Fountain Valley School District Marc Ecker has been in education for the better part of 40 years. Friday night, no one will be happier than Ecker that the is a 21-and-old event, and that none of the district's students will be anywhere in sight. Ecker sat down with Fountain Valley Patch to talk about his preparation for the event, and what he expects to go down.
What's your motivation for competing in the pageant?
I'm representing the Fountain Valley Educational Foundation. We wouldn't be able to have a music program in our district if it wasn't for the foundation. We wouldn't be able to do music, we wouldn't be able to do the science that we're doing, we wouldn't be able to give out teacher grants. There's just no money. If my reputation takes a hit because of this, then I figure it's for the good of the foundation. We didn't have a fundraiser this year, and it's been a tough year for that. I figured after closing a school and sort of taking it in the chin with people who are disappointed because of that, maybe I'll give them a chance to get a crack at me if I totally humiliate myself. So I'm excited about it.
What's your strategy for winning the competition?
Honestly, I don't know how this is going to turn out. I can tell you that I'm not practicing every minute of the day in any way, shape or form…My talent, I'd like to keep it a secret because it's very different than would you would expect. We only have about two minutes up there, which, when you're up on the stage, seems like an hour, especially when you don't know what the hell you're doing.
Do you have any sort of edge over your fellow contestants?
Surprise. I haven't really had time to work on an ace in the hole. I just want to make sure one foot doesn't trip over the other. But I would say that maybe it would be coming out with something that is not typical of me. Will it work? I don't know. Most of the times, I've always gone into things where the amount of preparation is usually correlated to some sort of positive result. I can tell you, if that's true in this case, all five of us are not going to be hitting the expectation. It's more of a gesture of five individuals to step our of their comfort zones for the good of the community.
How would you feel if you won the title?
I'd be thrilled. I can't imagine me winning, but I'd be very proud. And I would hope that as I come closer to the end of my career, I'd be very proud because I think it would help the foundation. Now I've been told that the winner is back on next year to defend his title. So it's a two-edged sword.
Who would you like to see compete in the future, and why?
There's a number of names that come to mind. One name is someone like Larry Crandall. Larry has been a member of the Fountain Valley School District Board of Trustees. He's been a member of the city council, both for long periods of time. People know him; they recognize him, and I think he'd be an excellent candidate for this. I'd love to see him run for this title. Another name that comes to mind is Chris Herzfeld, the principal of Fountain Valley High School. Chris is a super, super guy. I think that he's a recognizable figure, and I think he'd be great. Probably another person is Dan Llorens, the chief of police. Dan has been in the community for a long time, and I think he'd also be an admirable candidate.