Staff/Faculty Snapshot

A news feature about a staff or faculty member.

Get to Know Jeni Fick - Middle School Staff

Name:  Jeni Fick     Title:  Middle School Housemother/Activity Coordinator     Years at FUMA:  Seven

Duties:  During my first two years at FUMA, I was a part-time housemother with weekend duties.  When the part-time position of activities coordinator became available, I was hired as a full-time employee.  Now I split my time between “housemothering” and planning activities for the Middle School cadets.

Describe yourself in one sentence.  I am a devoted and extremely blessed follower of Christ.

What is your favorite FUMA memory?  My favorite memory is spending spring break in Bulgaria with a co-worker, eleven Middle School cadets and one Upper School advisor.  This trip was hosted by Alex Kirkov and his family.  This was an experience of a lifetime.  There may still be some pictures on our website from that trip.  If not, I have a brag picture book I’d love to share.

In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment?  Being able to say goodbye to the graduating eighth graders without becoming an emotional wreck in front of them is definitely my biggest accomplishment.  Some of the cadets have been with me their entire Middle School career and each time I say goodbye, I feel like a parent sending a child off to college.  I have great pride that I was able to play a small part in their upbringing.  The thought that some of them may not return to FUMA and that this might be my final farewell makes me very sad.

Get to Know Jennifer Payne - Middle School Faculty

Name: Jennifer Payne      Title: Middle School Chaplain, ESL/Resource Teacher, Housemother, and Basketball Coach              Years at FUMA: 2

Duties:  As Chaplain I conduct two weekly chapel services, lead Bible studies and aid in the spiritual growth of the cadets. In the classroom I am responsible for teaching English to international students and providing extra help to students who may be struggling in academic areas. “Momma Payne” is my title three nights a week as I supervise the Middle School cadets in the barracks.

Describe yourself in one sentence. A truly blessed child of God

What is your favorite FUMA memory?  We moved to Fork Union when my son, Nathan Jensen, was five years old. Nate looked forward to FUMA graduations because, when the graduates threw their hats into the air in celebration, he would collect them.  The hats were then used by Nate and his friends as they played soldier. It has been fun watching him grow from the young boy that collected hats to being a cadet officer and senior who will have the opportunity to throw his hat on May 24th.

In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment? Surviving barracks life with the Middle School boys

What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of?  I teach 11th grade English and do cadet laundry during FUMA’s Summer School session.

Get to Know Nicole Adams - Office of Admissions

Name: Nicole Adams           Title: Admissions Clerk          Years at FUMA: Almost one

Duties: My job centers on those who are applying for entry to FUMA. I answer questions, make appointments, file paperwork, and go through the mail.

Describe yourself in one sentence. I am a self-proclaimed nerd who loves reading, science fiction, history, and traveling when I’m not balancing work and family.

What is your favorite FUMA memory? I think my favorite memory so far was Upper School check-in. I was finally able to put faces to the names on the files we’d been working with over the summer.

What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of? I make a lot of information packets.

If you were given two free tickets to any sporting or entertainment event in the U.S., what would be the name of the event or performer printed on those tickets? I would love to see the Redskins make it to the Super Bowl again someday. The chance to be there in person, win or lose, would be amazing.

What is your favorite pastime? I have likely spent more time reading than doing anything else.  It was not uncommon for me to walk around the house, even as a child, with a book in my face.

Get to Know Regina Delman - Barbershop

Name: Regina Delman       Title: The Barber     Years at FUMA: 20 this January!

Duties: To keep all the boys, faculty and staff looking spiffy

Describe yourself in one sentence.  I’m a hair cutting, dance teaching, gymnastic coaching, mom and glass-half-full kind of person.

What is your favorite FUMA memory? A favorite memory goes back to when the Barbershop was in the Sabre Shop along with the Cadet Store and there were pay phones in the waiting area. It was quite the happening place!

In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment? 20 years!!!

What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of? On an average, I do 60 haircuts a day. My record for one day is 124, not a number I wish to beat.

If you were given two free tickets to any sporting or entertainment event in the U.S., what would be the name of the event or performer printed on those tickets? The Super Bowl with the New York Giants in it

What is your favorite pastime? Family vacations. But since those don’t occur as often as I’d like, a good book and a bag of chips will do.

What advice can you offer to current cadets to help them understand the importance of a good education, as well as how FUMA can benefit their future success? I would like to quote Admiral Burhoe here: “Work Hard, Be Nice.” This has become one of my favorite sayings and words of advice I tend to give out a lot.

Get to Know Kim Shaver - Office of Admission

Name:  Kim Shaver           Title:  Admissions Coordinator           Years at FUMA: 5 years

Duties:  I facilitate the admission of potential cadets via open houses, media, phone calls, and creating and maintaining files on prospective students.

Describe yourself in one sentence.  When you boil away all the adjectives, I am one thankful child of God.

What is your favorite FUMA memory? The baptism of one special cadet, but each baptism touches my heart and spirit.

In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment?  Giving families hope

What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of?  I am one of the first points of contact when families inquire into Fork Union Military Academy.

