Scott D. Kerby Class of '79
College of Science
Scott D. Kerby entered Cal Poly Pomona expecting to become a civil engineer. That’s not what happened, though, and he couldn’t be happier.
“I didn’t have the passion toward the major that I thought I should have,” he recalls. “One day I saw an opportunity for volunteers to help with Special Olympics at Lanterman State Hospital. They needed a coach and trainer, and I fell in love with it.”
Kerby earned a B.S. degree in physical education in 1979 with an adapted physical education concentration. Since 2011, he has been director of the State Special Schools and Services Division of the California Department of Education.
“When I changed my major, I found something very valuable, including those who shared my passion,” he says. He fondly recalls his P.E. department mentors, Professors Barney Anooshian and Don Morris. “They had an authentic passion, a special zeal for individuals with special needs and the value of differentiating instruction to include a student with disabilities in activities to the fullest of his/her abilities.” He says those in the small department were so supportive that “success could not be avoided.”
Kerby, who had grown up in nearby Corona, says Cal Poly Pomona prepared him for success in other ways as well. He was involved with Poly Vue, the university’s open house, and, under the guidance of Don Adee, director of what was then the Office of College and School Relations, he served as a university ambassador. “Dr. Adee and I connected very strongly because he was in higher education administration, but he started as a P.E. major. He was a wonderful role model.”
Married with two grown daughters, Kerby commutes each week from his home in Riverside to his Sacramento office. He also continues as an adjunct professor at University of Redlands. Before taking the state job, Kerby held numerous administrative posts with San Bernardino City Unified School District and started his career at California School for the Deaf in Riverside. In 1997, he earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Azusa Pacific University.
“My profession is still with individuals with special needs,” he says. “That passion really never leaves you. Every day I thank the people who gave me this passion and allowed me to pursue it.”
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