Paysinger Appointed Vice Principal
Dozens of Beverly High students filled the foyer of the auditorium. The clocked ticked. They still lingered, chattering amongst each other about what they were anxiously awaiting for on Tuesday night.
The Salter Family Theater’s clock struck 10 p.m. when the announcement was made by the school board’s president Nooshin Meshkaty.
The students’ beloved athletic director, Carter Paysinger, an alumnus who has almost 30 years teaching and coaching at the high school was appointed as the school’s new assistant principal.
“You are the father to all students,” Meshkaty said congratulating Paysinger as applause rang out from students, teachers, parents, board members and other school alumni.
“I think they chose someone perfect for the job,” said 11th Grader Chris Dukum after Tuesday’s meeting. “Coach Paysinger relates to all of the students at Beverly. He gives the school a more comfortable feel because he creates a family atmosphere, he makes Beverly a safe place. Coach Paysinger is always smiling and always keeping kids motivated.
Nearly 40 years ago, Paysinger, like Dukum, was a student at Beverly. A 1974 Beverly High graduate, he was a member of the school’s football team playing for Ben Bushman and Chuck Kloes. He also played on the school’s baseball team for Hank Friedman.
“As a high school student, school was supposed to be fun, and for me it truly was,” said Paysinger. “I grew up in athletics. The relationships I developed in the athletic program and at the high school are my best memories.”
After graduating, Paysinger played baseball at CalState Los Angeles where he earned a degree in social sciences.
“While I was at CalState, I would come back to Beverly High to watch my brothers Vonzie, Donald and Carlton play sports,” said Paysinger. “When Vonzie was a junior, his coaches Ben Bushman and Bill Stansbury asked if I had ever thought of coming back and coaching.”
At the time Paysinger said he still had to finish college and was thinking of pursuing a career in real estate.
“After a year of urging from (Stansbury and Bushman), I decided to coach as a walk-on while working in real estate,” said Paysinger.
That year in 1979, Paysinger started his career at Beverly High as the school’s walk-on baseball coach.
“It was fun,” said Paysinger. “A classmate of mine, Emory Hill was hired with me. We worked together with Hank (Friedman) as walk-on coaches for three years.”
Paysinger said he still sees Hill every week.
“He had three kids go to Beverly High,” said Paysinger. “His oldest is a senior, I still have an opportunity to see him weekly.”
In 1980, Paysinger began working in the school’s football program under Stansbury. After earning his teaching credential, he was hired as the school’s physical education teacher in 1983.
For seven years Paysinger taught physical education, was the assistant baseball and football coach, while also managing his real estate business.
“My wife (Karen) continued running the business full-time,” he said.
By 1990, he decided he wanted to end his career in teaching, submitting his resignation to principal Ben Bushman, his former football coach.
“I wanted to stop teaching and work in real estate full time,” said Paysinger. “I met with Ben he said ‘okay.’ Three weeks later, he called and said Bill Stansbury and Dick Billingsly (the head football coaches) were both moving on and wanted to know if I would reconsider and stay on as the head football coach.”
He agreed and for 19 years Paysinger acted as Beverly’s head football coach. In 1997, he was appointed athletic director.
Last year, Paysinger was awarded “Model Coach of the Year” in the state of California, the highest honor a high school coach can receive in the state.
“I love the people I have worked with for so many years (who have included) Ben Bushman, Sol Levine, Tanis Harris, Chuck Kloes, my colleagues Jason Newman and Howard Edelman, the kids and the families- it has been a family atmosphere for me,” he said.
“The reason I have stayed as long as I have, is the people.”
Two of his brothers also returned to Beverly to coach. Vonzie is the school’s baseball coach. Donald, the football coach, was head football coach in Santa Monica and an assistant at San Jose State College before returning to Beverly High.
“There are so many families in Beverly Hills that have been so kind to not only me, but my entire family, like the Fenton and the Kravitz families,” stated Paysinger.
Steven Fenton, board of education member and former athlete of Paysinger’s was elated at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I’m sure i speak for thousands of former and current students when i say that nobody is more deserving of this promotion than Carter Paysinger,” said Fenton. “His integrity, character & overall commitment to the children of Beverly Hills High School are unmatched.”
Paysinger will take over for Rick Barclay as assistant principal July 1.
“This is an opportunity and challenge to make a difference,” said Paysinger. “Being a teacher and a coach, I have had the opportunity to see so many people come and go. I was here when Beverly Hills High School was considered one of the best schools in the country, and I have been here when we have run on tough times. Using my experience, I will have the opportunity to help the school district and Beverly High be the best we can be.”
Former Beverly High English teacher Jennifer Tedford will also return to take a position as assistant principal, after former administrator Toni Staser was appointed to a district position.
“It feels so good to be home.”