Susan Shields

Photo courtesy of Susan ShieldsWhere do you live?
We live out in the Rolling Road area of Fluvanna County.
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
We have lived in Fluvanna for 14 years. My husband and I were living in Charlottesville and looking for our first home to buy. Our real estate agent told us about Lake Monticello and showed us some houses there. We found a house that we loved and lived at the Lake for our first three years in Fluvanna. Our oldest son was born while living there and I have great memories of us fishing, golfing and going to the parks.
Tell us about your work.
I love my job! I am currently a teacher at Effort Christian School and Preschool. All three of my children went to preschool at Effort and I have always wanted to teach there and be a part of something so special. I could feel it when I walked in the door. I work with wonderful people who have a heart for the Lord, a heart for every child at our school, and every day do their very best to serve God, our community, and the kids and families.
Not only do I get to teach and help children prepare for kindergarten, I get to pray with them and share Christ’s unconditional love for them every day. That’s pretty cool!
Tell us about your family.
I have been married to my husband for 15 years. We have three children: two boys and one girl. We spend a lot of time together at the field, traveling to watch my oldest son and his friends compete in baseball. My youngest son is also now playing baseball and my daughter is getting started in playing volleyball. My husband and I both grew up playing sports and it means a lot to us to be able to offer those same opportunities to our kids. We have had the privilege of spending many hours at Carysbrook with Fluvanna Youth Baseball, at Effort with Upward basketball, various camps and programs with our parks and recreation department, and playing and coaching for the Xtreme Organization, and we wouldn’t change a thing.
We are also very blessed to be a part of the family at Calvary Chapel Fluvanna, which has been our church for 12 years.
Tell us about a hobby you have.
I have played volleyball all my life. I started playing in the fourth grade and played all the way through high school and then in college. After graduating from college, I moved to Charlottesville and started playing in the women’s and co-ed leagues, competing in outdoor tournaments and playing on a USA women’s travel team. I met my husband playing volleyball so it has definitely been a very special part of my life.
I also love history, music and reading. And I’m not that good at it yet, but I love to cook and find new recipes.
Describe one of the highlights of your life.
I have many things to be grateful for: my husband and kids, the people that I have had in my life because of my jobs and playing and coaching volleyball, the friends we have made through our time at church and sports, and the years that I was fortunate enough to be able to choose to be a stay-at-home mom.
Describe one of the biggest surprises of your life.
In addition to teaching at Effort, I am also the varsity assistant volleyball coach at Fluvanna County High School.
I had been the head volleyball coach at William Monroe High School and had coached against Coach Christi Harlowe for several seasons before I left teaching and coaching to be a stay-at-home mom. I had always admired her coaching style, dedication and passion for the game of volleyball but never imagined that we would have the opportunity to work together. We stayed in touch over the years and four years ago I accepted a position on her coaching staff. I am so thankful and it has been an absolute blast to coach with her and our other coaches and work with some of the most talented high school volleyball players in Virginia. Last season we went 27-2 and have now won back-to-back conference titles. Go Flucos!
Describe one of the tragedies/struggles of your life.
I lost my mom when I was five months pregnant with my oldest son. I miss her every day. They say that time helps you to heal and overcome pain. I can personally say that time has not healed my pain; I have just had to learn to cope with it. She was an amazing mom and I didn’t quite understand how amazing she was until I became a mom myself and now realize what a challenging and rewarding honor it is to be a mom. My one comfort is that I know that she is in heaven and I will see her again one day.
Describe a dream you have for your future.
I hope that my kids will be healthy and happy and grow into loving, Christ-serving people. I would also love to travel with my husband and look forward to spending more time in Bible studies and serving at my church.
My daughter and I have talked about one day running a small diner-type restaurant that specializes in chili dogs, french fries, milkshakes and organic cookies and muffins. Of course with ‘80s and ‘90s music and décor. What a combination!
Describe a fear you have for your future.
I think most parents have the fear of losing their health and not being able to watch their kids grow up.
Here’s your chance to sound off. If you could give one public service announcement or word of advice to the public at large, what would it be?
Love your kids. Hold onto and cherish your family. Love our great country and pray for our leaders. Be thankful for our military and all of the men and women who serve our country and communities on so many different levels every day of their lives. Thank your children’s teachers and coaches. Keep it simple, be kind and find your peace and happiness.
There is a song that we sing with the kids that has such a special and important message that changed my life forever: No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, Jesus loves me, this I know.

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