By: Vicky Liu ’20, School News and Features Reporter
This school year, Ms. Megan Schumacher has returned to Friends’ Central, where, from 2003 to 2012, she spent nine years teaching Upper School English. She commented on her return, “It’s nice to come back to a lovely community of faculty and students. I’m looking forward to seeing the year unfold and to getting to know more students.” She affably calls this place full of happiness and memories “home.”
Since returning to the familiar campus, Ms. Megan has noticed several changes that occurred during the years of her absence: “Buildings, architecturally, have changed. The student population is much more diverse.” Yet, she feels that something essential about the school has remained unchanged: “The school works to be committed to the Quaker testimonies. That’s a hard thing to do, but it does make a sincere effort to uphold and be mindful of the testimonies, including simplicity, integrity, and also Meeting for Worship.” Then, she mentioned how she has changed, too, since she last taught at FCS: “I’ve certainly changed. I’ve been greatly influenced by the other places I’ve taught.”
For the majority of her absence from Friends’ Central, Ms. Megan taught English at the Brooklyn Friends School in Brooklyn, New York. In her last year there, she served as the tenth grade dean. Though many of her educational responsibilities were quite similar to the work she had previously done at Friends’ Central, she attests that being a part of the bustling New York City lifestyle was quite different: “Brooklyn Friends has a very different feel to it because it’s urban. It sits smack dab in the middle of downtown Brooklyn, right off the F, A, and C lines.” She continues, “I loved living in New York. It’s a great city, but an incredibly expensive one. It wasn’t until my last year when I felt I could afford to take full advantage of all the city has to offer.” Three years ago, Ms. Megan left New York and came home to Pennsylvania “[to make her] way in the theater world.” She went to Villanova and received her Masters degree in Theatre in 2018.
While being asked about her appetite for shows and plays, Ms. Megan revealed that she tends to enjoy shows that “push the envelope a little bit.” She elaborated, “One of my favorite musicals is Here Lies Love. I also love the current restaging of Oklahoma! A lot of people didn’t like it because it’s not traditional, but I think the directors and the performers did a great job deconstructing the musical. I think it was very smart.” Speaking of plays, she added, “One of my favorite productions I’ve seen recently was Fairview, by Jackie Sibblies Drury. It was a smart, well-directed play.” Ms. Megan also mentioned her love of watching and playing volleyball.
Though still immersed in the theatre world, Ms. Megan has quickly adapted to her return to education. She expresses, “I enjoy being back in the classrooms. I get a lot of energy.” Outside of teaching literature, she looks forward to supporting school activities. She explains, “One of the aspects of my job that I enjoyed in the past was attending my students' athletic and arts events. I hope I can get to at least one game/match for each sporting event, and I look forward to going to the concerts and seeing Les Mis and the spring production.” Carrying past memories and expectations for the future, I believe that Ms. Megan will continue to enrich her fantastic experience on campus and harvest surprises different from the past.