Susan Norris Graham

Profile Updated: December 1, 2015
Residing In: Fredericksburg, VA USA
Spouse/Partner: Gary
Children: Patrick, was born and passed away in August of 1977.

We were blessed with our son, Kevin, More…in 1979. Brilliant and independent, he went to California at 19 to join the .com goldrush. He is now with Yahoo doing something very complicated. I act like I understand what he tells me about his work with internet security and data transfer, but most of it goes over my head. He and Melinda live in San Carlos in the hills outside San Francisco with our miniature pinscher grand dogs, Abbie, and Bubbles.

Rebecca, born in 1984, completeed our family and, God bless her has stayed close to home. After graduating from VCU in Richmond, she married her high school sweetheart--another Kevin. They bought a house in the country about about 15 minutes away. He's an civilian engineer with the Navy. Rebecca, who got her degree in theater costume design, does some custom design work and alters wedding gowns when she's not chasing Ben, our grandson.
Current Occupation: Retired eacher
Website: View Website
Grandchildren:

Rebecca and her husband Kevin, gave us our first grandchild, Benjamin Matthew Cogley, on December 14, 2010. I am Gigi and Gary is Big G.

Education/Alma Mater/Degree/Career:

TJC: 1968-69
North Texas State--BS in Home Ec Ed 1971
Home Ec Teacher--Fabens High School 1971-78
Fulltime Mom to Kevin and Rebecca: 1979-1989
Family & Consumer Science (Home Ec) Teacher 1989-2011
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards 2002
Virginia Tech--MS of Education 2004
Education Journalist/Consultant--Center for Teaching Quality 2001--Present

Hobbies:

My Grandchild
Church Lady Work (not exactly a hobby, but certainly a time investment!)
My Garden
Travel
Reading
Writing
Sharing my table with family, friends and occasional strangers
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School Story:

Best memories:
Mrs. Burnett's Class (Boulter Jr. High:
Memorizing poetry and vocabulary words.

Mr. Wolford's Class: Singing The Battle Hymn of the Republic in Acapella Choir.
Mrs McMullen's Class: Will Durant's History of Philosophy and our "Abridged Shakespeare Productions". (Does anyone else remember Bruce Murphy as Puck?)
Mr. Mason's Class: He wore only white socks because "sorting socks is a waste of time" and his bonus questions taught us to observe what's around us. (What brand are the clocks in the hall? What did I write in the condensation on the window at the beginning of class?)

Humiliating Experiences which are now Funny Stories:
Our skirts were so short and the stairs were open so we had to walk up the middle of the staircase. One morning I was running up the stairs with my choir robe in hand. I tripped on it and fell and had to make an instantaneous decision--would I jump up and pretend I never rolled down the stairs or would I lie at the bottom and pretend I was mortally wounded. Can't remember which I did, just remember the humiliation. I now realize that nobody cared!

Comments:

I graduated from North Texas with a degree in Home Economics Education and moved Fabens, a tiny town outside El Paso, to begin my teaching career. Although I only planned to stay one year in the land of sandstorms and tumbleweed, I convinced Linda Davenport to come to come be my roommate and teach second grade. The next summer I married Gary, our next door neighbor and she married Randy.

We left the desert for Dallas in 1978 as Gary left the hospital lab for work in the emerging cardiographic imaging market. I stayed home as Domestic Goddess while pursing a part time career in outlet shopping.

In 1988, with two children in tow, we moved to historic Fredericksburg, Virginia which is halfway between Washington and Richmond, the boyhood home of George Washington and an epicenter for Civil War battles. When Rebecca went to school, I went back to the classroom as well and for twenty years have taught Family and Consumer Science (what we now call Home Ec)at Gayle Middle School where I now teach the children of my former students! On the side I write for Education Week, do some research and professional development, and act as an assessor for higher ed teacher preparation
(While work takes Paula S. Tuscany, get sent to places like Peru, Nebraska.)

Six years ago Gary decided to retire from the corporate world and then got bored and decided teach middle school as well. Rat race to rug rats, go figure. Now that college and weddings are paid for, we've cleaned out all the closets and remodeled the house so we can grow old in place. The new kitchen is so nice that I might never cook again for fear of messing it up.

In the spring of 2011, Gary and I looked at each other and said, "It's time" and we turned in our paperwork. We are both still working part time in education--Gary coaches science teachers for George Mason University. I work as a virtual community organizer and consultant for the Center for Teaching Quality out of Chapel Hill, NC and lead some professional development for the Center for Teacher Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University.

My mom is still in Tyler at Providence Park, and I try to get back at least twide a year.

States Visited in America the Beautiful:

Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennesee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Bucket List:

See as much of the world as possible
Publish a book
Be a good person

Susan's Latest Interactions

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May
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May 20, 2018 at 3:33 AM
May 20, 2017 at 3:33 AM
May 20, 2016 at 3:33 AM
Dec 05, 2015 at 2:10 PM

Susie, can I have your address...and phone number? (And if I've already asked you this.....just consider the source.)

Dec 01, 2015 at 12:14 AM
Susan Norris Graham added a photo to profile gallery.
Jul 14, 2015 at 3:05 PM
Teaching nutrition in my old classroom. Miss the kids, but not the hassles.
Susan Norris Graham added a photo to profile gallery. New comment added.
Jul 14, 2015 at 2:58 PM

Posted on: Jul 14, 2015 at 2:44 PM

Our oldest, Kevin lives the hipster life in hills outside San Francisco where he is an executive with Yahoo. This was taken on the Great Wall when he was working with his Beijing team.
May 20, 2015 at 3:33 AM
Susan Norris Graham added a photo to profile gallery. New comment added.
Mar 11, 2015 at 8:54 PM

Posted on: Mar 10, 2015 at 4:03 PM

We are attempting to see as much of the world as we can now that we've retired. Since I missed the window for backpacking my way around the world, we've settled for cruises to cover as much ground as we can within the confines of old people's need for creature comfort.
Susan Norris Graham added a photo to profile gallery.
Mar 10, 2015 at 4:02 PM
Israel, 2015. If you look really really close you can see the Monastery of the Good Samaritan down in the wadi.
Susan Norris Graham changed profile picture.
Mar 10, 2015 at 9:33 AM
Israel, 2015. If you look really really close you can see the Monastery of the Good Samaritan down in the wadi.
Hide Comments
Posted: Jul 14, 2015 at 3:01 PM
Israel, 2015. If you look really really close you can see the Monastery of the Good Samaritan down in the wadi.
Posted: Jul 14, 2015 at 3:04 PM
Teaching nutrition in my old classroom. Miss the kids, but not the hassles.
Posted: Jul 14, 2015 at 3:04 PM
I'm not quite that old! But if you live in George Washington's home town, you get caught up in history. This lesson/demonstration of hearth cooking is taking place in the kitchen house of Kenmore, George's sister, Betty's home.
Posted: Jul 14, 2015 at 3:07 PM
We are attempting to see as much of the world as we can now that we've retired. Since I missed the window for backpacking my way around the world, we've settled for cruises to cover as much ground as we can within the confines of old people's need for creature comfort.
Posted: Jul 14, 2015 at 3:10 PM
Our oldest, Kevin lives the hipster life in hills outside San Francisco where he is an executive with Yahoo. This was taken on the Great Wall when he was working with his Beijing team.
Posted: Jul 14, 2015 at 3:08 PM
Our Rebecca and her Kevin on their wedding day. They were each other's first love and are still goo-goo eyed after nine years.