Rainbow Women 8-15-2019

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Dorothy Webster and Rochia Holmquist


Sherlyn Stahr recently retired and moved to Oakmont with her partner Kathy Hymans. The Rainbow Women welcome these two interesting new members. Kathy, a registered nurse, had a successful Chiropractic practice in San Rafael. Sherlyn held down an unusual, important job at the Department of Defense for the past 20 years.


Soon after getting a B.S. degree in Pre Med and Biology and a teaching credential from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Sherlyn got married and raised two sons. When her children were older, she taught Math and Science in high schools, junior highs, and a continuation school for troubled teenagers near Monterey.

When California passed Proposition 13, every teacher who did not have tenure got laid off, including Sherlyn. So she landed a job at McGraw Hill working on California`s standardized tests for all students. After a few years there, she got laid off again. That`s when a colleague told her to apply at the Defense Manpower Data Center in Monterey, where they compose questions for the test given to every new recruit who enlists.


When a young man or woman signs up for military service, how does the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard know where to assign that new recruit? Just like cities, military bases and ships need carpenters and cooks, mechanics and medics, programmers and plumbers, and all other occupations.

The answer? An aptitude test. Each man and woman who enlists takes the 145-question ASVB (Armed Services Vocational Battery) multiple-choice test, as important to military recruits as the SAT is to college students. Specialized psychologists (psychometricians) compose questions that determine what training and eventual placement a new enlistee is best suited for. To avoid cheating from looking at old tests, the military must continuously come up with new test questions.

Sherlyn soon got promoted to work on a team with three final editors, who applied lengthy formulas and algorithms the psychologists came up with to correctly predict an enlistee`s abilities and understanding.

So, when the Rainbow Women want questions for a survey, we will call Sherlyn.



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