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An Interview With Richard Estevez
Not available online
TitleAn Interview With Richard Estevez
AbstractInterviewer: Irene Ruiz. Interview recorded November 19, 1977. 2 sound cassettes (ca. 90 minutes): analog, stereo.; 5 7/8 x 2 1/2 in., 1/8 in. tape; 2 sound discs; digital; 4 3/4 in. Has printed guide to contents.
NotesRichard Estevez was born February 10, 1946 in Kansas City, Missouri. In the interview he discusses his early life, working for the Kansas City School District and discrimination he felt there, field of education in general, etc.

Number 10 and 11 on MP3 disc.
LocationSC69-1, Tapes 11, Part 1 and 2; CDs 11, Part 1 and 2
Local SubjectHispanic Americans
Oral History
Estevez, Richard
Item TypeArchival Material
TranscriptionSynopsis of Interview:

Mr. Richard Estevez was born on February 10, 1946 in Kansas City, Missouri. His parents are: Linda Rocha Estevez and Richard Joseph Estevez. He has one brother and one sister, both younger than him. The Estevez family lived at 24th and Bellview but when he was about six years old they moved to Washington, D.C. close to Georgetown. His father was going to school to complete his degree in business administration to work for the Foreign Service while his mother worked at the Pentagon.

The family returned to Kansas City. Mr. Estevez went to Switzer grade school one year; another year to Our Lady of Guadalupe school and then four years to Pius X school which used to be in the Westport area. He continued his elementary learnings in Catholic schools. He speaks very highly of his nun teachers. His family moved from the West Side to close to 39th and Broadway.

About 1952/53 the family went to Europe and lived in Frankfurt for about a year. His sister was born in Frankfurt. His father had a very sensitive type government position. He remembers German guards stationed in his house at all times. Mr. Estevez family moved back to Kansas City. He went to High School at Rockhurst (1960/64). He wanted to become a medical doctor but gave it up because algebra and geometry were not for him. His mother encouraged and helped him to go to college more than his father, although he worked at different jobs to pay his tuition. He graduated in 1968.

After graduation he looked for a job, but decided to go to Columbia University another semester. He wanted to work for the School District as a contract teacher at Manual. After three months he was drafted. Before going into the Service he took a trip to California and Mexico.

Military Service – 1969/1971. After his first basic training he was sent to El Paso, Texas. He enjoyed the Service. He was trained in his specialty Air Defense System. Mr. Estevez was married in Kansas City while he was in basic training, then his wife joined him in El Paso, Texas. He worked as a typist secretary and later as an instructor teaching special weapons and confidential material, all of this was possible because he had a degree in teaching. This lasted until August, 1971. He had no overseas duty.

Mr. Estevez returned to Kansas City and was able to obtain employment teaching in the West High School. The following year he was asked to be chairman of history in social studies. In order to do this, he needed a master's degree. Therefore, he enrolled at UMKC and got his degree. Mr. Estevez worked two years in this capacity. In 1975 the Director told him he would have to go to Switzer. He was disappointed because five assistants were promoted while he was passed over because he is Mexican. Three of the five were justified but not the others. He did like working at Douglas. His primary function was discipline and evaluation of teachers at Switzer, with about twenty teachers. He returned to Douglas as acting Principal. He was demoted with eleven other chicano teachers but because of affirmative action they were rehired. He requested to be transferred to another location because he was passed over and was demoted back to Assistant Principal. He felt he was being discriminated. All this happened when Mr. Hunter was Principal of Douglas. He resigned his administrative position on October, 1976 but gave a 30 day notice and sent copies of his resignation to all the Board to let them know things were not going well in the District. He was reinstated as full principal.

Teachers strike. It affected him, he lost his part-time job at Penn Valley. This was in 1973, a bad year for Mr. Estevez, he was also divorced that year and lost about $7,000.00 of income. Mr. Estevez praises many of his co-workers especially Dr. John Duncan for all the support he received from them.

Future plans. He has mixed feelings for the future. He is concerned about the library and _____ programs. He would like to become a superintendent. He definitely likes to stay in education. He likes to stay in education because he loves the two and one half months vacation to travel. No other job offers that much.

Influences in his life. His mother and his aunt encouraged him to pursue a career. His mother more than anyone else. Outside of his family his sixth grade teacher, Sister Genevieve was very helpful. Mr. Estevez mother was born in Broadmore, Nebraska. She worked in the fields as many of his relatives who settled in Kansas City. He describes his mother as a very dynamic, aggressive person who always wanted things for her children, but also very kind and understanding and a hard worker. She has worked at the Library, St. Joseph Hospital, and Penn Valley. She is always moving. She is not content staying in one place – no waste of time.
Access This ItemYou may come to the Missouri Valley Room to listen to the interview.
Item ID210294
CONTENTdm number36328
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