by: Danielle Foster
Name: Suzanne Harvey
Department: Staff development
Education: High School Diploma from Shenandoah Valley
BA from Southern University in English
MA from Andrew University in English.
Year started at MBHS: 2001
Past Jobs: Teacher for grades 6-12.
Owned and operated a sign business
Owned and operated a restaurant.
Hobbies: Reading, interior decorating.
Suzanne Harvey, a staff development at Montgomery Blair High School, grew up in Cecil County, Maryland. She was raised in the same house her father was born and died in. Harvey received her elementary education in a two-room school house. She was an intelligent child always ahead of her grade. She completed elementary school early but had to stay for the rest of fifth grade and was therefore assigned to help younger children having problems in reading or math. This helped her because, as she puts it, "when you teach you learn." The experience changed the way she taught. Harvey was convinced from then on that she would teach for a living. "I was destined to become a teacher," she says.
Harvey has experienced several traumatic experiences. Before Harvey became a teacher she owned a business making signs. She hired a former student but this was a mistake. The former student and her boyfriend robbed Harvey. Harvey found several documents on her own to prove them guilty in court.
Harvey has also had several near death experiences. One occurred on a trip to South Africa when she went to see Cape Point light house, which was not too popular and therefore not extremely well maintained. The light house was 1000 feet up the side of a cliff. Harvey was backing up, trying to fit the entire lighthouse into her camera's view to capture a photo when all of a sudden a tour guide grabbed her. Harvey had almost backed off the cliff. She describes the incident as a, "very discombobulating experience." Harvey has managed to overcome the shock of several near death experiences and has moved on with her life.
Harvey is married to Dale Harvey and has two children, both of whom attended Blair. The eldest child graduated from Blair in 1997 and the second child graduated in 2001. Looking back, Harvey remembers her present husband's proposal. The event took place on Back Bone Ridge at an approximate elevation of 3,382 meters. They were standing in a foot of snow when she chose to accept.
Harvey also remembers her favorite date. At the age of 14, her parents allowed her to go to a fair with Roger Ball. Her parents only consented to the arrangement because Roger's older sister and her boyfriend were with them. Harvey recalls Ball winning her a bear.
Harvey now works as a staff development teacher helping resource teachers. She chose to work at Blair because she has been a longtime admirer of Mr. Gainous. "Working for him has always been one of my goals," said Harvey. She enjoys working in High School particularly because of the teenagers. She takes pleasure in seeing their enthusiasm. "I just find that invigorating," she says. Harvey says if she were given a chance to work anywhere else, she would work for another one of her other educational icons, Freeman Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore campus.
If Harvey were given the chance to live her life over again, she doesn't think she would make any significant changes. She believes the way one looks at life changes, "as you learn from your experiences," however, Harvey does have one minor thing she would have liked to change. "I would have worked harder to not gain so much weight," she says laughing.