Fluvanna Faces: Lisa Lucas

By Madeline Otten  

Where do you live? 

“Route 640 in Palmyra. 

How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here? 

“Since 1984 and jobs brought us here. I was at Central Elementary from 1984 to 2013. I taught in classrooms and was also a librarian. I moved to Fluvanna’s high school in 2013 and finished this past summer in 2019.  

Tell us about your family. 

“They are wonderful, amazing people, and I am so thankful they are mine. My husband, Rich (of almost 45 years) is retired, but keeps very busy in his woodshop and tending his apiary, which is a location where beehives of honey bees are kept. He has 12 hives and refers to the bees as ‘his girls’. We have a son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren ages 10 and 15. They keep us very busy and we enjoy every second of it.” 

What did you want to be when you were growing up? 

“A nurse in the Peace Corp, or a Vista Volunteer – both of which my father vetoed (it was the 60s, and of course he would). It felt like the right thing to do at the time, a special call out to save the world or something like that.” 

What was your very first job? 

“I worked in a Jewish bakery in Lakewood, New Jersey. Not as a baker, but filling orders, although I begged the owners to teach me and let me bake.” 

What do you do for a living? 

“Presently retired!” 

What is one of your pet peeves? 

“This may sound a bit harsh, but I have a little tolerance for phony people and people that cannot be forthright. I tend to walk away; it just bugs me.” 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

“Long list – my first love of course is spending time with my family. I also like gardening, reading, helping my husband with his bees, antiquing, travel, travel, and more travel with family and friends. I always try to seek adventures and try new things.” 

Books or movies? Why? 

“Books! C’mon, what else would an educator and librarian say? Books give me a sense or imagery of being part of the story being told. Kind of like being whisked away to another time or place. Movies based on books are enjoyable, if casting is spot on and it follows the story line as close as possible. But it does not really elicit the same inner feeling.” 

Favorite book/series? Favorite movie? 

“I’ve got a list two miles long and in two genres.  In children’s literature it is the Junie B. Jones series. She is sassy, she is bold, and she is a funny girl after my own heart. As for adult books, I read mostly best seller list nominees, which is surprisingly not as long a list as the children’s literature section- job related I guess.   

But a favorite book (and movie) is Gone with the Wind. It was the first big girl book my mother had me read one summer. I devoured it. Some part of me thinks I may have lived in that century or something-crazy thought- And then of course the movie. And yes, I do watch it repeatedly.  The last time was on a flight to Greece.  

What pivotal decision helped to shape your life? 

“I was floundering in college, not grade wise, just trying to decide a path or career.  After multiple conferences with my college advisor, she suggested I spend some time in the early childhood classroom on campus.  I was hooked.  After several weeks of interning the lead teacher commented I was a natural. I guess that was all I needed and I have enjoyed second of it-since 1975 (give or take a few years out here and there).” 

Tell us about a way you have changed over the years. 

“I’d like to believe I have become more patient and tuned into people, reacting positively to interactions, even if it is varying of my beliefs and opinions.” 

What has surprised you about your life? 

My life is very blessed and I am extremely grateful and thankful for every second of every day. What’s one thing you hope to accomplish before you die? 

“I hope to accomplish a life of continued graciousness and gusto for living.” 

Tell us about one of your regrets. 

“Not having recordings of my father’s piano playing. We have his baby grand piano and all his music books and my lesion books, but no recordings. I miss it every day. He was an accomplished pianist trained by his uncle who graduated from Julliard. It was his hope to continue in that path.” 

Tell us about your proudest moment. 

Proud moments are being a mother, a grandmother of course, and being interviewed by a former student, who astounded me with her love of academics at the ripe age of five. It tugs at my heart when I see former students, now young adults out in the world that remember me by name and engage in conversation, ending with a hug.  And, yes, I most always remember their name. Just recently, I helped 19 seniors at FCHS with their preregistration forms for the SAT, which I will proctor in a week. Upon completion of the session, a student mentioned to me that now he was okay with taking the SAT and it was going to be fun.  ‘Fun?’  I asked.  He said ‘Yeah, you are going to be with us.’ He was a student from my elementary years as his librarian as well as his high school librarian. I think this is best, most proud moment an educator can aspire-to have a relationship with your students from kindergarten to high school is just the best!” 

Favorite spot in Fluvanna County? 

“My home!”What is the craziest thing you have ever done in Fluvanna? 

“Some things must remain untold.” 

What quote or saying do you connect with most? Why do you like it? 

“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other I called tomorrow. So today is the right day to love, believe, do, and mostly live.” – Dalai Lama. 

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