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 Live Oak High School, Morgan Hill, California  

 

The Passing of Louis Miles Tolbert
June 23, 1962 - September 29, 2006

Louis Miles Tolbert, Jr., a man of great charm, intelligence and wit.  He loved life and lived it fully during his 44 years. Born in Tuskegee, Alabama, he journeyed to California in his parents arms during his first year and celebrated his first birthday in Palo Alto, California.

A zest for school, cooking, sports and living life with gusto showed early in Louis and continued throughout his life in his work as a counselor and administrator at Mountain View - Los Altos High School District and a business man with the El Cajon Project.

Louis is survived by his wife Regina Tolbert, his parents, Louis Sr., and Mattye Tolbert, his brother Kenneth and a host of loved ones.  Services were held at Family Community Church at 478 Piercy Road, San Jose on October 5 at 3:00 p.m.  The family is requesting in lieu of flowers, friends contribute to the American Cancer Society or the United Negro College Fund in his name.


Below is an article written about Louie when he became Vice Principal at Los Altos High School:

Like the fire extinguisher on the wall next to his office door, Louis Tolbert puts out fires.  As the new assistant principal for Los Altos High School, Tolbert is a man of solutions and suggestions.

"I'm a professional problem solver," he said.  Between teacher evaluations, back-to-back meetings, heading the school's High Tech Computer and Systems Organization and a multi-cultural student program, Tolbert said there's always something to keep him busy.  So far, he said he hasn't had any major problems other than time management.

"There are so many things that happen at once, or back to back to back.  Whatever you don't finish today will be here when you come back in the morning."  In his short time with Los Altos High School, he has already filled several binders that line his desk and cabinet, and he is thankful that he has two computers to help him handle the heavy work load.  Despite some moments of depression, he said there are moments of stardom.

Judging from the big "Welcome" banner that hangs above his door, and comments by staff members, his presence and decisions have been well received.

"They have been very warm and receptive and they are allowing me to learn.  They are willing to work with me.  I can't ask any more than that." he said. "I like students, and I think that comes out in my personality."

The students have noticed this and seem to be happy with the school's new administrator, even those who haven't personally come in contact with him.

"He's really nice," senior Laurie Hunter said. "I haven't really talked to him, but he seems really easy to come up to and talk to.  I think Los Altos should keep him."

Senior Cindy Davidson said, "He seems really cool, more on the student level.  He's not out to get you."  She also has yet to actually meet the new assistant principal.  "He's very personable.  He seems like he's looking out for your (students) best interest."

The students aren't the only ones happy with Tolbert. Principal David Brazer was quick to bestow kind words about his fellow administrator.  "He's been great," he said.  "He's jumped right in and already established a relationship with students.  He's exceeded my expectations.  There are some long-term things Louis will have to learn, but as far as day-to-day contact with students and helping with student behavior, he has been terrific."

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Tolbert grew up in the Bay Area.  A graduate of Morgan Hill's Live Oak High School ('80), he received an undergraduate degree at Santa Clara University in theater arts with an emphasis on television production.  After working at KNTV as a facilities maintenance person, he was bumped up to film editor for late night movies, bleeping out curse words and nudity, and adding commercials.

Not happy with his job, and looking at a long family history of educators, he decided to go to San Jose State University to get a master's degree in counseling. As he was wrapping up his education in 1989, an opening was available at Mountain View High School, where he stayed until September 18 of this year.

He spent two years as the summer school principal at Los Altos, before being asked to be the regular term assistant principal.  Tolbert spent his last four years at Mountain View as the counseling coordinator.  He also founded a culinary academy for at-risk students in conjunction with Blue Sky Cafe in Mountain View.

When he's not in school, Tolbert can be found on "any" golf course in the area or spending quality time with his wife at their home in south San Jose.  Next semester, Tolbert plans to go back to SJSU to earn his teaching credential.  Although his current job is on a one-year interim basis, he said he would be more than happy to stay where he is.  "It's a nasty commute, but I love what I do," he said.  "We're in the interest of educating students, and I want to see us maintain that."


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