Mrs. Susie Shuma Celebrates 25 Years


Benet Academy

A picture of Mrs. Susie Shuma.

Editor’s Note: This piece was also posted in the Benet Herald 2023 Graduation Edition.

Mrs. Shuma celebrated 25 years of working at Benet Academy this past school year. After graduating as a student in 1978, she decided to come back after praying to St. Jude to give her a job that would help her children go to Benet Academy. Five years after beginning to pray, she was referred to an opening of being the Administrative Assistant in the Dean’s Office during her 20 year high school reunion. She applied for the job where she was interviewed by Father Anthony, who also taught her geometry, in which she was hired. Although Mrs. Shuma initially felt overwhelmed, she faced her concerns and took the job where she had not looked back since then. “Over the years,” she recalled, “I have heard many crazy excuses for being late, moms call me crying, angry phone calls, but most importantly, I have received notes from students, which in my heart confirms I am where I am supposed to be.” One of Mrs. Shuma’s favorite memories was her 50th birthday where she received many notes from students. On this day, Mrs. Haas sent students to her desk all day from her downstairs classroom to give her birthday notes. Mrs. Shuma has saved all of them by preserving them in a special box. However, there was one message from a student which has set itself apart from the rest. “One of my most humbling moments,” she said, “was when I got an anonymous email from a student who thanked me for saving his life because I noticed him every day and showed him kindness.” While at Benet Academy, Mrs. Shuma has been called by Nurse Schaffer, “the post office, food pantry, office max, and decipherer of names left on voicemails.” She also has eaten almost every single lunch with Mrs. Cunneen. Moreover, Benet Academy has also sent her to Europe on senior class trips. Despite all these incredible experiences, Mrs. Shuma’s favorite aspect about Benet Academy is the students. Mrs. Shuma knows she “makes students feel good” and is good at her job by having the power to remember people’s names. She said this is a power “God gave her” as she can remember the name of someone she had not seen in 20 years. Outside of Benet Academy, Mrs. Shuma likes to cook, knit, and is a talented gardener. She has been able to grow many different kinds of tomatoes, such as little tomatoes, which are small like candy, plum ones which are used to make sauce, and bigger tomatoes, which one would put on a BLT sandwich. With some of her extra plants, she has given starters away to others to start their own gardens. However, most importantly, she loves spending time with her seven grandchildren, all of whom she hopes to become Redwings someday. Benet Academy these past 25 years would not have been the same without Mrs. Shuma. “Each of you, my family and friends, staff and faculty, has touched my life,” she said. “I love all of you! Go Redwings!”