If you were given two free tickets to any sporting or entertainment event in the U.S., what would be the name of the event or performer printed on those tickets? It’s between a San Francisco Giants game or most any country music concert.

What is your favorite pastime?  Running, kayaking, hiking, exploring, reading, and spending time with my family tops the list. 

Get to Know Liz Zito - IT Department

Name:   Liz Zito           Title: Computer Technician           Years at FUMA: Dangerously close to 20

Duties: My main function is networking student laptops and keeping them functioning within the guidelines the school has established. I maintain a database that holds all the pertinent information on the student laptops so anyone in our department can see at a glance what we need to know in order to get a laptop up and running again if it has problems.

Describe yourself in one sentence. I’m afraid I’m far too complex for one sentence, so we should move on.

What is your favorite FUMA memory?  I’d have to say working in the Barbershop with Ms. Regina when it was located in the Sabre Shop is my favorite memory. Most of the “support services” were located in that building at the time, including the Cadet Store, pay phones, mail room and the Sabre Shop. It was always busy and quite clearly the boys enjoyed hanging out in that building. Tables in the Sabre Shop were almost always full, the pay phones were constantly in use and boys were able to be boys in there.

Get to Know Patti Linkous - Middle School Faculty

Name:  Patti Linkous      Title:  Middle School Librarian       Years at FUMA:  1

Duties:  Middle School Librarian, editor of the Bayonet and the Middle School section of the yearbook.

Describe yourself in one sentence.  I love kids, animals, the beach, and a good book, not necessarily in that order.

What is your favorite FUMA memory?  One of my favorites is from a Middle School basketball game two years ago when I was a FUMA parent.  I was in the stands, yelling at the top of my lungs, the day Alex Daubon dunked the ball successfully in a game.  It electrified the stands and rallied the team. 

In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment? My biggest accomplishment to date is probably putting together the Middle School section of the Skirmisher in two months.  I got started much too late, but was able to make it work.  It was a valuable learning experience.

What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of? I upload all the Middle School pictures to SmugMug.

If you were given two free tickets to any sporting or entertainment event in the U.S., what would be the name of the event or performer printed on those tickets?  This is a tough one…I guess I’d have to pick the event that I am least likely to be able to attend on my own, the Olympics.  I love to watch the equestrian events, gymnastics, and figure skating and will sit up entirely too late watching them on TV.

Get to Know Chris Van Slooten - Aquatics Director

Name: Chris Van Slooten        Title: Aquatics Director/Head Swim Coach        Years at FUMA: 3

Duties: Aquatic center operations, programming and maintenance, head swim coach

Describe yourself in one sentence. I am the shepherd of my family. Isaiah 40:11 “He tends to his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”

What is your favorite FUMA memory? My favorite memory is of praying with cadets - praying in times of joy and strife, trials and temptations - in my office or on the Circle. Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment? One of my biggest accomplishments is working with the FUMA maintenance personnel to improve the operations and use of the aquatic center. Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”

What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of?  I am the faculty advisor of the Honor Council.

Get to Know Shannon Gottschalk - Middle School Faculty

Name: Shannon Gottschalk        Title: Math Teacher        Years at FUMA: 1 year  

Duties:  6th, 7th, and 8th grade math and science teacher, Middle School assistant soccer coach, Middle School indoor track coach

Describe yourself in one sentence. I am an optimist who sees the potential in any situation.

What is your favorite FUMA memory? I remember the day my wife and I first visited Fork Union Military Academy in June of 2012. The campus was in full bloom and everyone we met was eager to help us feel welcomed. We soon learned about the rich community life that supports each and every person who comes to the school. The Fork Union experience continues to this day.

In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment? Being able to connect with each of my cadets is most essential. I have been able to lead them both in the classroom and on the field. Whether it is addressing some social or academic issue, it is always a joy to see them successful in the end.

What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of? I am leading a robotics program that spans both the Middle and Upper School levels. Our cadets are learning how to design, construct and program various robots that range from basic LEGOs to TETRIX versions. I co-sponsor a robotics club that is competing against other schools throughout the country in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge.

Get to Know Laurie Baker - Business Office

Name: Laurie Baker        Title: Director of Human Resources        Years at FUMA: 3

Duties: I handle all Human Resource, payroll, benefit, workers’ compensation, unemployment and government reporting and insure that all legal notices are posted as necessary. I communicate pertinent employee information to all staff and faculty as needed.   Writing it all down, it sounds kind of boring, but I am glad to say it is rarely boring!

Describe yourself in one sentence.  I am family-oriented, loyal, organized (most days), hard-working and I try to pack the most I can into any given day!

What is your favorite FUMA memory?  I have been here only three years, but I love hearing the drum cadence on spring afternoons as the cadets are preparing for parades!  Hearing the drums, seeing the beautiful campus in full bloom as the cadets approach the end of the school year – it just makes me happy on so many levels.

In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment?  I feel that I have made my office open for employees to come to me with their issues, big and small, as I assist them in navigating the confusing and ever-changing world of health, dental and vision insurance, as well as other issues as needed.

What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of?  I am responsible for all the behind-the-scenes details that go into accurately paying our almost 200 employees.  I try to make it as seamless as possible since it is so important to insure that people are paid correctly and on time!

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