Frisco holds out for a hero

27th February 2004 at 00:00
Last week we left Chris Waterman, head of the local authority education officers' association, Confed, and the diary's answer to Penelope Pitstop, lashed to a pole above a pile of firewood, waiting to be burned at the stake. Of course, Mr Waterman survived that peril and last weekend saw our hero traversing the big pond to the American Association of School Administrators' (AASA) conference in San Francisco. He made a bit of an impact. "Forget the Beatles. Chris Waterman is a one-man British invasion," the daily newspaper produced for the 3,200 delegates enthused. While he was praised for his "insight and wit", it was his song-writing that really impressed his hosts. In one effort he rewrote the American classic "On top of Old Smokey" on a contemporary educational theme, but Mr Waterman went platinum when he noticed "AASA" would readily fit into the disco anthem YMCA and managed to persuade some unsuspecting AASA staff to perform the camp classic with him at the end of conference dinner.

Here is a taster: "Staffers, you are right to feel proud I said staffers, you're a mighty fine crowd I said staffers, I'm the new guy in town But you've made me feel so happy... It's fun to be with the AASA It's fun to be with the AASA You have plenty for members to enjoyYou have plenty, their minds for to employ It's fun to be with the AASA..."

The diary can't quite reconcile itself to the image of Mr Waterman and the American education officers cavorting in false moustaches and leather breeches in a San Francisco diner but please contact us if you wish to commission this song writing phenomenon for your conference.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today