Parker, Weldon R. (1930-2017)

Parker, Weldon R. (1930-2017)

Date Updated



Elementary Education

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

Stanford University, 1964 Ed.D

San Jose State University, 1958 MA.

University of Pacific, Summer

San Jose State University, 1952 BA

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1958-1982

San Joaquin County Office of Education, 1955-1958

Santa Clara City Schools (5th & 6th grades), 1952-1955

Administrative and Professional Experience

Real Estate Sales (part‑time);

Square Dance teacher/caller (hobby);


Selected Publications

Contributing Author: Classroom Learning Centers; Teaching the Disadvantaged Child.

Various Science Articles for Teachers Ideas and Materials Workshop.

"Trailerboat Travelling," (column) Trailer Boats Magazine; "Clear Lake California," (feature article) Trailer Boats Magazine; CACHE CREEK‑‑That's Nice God, but I Can Do Better," (article) Lake County Art Beat; "Great Blue Heron" (article) Lake County Art Beat; Articles on Clear Lake Wildlife (various), Clear Lake Observer newspaper; Articles on Florida Keys Wildlife (pelicans), Reporter newspaper.

Down the Magical Mississippi, Sun Seeker Books, available from us.

Personal Commentary

From the time I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a teacher. But, as the son of migrant farm workers, there was no way I could attend college. Then, in my senior year at Healdsburg High School (CA), my girlfriend (now wife), a student at Geyserville High School told me of a scholarship she had heard about. I applied to the California P.T.A. and received a 4 year scholarship, and headed for San Jose State University.

At SJSU, I had many excellent teachers, but my inspiration was Dr. William R. Rogers, Professor of Education.

My girlfriend and I were married in my sophomore year, 1950. I graduated from SJSU in 1958, with great distinction and honors in Education.

As a teacher in Santa Clara, I soon learned that there wasn't enough time in the school day to teach science the way I wanted‑‑in the field. Another SJSU graduate and I started a Saturday field school we called "Outdoor Explorers." This program was later incorporated as part of SJSU's "West Coast Nature School," and still later became the model for a class in field trips in the Science Education Department.

In my senior year at SJSU, I had the opportunity to teach sections of Natural Science 10 C. This experience convinced me that I wanted to teach at the college level some day. A dream which came true in 1958 when I was invited to teach Science Education courses in the summer session. In the fall, I joined the faculty as an Instructor in Elementary Education and Instructional Technology. This move resulted in a substantial LOSS in salary from my position as Science Consultant for the San Joaquin County Schools. But it was worth it as the next 23 years were some of the happiest of our lives.

Upon retirement in 1982 (at age 52), my wife and I set out to explore the great rivers of the America in our trailerable 26 foot cabin cruiser, SOL SEAKER. Over the next 6 years we traveled the Mississippi River, Tennessee River, Cumberland River, Ohio River, parts of the Allegheny and Monongahela, the rivers of Florida‑‑including the St. Johns and the Suwanee, parts of the Intercoastal Waterway, Lake Erie, Detroit River, Trent Severn and Rideau Canals of Canada, St. Lawrence River, Chambley Canal, Lake Champlain, Hudson Canal and Erie Canal. Following our Mississippi River voyage, we wrote Down the Magical Mississippi, a 312 page paperback describing the adventure.

For the past several years we have been dividing our time between Clearlake, CA (April‑October) and the Florida Keys (November‑March). In both places we teach and call square dances, boat, fish, swim and occasionally write articles and poetry.

Date Completed: 9/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Parker, Weldon R. (1930-2017)