The French Language exam was necessary to enter the UW Social Work Program. Since he didn't meet this requirement, he started wondering what he would do next…
Disappointed and with few options, Joe decided to go for his teaching degree instead. Thankfully, a French test needed. Joe received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and Theater from the University of Washington and went from there. He served two terms in the Peace Corps, in Afghanistan and Saipan, Mariana Islands. His journey as an educator had begun!
When Joe returned to the United States, he taught and directed programs in migrant education, with which he had plenty of experience in his childhood. He received his M.A. as a Reading Specialist and started consulting as well as teaching.Eventually feeling that administration would allow him to be more involved in the establishment of innovative programs and curricula, he went back to school to complete his M.A., Education Administration. He continued consulting work in Reading Styles with Marie Carbo and was also an adjunct professor at the University of Washington.
Joe's first Principal position was in central Washington where a large number of migrant workers lived. Of course, Joe had first-hand migrant farm working experience. Next, he moved to the Seattle area and to Sherwood Elementary, in the Edmonds School District. After only a couple of years there, he brought vision and excitement to his school's community by introducing a new program, the mulit-aged, non-graded program. Teachers, parents, the school district and students experienced a highly motivating and successful program.
Eventually the program blossomed into its own school, Madrona Nongraded, with an average of 450 students per year on the waiting list to get into the school. (Madrona celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2010 and the Joe Rice Scholarship is still going strong!)
After twelve years in Edmonds, Joe made his biggest education move yet to become the President and CEO of a large independent school in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mid-Pacific Institute. There he again continued to bring his extraordinary vision of innovation to the school.
With more than 40 years of experience, Joe has inspired many along the way with his childhood stories, educational expertise and great sense of humor.
Joe retired from Mid-Pacific Institute in 2013 and moved back to the Seattle area. During the past year he has finally found time to take care of his garden, work on home remodeling projects and to complete his long awaited memoir, NOT YOUR ORDINARY JOE.