You may have seen him at a CTA conference. He’s the tall, skinny guy with colorful ties and a camera who says “just one more, just one more” and then takes LOTS more photos. His name is Scott Buschman and he has been taking photos for the California Educator since 1996, when CTA traded a tabloid newsletter for a real magazine.
The reason the magazine looks so great has a lot to do with Scott’s photos and his amazing ability to capture what’s going on in the classroom or wherever we happen to be. Together we have visited countless classrooms, a prison, protests and even chronicled CTA members getting arrested at the state Capitol.
He may be tall, but he blends in well with the scenery. People soon forget he’s there, although he may be perched on a chair or table or crawling around on the ground trying to get a better angle. It always makes me nervous when he’s standing up high on something looking down, but he has a great sense of balance.
The kids love his Superman tie, his Bart Simpson tie and others with colorful characters. But he lets children know, in a no-nonsense manner, that if they mug for the camera instead of paying attention to their teacher, he won’t be taking their photo at all, so they better pay attention! One time, he even broke up a student fight in the hallway with a stern word.
I met Scott in 1982 when we were both working at a weekly newspaper for peanuts. He got a job at the daily newspaper – then called the San Mateo Times – and I followed a few years later. Then, in a situation common in the newspaper industry, all 200 employees were called into a room, fired and told they could “reapply” for their own job at 30 percent less pay.
When I began working at CTA, Scott was the first person I thought of when we needed a professional photographer. While free-lancing as a photographer for CTA, he went back to school and got his teaching credential. He was offered a teaching job, but I begged him to use his education expertise for photography instead …. and amazingly, he agreed.
I am very lucky to work with him. In addition to taking great photos he makes me laugh, keeps me calm when I misplace my boarding pass and never complains even after 15 hours on the road. He gives me an honest opinion (even if I don’t want to hear it) and continues to produce beautiful photos that make my stories come alive. So thanks for all you do for the California Educator Scott, and remember, we need just one more, just one more, just one more.