Superintendent Terry Walker: 10 things you don’t know about me

Terry Walker, superintendent of the Irvine Unified School District, reveals his favorite childhood vacation (two months in a camper), his most embarrassing moment (it involved a spelling bee), and the best advice he ever received (thanks, Dad!). Read on to find more things you didn’t know about the superintendent who leads California’s top school district.

  1. My favorite childhood memory was when my whole family traveled all around the United States for two months in a camper.
  2. The best advice I got from my father was that people aren’t comfortable looking in the mirror and admitting that they have been doing something wrong, so you have to help people to focus on the positive in order to maximize their potential. He would often say, “Accentuate the positive.”
  3. In my downtime, I enjoy an array of activities with my wife and four kids, including beach volleyball, golf, tennis, horseback riding and surfing.
  4. My favorite movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It is an inspiring reminder for people to appreciate and leverage their own “George Bailey Effect.”
  5. My favorite book is Harry Potter’s Prisoner of Azkaban. I read the whole series to my children and that one is filled with unexpected twists and surprises.
  6. My most embarrassing moment happened in 5th grade. I won the school competition and became our representative in a district-wide spelling bee. I was ready, but I was so nervous that I inadvertently added “-ed” to the very first word. My whole family was there and I just felt like I let everyone down, but my mom looked at me and said, “This is STILL the proudest night of my life.”
  7. My biggest regret is not making enough time to appreciate the people around me. So many people enrich our lives and it only takes a moment to thank them. I try my best to acknowledge the dedication and contributions of others, but I always feel like it is inadequate.
  8. My four children are all uniquely talented with diverse interests. Two of my daughters are amazing horse riders and compete in state jumping events; my other daughter is a gifted singer, songwriter and pianist; and my son is as agile as a monkey and excels in any sport he chooses.
  9. I don’t have a celebrity crush because my wife is the most exceptional and beautiful woman on the planet. We’ve been married for over 20 years, and she will always be the best part of my life.
  10. If I didn’t start a career in education, I would probably still be a commercial real estate investment broker.