Bob Beery ’69 has had an amazing career in the field of education. With his bachelors of music education degree from Shenandoah, he was able to spend 41 years as an educator in Prince George’s County, Md.
“I would say my most rewarding experience in education was the opportunity to work with thousands of very eager and intelligent students through every position I held,” said Beery. “I was surrounded by fantastic fellow educators and very proud parents. Students accomplished so many things year after year.”
After graduating from Shenandoah, Beery began his teaching career as a high school choral music teacher. He taught for 20 years at Largo High School in Upper Marlboro, Md. as a classroom teacher, drama director, track and football coach and student government advisor. In 1989, Beery was selected to be the Student Activities Coordinator and Athletic Director at Forestville High School. This was his first position out of the classroom. His career blossomed.
From 1989 to 1995, Beery served as a vice principal in both middle and high schools. In 1995, he became the principal of DuVal High School in Lanham, Md. He is proudest of the Aerospace Technology Program at DuVal that placed life science experiments onboard two different NASA space shuttles. After eight years as principal, Beery was promoted to the central office to start a new Alternative Educational Option department, which he ran for six years.
“I chose to be a teacher due to the influence and appreciation of my high school music teacher in Fairfax County, Va.,” said Beery. “She was a very inspiring and kind person with an unmistakable love of teaching and of music.”
It was this foundation, combined with the education and experience Beery acquired at Shenandoah, that allowed him to be successful.
“Shenandoah prepared me to see my abilities and to channel them to the correct purposes of caring for others and educating all students with knowledge, dignity and determination,” explained Beery. “As a teacher and administrator, my goal always remained the same — all children can and will learn at high levels.”
Beery also remembers the many good times he had at Shenandoah. Times such as being in the Beta pledge class and a brother in Phi Mu Alpha fraternity come to mind quickly. He remembers a trip across the SU pond on the raft his pledge class built, the first student-run music Carnival, cafeteria tray sledding after the blizzard of 1966, student government activities and choir tours.
Now that Beery is retired, he and his wife, Jane Burwell Beery ‘69, have more time to spend with their three children and five grandchildren. As a high-level administrator in education, this was something that Beery struggled with. He wanted more time with his family. In retirement, he has this time and is enjoying it. He and Jane have traveled to Costa del Sol in Spain; Honolulu, Hawaii; Disney World in Orlando, Fla.; the Outer Banks, N.C. and several other places.
As a member of the SU Alumni Board of Directors, Beery is excited to use his knowledge and experience in education to help Shenandoah students. He is the co-chairman of the Admissions and Career Services Committee. This committee has planned high school college fairs, alumni career panels and the summer send-off program.
“I continue to have a keen interest in education and, now that I have more time, I wanted to see what I could do to assist my favorite endeavors,” Beery concluded.