by Taylor Seabolt for Walkersville High School Lion’s Pride
Suzanne Rumpf is one of the many amazing Special Education teachers at Walkersville High School. Many describe her as caring, kind, adventurous, and warm hearted, while others haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her yet.
Rumpf had dreamed of being a teacher since she was in the third grade, in which she looked up to the many teachers that taught her. As a young girl she loved to read. “Growing up I really enjoyed reading the stories Helen Keller wrote about her experiences as a young child,” said Rumpf.
When high school rolled around, Rumpf became more involved in her hobbies. She became more interested in photography and the beauty of special education by the day, while also being an experienced flute player. At the end of her high school career she received superlatives including the most musical and the best driver.
Rumpf later took an internship for twelve years at the Rock Creek school, an all day school for young adults with disabilities. Through exploring her passions she came to a brilliant conclusion.
“I realized that there were some kids who couldn’t go home and tell their families what they did at school so I started to take these really nice photos of the kids I worked with and I formed these amazing relationships with their families as well as them,” Rumpf continued, “ I absolutely loved my internship.”
Throughout the years Rumph has made a huge impact on a number of different communities and organizations.
Rumph was on the board of directors for a non-profit organization called “Our Dream Pursues.” The program gives students the opportunity to advance their social skills and provide them with employment opportunities.
In her college years she attended Hood College receiving a bachelor’s degree in special ed, a masters degree in curriculum and instruction and a certificate for administration.
Rumpf is an adventurous soul who genuinely enjoys a thrill. During her earlier years, she spent a month in the Indonesian rainforest. She had always thought monkeys were adorable and her friends knew that monkeys were her favorite animal. Knowing her love for the seemingly cute animal her friends took her to see the wild monkeys. With peanuts in her hand she reached out to what she thought a gentle creature, soon realizing monkeys were not so nice. Rumpf laughs remembering the memory in which she was chased through the rainforest by wild monkeys.
Aside from the wild monkeys Rumpf realized that in Indonesia “the rich are very rich and the poor are very poor.” She saw people living in poverty, “No kitchen, one bedroom, and no running water.” Rumpf also noticed exotic birds flying swiftly above her head and later on that Indonesia was the most beautiful place she’s ever been. She taught in Indonesia Monday through Saturday. “The kids that I would teach actually asked me for an autograph because I was a teacher from the USA.” My family went with me to Indonesia on the trip and even after we returned my children would still eat with their hands.” Rumpf also volunteered at Camp Low, a religious camp for adults with disabilities. “I live the life of a teacher and I love my community,” said Rumpf.
Rumpf loves to help her community out but she affects the students at Walkersville in a very positive way. When Rumpf is at Walkersville High School she works with many young adults to make sure the Lions Den operation runs smoothly. “My husband and I sit down once a week to purchase meals — it’s a tradition. It’s a Lions Den date,” said Rumpf with a smile.
“Mrs. Rumpf and I made stars together for the Christmas Lion’s Den, she’s really fun to be around,” said senior Jane Patterson; she continued, “[Rumpf’s] super nice and teaches in a cool way — she’s awesome. I love Mrs. Rumpf.”
In her free time, she chills at the beach with her lifelong friend Laura and her puppy Elle Mae. She has known Laura since she was only two years old. “It’s nice to have a lifelong friend; its really cool because our parents and grandparents also went to school together.” They keep in touch through their amazing beach trips and weekly dinners. Elle Mae is a puppy Rumpf had rescued from the pound “Elle Mae only weighs two pounds so I usually just carry her around in my purse,” Rumpf laughs. She’s loved to live in the Frederick area and watch everything change over the years.
Rumpf and her husband also have their hands full with an additional three cats, two dogs and one bird. “All of my animals are from the shelter or the pound.” Rumpf surely has a love for animals.
“She and I work together all the time; she’s the sweetest person in the world and I’m lucky to have her as a teacher,” said senior Jesse Maher.
Rumpf is and continues to be on top of her game running the Lions Den, loving the young adults of Walkersville High and stunning those around her with her unconditional kindness to every lion.
“I have to tell you that she is absolutely awesome, I love her and she is really on it with the Lions Den” said special instructional assistant JJ Castles.
“She’s nice and she’s pretty; she teaches me something new every day,” said sophomore Eva Lopez.
“We have been friends for 25 years; she’s very caring and honest, and she’s also been a hard worker for the time that I have known her,” said retired substitute teacher Sally Hoague.
Some haven’t met Rumpf, but they have still heard the sweetest things from others who do. “I haven’t met Mrs. Rumpf, but I’ve heard that she’s really nice; she’s good at what she does and it is weird to say this but she seems really motherly,” said Special Instructional Assistant Matt Smith.
Rumpf works hard every day to ensure the happiness of our students, “I love working at Walkersville and I appreciate my class, I love the collaboration between Technology and Business teacher Regina Stelma’s class and Visual Art teacher Christine Stovall’s class along with my own; it helps my student to learn business concepts,” said Rumpf.
As much as she loves and admires her students, family means the world to Rumpf. Every two years Rumpf attends a family reunion during the first week of December and June. She radiates kindness affecting her community, her students and her family. “I’m lucky to have had my grandmother for as long as I did, to be 50 years old and have my grandmother. I’m extremely grateful,” said Rumpf she continued “I’m glad my parents live so close.”
Rumpf message to her students is this– “Every student has their own gift; it’s nice to be nice and respect each other show another person kindness.”
Walkersville thanks Rumpf for her warm heart and cool spirit, and there is no doubt she will continue to do a fantastic job.