Featured Member: Pete Gavin

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Leslie and I moved to Oakmont in December of 2016. I commuted to my job as an eighth grade English teacher in Kentfield (Marin County) until June of 2017 when I retired from over 32 years of public school education. I started my education career in the early 80s in San Francisco, working as a substitute teacher while getting my teaching credential at SFSU. 

In 1985 I accepted a job as a fourth grade teacher in Humboldt County, where I worked for nine years. During that time (1991-92), I participated in a Fulbright teaching exchange in Belfast, Northern Ireland where I taught 9 year-olds multiple subjects, including religion. The neighborhood in which I taught was The Short Strand, a small Catholic enclave in otherwise mostly Protestant East Belfast. It was a very violent period, and within our first week, our neighbor’s house was fire-bombed and burned to the ground. Almost half of my students had at least one family member in prison for IRA involvement. It was a very scary time, yet I developed some strong friendships and came to love the people of Belfast…and greater Ireland in general.

In 1994 my then wife and I moved to Montpelier, Vermont where I taught eighth grade English and got a taste of Vermont winters which the locals define as “Nine months of snow and three months of damn poor sledding.” When our marriage began to fall apart, I decided to move back home — I was raised in Berkeley — and accepted a job teaching in the Kentfield School District where I enjoyed 21 years in a wonderful district with great kids and colleagues. 

In September of 1996 I met my beautiful wife, Leslie, and my real life began. We actually met on match.com (when it was still called that, before people included photoshopped pictures and an abundance of hyperbole). Within a year or so, before we married, we bought a condo in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. Our timing was pretty, pretty, pretty good, but the weather in the city forced us to move to Gerstle Park in San Rafael where we lived for ten years before moving to the Country Club neighborhood of Southern Novato. Though we loved Novato, we realized that if we moved to Sonoma County, we could probably engineer an earlier retirement than we had planned, and have more time for gardening, cooking, dinner parties, hiking, seeing movies & pickleball (though I didn’t start playing pickleball until at least a year after moving here as I had been a life-long tennis player).

After a year or so of the retired life, I decided I needed a little structure, so in April of 2018 I accepted a job at Joseph Phelps Vineyards as a wine educator where I worked happily for two years until Covid struck. During the pandemic I didn’t work again until October of 2021 when I took on a position as a part-time driver, delivering meds for Hospice, an organization for which I have the utmost respect.

I love my life, I love Oakmont and I love pickleball.