 1998 to June 2004. At age 62, in August 2004, he joined McMillin Realty’s Bonita office, where he still is today.
Judy retired from Sharp HealthCare after working 40 years as a nurse. Jeff and Judy recently celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary. They live in Bonita and enjoy five grandchildren and a sixth is due in a few months on Christmas Day.
“When I retired from education, I was not ready to go sit in a rocking chair,” said Jeff. “I found that real estate is similar to education. In both professions, I can help other people be successful. If you treat people with respect, then you’ll receive the same.”
Jeff said he has found PSAR members to be “dedicated, hard-working professionals who are interested in improving the real estate field. Getting involved in the association has helped to establish my credibility and has helped me get acquainted with good people with whom I can do business.”