Q&A: Former science teacher trades middle schoolers, part-time job for assisting at Sac State

Former sixth-grade science teacher Doug Whited has a new job assisting professors at Sacramento State University in the Department of Biological Sciences. Whited, who is the husband of high-school biology teach Kellie Whited, worked part time at Country Day for three years.

Doug Whited and Isabelle Leavy, ’17, demonstrate how the ear affects dizziness. Kellie Whited’s physiology class visited the sixth-grade students during their ear unit.

Q: What will you be doing at Sac State?

A: I will be assisting instructors in the biological sciences department, making sure they have all the supplies they need for lecture.

I will also be setting up several of the labs for the anatomy and physiology classes and preparing labs for exams and other lab activities.

Finally, I will be helping out in the department’s stockroom, keeping track of inventory of lab supplies and chemicals, processing orders, and procuring necessary items and delivering them to their appropriate locations.


Q: What are you looking forward to?

A: I am looking forward to working full-time at one location. I am not sure if everyone at SCDS was aware, but I worked another job while I was a sixth-grade science teacher.

When I wasn’t at school, I was a home inspector. I would inspect homes for prospective buyers, climbing through attics and crawling under houses. Then I would spend three to four hours writing a detailed report of all my findings.

While I enjoyed providing this valuable service, it consumed a great deal of my time, and I missed out on time with my family.


Q: Do you have any interesting stories from when you inspected homes?

A: I have encountered many interesting things while inspecting homes.

My job was basically to find things that are wrong with a house, and occasionally that is what happened. Plumbing and electrical issues were (of) biggest concern to me. One of the most memorable events was when I filled up a jetted bathtub in a second-story master bathroom. When a jetted tub is operated, a significant amount of water is required. Unbeknownst to me, the tub had not been used in over five years, and all of the seals/gaskets on the jets and drain fittings were dried out. After I filled up the tub, turned on the jets and started to drain it, the people who were on the main level (directly underneath the tub) started screaming as water from the tub rushed through the light fixture in the ceiling above them!

It was a huge mess, (but) I got lucky because the homeowner was aware that the tub had not been used in quite some time. He didn’t accuse me of damaging the tub because of it. Needless to say, I am not a fan of jetted bathtubs!


Q: What are you going to remember about Country Day?

A: All of the people I worked with and the students that I had the privilege of teaching. The Country Day family is a real thing. We watch out for each other. (It’s hard for me to keep from using the term “we.”)

I still feel such a strong connection to the school and all of the people here. I am going to miss interacting with the other teachers, and I am really going to miss singing the “Electromagnetic Spectrum” song!


Q: What was your favorite thing to teach at Country Day?

A: I taught only one class, sixth-grade physical science, and I will miss it.

(I’ll miss the) daily activities of talking with an accent, keeping track of “DOUGHNUT PARTY” on the board (Whited’s class would earn letters for every day they had good behavior. Once the letters spelled “doughnut party” the class got a donut party.), dropping a two-by-four to get the class’s attention, and subjecting myself to ridicule during my annual color-vision test.

All of these were my favorite, and I truly hope that I can see my former students from time to time. I look forward to hearing about their successes in middle school, high school and life! I have been blessed to know each and every one of them.


Q: Do you have a singular favorite memory?

A: I really cannot recall a singular favorite memory.

One of my more recent great days was my first day of helping out with the golf team in February. It was a lot of fun being on the course in a different capacity than what I am used to.

Usually I golf because I get an opportunity to escape and be by myself for a few hours. As an assistant golf coach, however, I got to be a part of something larger. I helped others learn more about a game that I love.

—By Spencer Scott

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