Woodlake educators split the title of Grand Marshal
woodlake – Two cattle ranchers who found second careers raising the youth of Woodlake will share the title of Grand Marshal for the 64th annual Woodlake Lions Rodeo. David “Doc” Harrow and Sandy Crawford have spent the last quarter century or more educating students’ minds and spirits from infants to adolescents.
While Harrow didn’t grow up in Woodlake, he did grow up in a cattle ranching community similar to Woodlake in Lakeview, Ore. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Chico State in 1960 and 1965, Doc earned his doctorate in Earth science and geophysics from the University of Oklahoma in 1974.
After a career as an environmental coordinator for San Luis Obispo County, administrative positions with two different crude oil production companies, and a steel fabrication company as well as with a water well drilling company in Bakersfield, Doc was looking to be closer to his sons.
In 1992, he and his wife Sandy moved to the cattle-ranching community of Elderwood. Two years later he was offered a position directing the Agriculture Department at Woodlake High School (WHS). He taught Ag Mechanics, Ag Science, was the FFA Advisor, supervised student projects at the Ag Farm. The son of a cattle rancher in Oregon, Doc basically rebuilt the WHS Ag program. He later moved to the Social Science department teaching history, American government and economics. In 2013, he retired from full-time teaching, but remains active at WHS as a medical trainer for all sports. He runs the basketball game clock and completed his 1000th game this winter. He continues to support the WHS Theatre Arts with roles on and off of the stage. He also continues to substitute teach when requested and assists with graduation, Senior Scholarship and Senior Exit Interviews.
“It keeps me in touch with my former and current ‘daytime’ sons and daughters,” he said.
David has been a member of the Woodlake Memorial District Board of Directors. He has been a member of the Woodlake Lions Club for over 20 years. He is an avid student of U.S. History and participates as often as possible in Civil War Reenactments.
Crawford has spent her whole life the Woodlake community becoming adept at carpentry, masonry, plumbing, electrical work, accounting, and rattlesnake removal, but the main thing she’s known for is her love for kids. In addition to her four adult children, she has 13 grandchildren, and two great grandkids, but still makes time to mentor and support children of all ages in the Woodlake community.
While her children were growing up in Woodlake, Crawford was an active member of PTA, a 4-H Citizenship leader, and a “team mom” for swim team, band, Little League, and Pop Warner. She also ran a cattle ranch, farmed avocados and pomegranates, and managed a commercial catfish operation.
In 1981, she went back to school for her degree in early childhood education, and soon was hired at St. Clement’s Day Care Center. She has been director there for 33 years now, and has helped hundreds of Woodlake youngsters get a great first start on their school careers.
Every Thursday afternoon, she can be found at the Woodlake Presbyterian Church, disciplining her 6th-grade group of girls. She and her long-time “accomplice,” Judi Vaccaro, have been leaders of the high school youth group at the church since 1983, and have supported students through musicals, all-night movies, snow trips, camp trips, theme park trips, coast trips, and just about any other kind of activity they could think of which would get kids involved!
For the last 20 years, another important part of her life as a youth group leader has been the annual Easter-week mission trip to Mexico. The team from Woodlake usually consists of several adults and 10 or more teenagers who help with a construction project and hold bible school for children during the annual trip.
Sandy and her husband, Bill Crawford, Jr., have also played a role in the community-at-large. St. Clement’s has a float, designed by Sandy, each year in Woodlake’s Western Week Rodeo Parade. She was honored to be chosen as Woodlake’s “Woman of the Year” in 1996, while he was chosen “Man of the Year” in 1997. She has also been awarded Woodlake’s “Woman of the Decade.”
Wherever she goes, someone will call out, “Hi, Teacher Sandy!” Some of those shout-outs are from 35-year-olds!