Merry Schumacher, history teacher at Leesburg Christian School, was nominated by her students for inclusion into the Who's Who Among American Teachers.
It is the one recognition program in the education field where the consumers of education Ñ the students Ñ have the opportunity and responsibility to honor the teachers who have most significantly impacted their lives. All of the students listed in Who's Who Among American High School Students, The National Dean's List and Who's Who Among American High School Students, Sports Edition publications, honoring our nation's top high school and college students, are given the opportunity to nominate a teacher who has been most influential during their academic career. In addition to the nomination, Schumacher has also been nominated to the Cambridge Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals list, which highlights executives and professionals in virtually every industry and profession. The membership base is international and is most prominent throughout the United States, Australia, Canada and England.
Name: Merry Nicole Mathews-Schumacher
Years in the Community: 10
Occupation/Position: Former elementary and high school History teacher, cheerleading coach and senior events coordinator/advisor at Leesburg Christian School, but I'm a Jill of all trades. Currently, I'm going back to school and testing the career waters.
Achievements: Recognized by News Channel 7 and Toyota for the Toyota Tribute to Working Women for outstanding volunteer efforts in the community. Who's Who Among American High School Teachers - 2006. Cambridge Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals - 2006. Held numerous state and local offices and chairmanships within the American Legion Auxiliary. American Legion Auxiliary Unit Member of the Year - 2000. Candidate for Blue Ridge Supervisor - 2003.
Family: My two boys, Nicholas and Zachary Mathews, ages 14 and 13, respectively. Nicholas will be a ninth-grader at Leesburg Christian School, Zachary, an eighth-grader. Stepdaughter, Lara, will be a teacher's aide for the 3-year-old class at LCS as well.
What do you like or dislike about your community?: Likes: the small community atmosphere 40 miles away from D.C. The little privately owned shops you find sprinkled around the county. Driving from one end of the county to the other and seeing complete and total contrast and diversity Ñ farmland to high rises. The welcoming atmosphere that I experienced when I walked in the doors of my church and school. The fact that as technologically advanced as Loudoun is getting, you can still drive out to White's Ferry and cross the river without a bridge.
Dislikes: The wasteful spending, the significant differences in zoning between east and west, and the influx of gang activity. Fortunately, I'm in the west, but I have colleagues in Leesburg and Sterling who's families have been affected by the gang violence. And really, the lack of "neighborhood." We're all just too busy anymore.
Favorite local restaurant/place: Main Street Wings in Purcellville Ñ their s'mores dessert is to die for. And Sunday morning breakfast at the Legion in Purcellville when they make little potatoes and gravy Ñ yum.
Sports Interests/Activities/Hobbies: We're a huge baseball family, grew up with the O's and we are die hard O's fans, but the Nats are slowly winning us over. Additionally, I like to walk, dance and coach cheerleading. I love to read historical novels and biographies of great Americans. And of course, anything that has to do with spending time with my boys ranks No. 1 on my list.
Community Ties: I am very much tied to my church, school, and local American Legion Post. Not being a native Virginian, Believers Baptist Church and Leesburg Christian School welcomed us with open arms and became my Virginia family. We are also very involved with the American Legion Family Ñ Legion, Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion Ñ in Purcellville, participating in events at the VA Hospitals, supporting our community with trash pickups and community involvement and assistance and doing the "fun" things, like participating in the parades.
Community Concerns: I'm really concerned about the possibility of gang activity spreading to the west. We've seen it make it to Loudoun and it's not something easily stopped. I think a heightened awareness and alleviation of the "it can't happen to my child" attitude, would help assist the situation. So many children are looking at "gangsta" activity and thinking that it's cool, I hope and pray that the people of Loudoun would see the dangers and come together as a community to combat gang violence, rather than depending on the government to come up with a solution.
Community Ideas: Serious crack downs in families, schools and public places on potential gang behavior, activity and violence. Coming together as a county of people rather than individuals to brainstorm about what's going on with our children and how to bring them back to fundamental values and fight the temptation to be "gangsta."
Personal Goals: Make it through raising teenage boys. And personally, finish school Ñ- I'd like to get my master's degree in education and possibly international business and finance and one day I'd like to teach at least one undergraduate class.
What community "hidden treasure" should more people know about?: Leesburg Christian School and the local community organizations Ñ like the American Legion Posts and VFWs Ñ and churches in the area. Core groups of quality people exuding incredible character, generosity and perseverance.
<lst>Send profile nominations to The Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 703-917-0991. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454.