by Henry Shifrin ’21
Becky Schmier and Head of School John Lewis.
A dedicated and kind face within Middleton, Rebecca Schmier has made a significant impact on the lives of the entire Gunston family during her tenure as business manager.
Rebecca Schmier was born and raised in Massachusetts and throughout her childhood dreamt of being a teacher. She grew up during a tumultuous time in American history, amid the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. “I was in the first group of 18 year olds that could vote, so many of those events formed my thinking and unfortunately showed me early on the hard realities, beauty and at times the ugliness of life!” she recalls. Following the death of her mother, she moved to Maryland at the age of 20. After marrying her husband and taking a 10 year hiatus from the workforce, she dove back in at age 35, unsure of what to pursue.
Mrs. Schmier accepted a position as a billing clerk at a small oil company in Easton. Little did she know then that this position would lead her into the career path that she fell in love with. After 11 years at that company serving in many roles from office manager to treasurer, Mrs. Schmier decided to hone her accounting skills at a firm, CBIZ, in Easton. There she was named the first assistant controller, the first non-partner to hold this position, a role she was very proud to have secured. Her next stop was Gunston. After beating out 15 other candidates, many of whom were advantaged with advanced degrees, Mrs. Schmier was unanimously selected to be Gunston’s next business manager. All of her hard work, and layer upon layer of experience on her resume, had paid off, and for this, she was beyond proud.
Becky Schmier in her favorite pink during the renovation of Everdell Hall.
“I have loved my years at Gunston and feel like it brought me full circle, although I did not become a teacher, but instead an administrator in the education field. It has been my honor to be one of the stewards of the finances of the school and I look forward to hearing about all the growth Gunston has in its future.”
“I first met Becky Schmier in the Summer of 2010, but in terms of the economy, it was the dead of winter,” recalls Head of School John Lewis. “The Eastern Shore was navigating the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and like many independent schools, Gunston faced significant enrollment challenges and financial stress. That summer, we spent many hours together in my office, where she patiently tutored a newly-minted Head of School regarding the various elements of the Gunston budget. From those first meetings has grown one of the most meaningful professional partnerships of my adult life, with one of the kindest and most dedicated individuals that I’ve ever known.”
“Becky is deeply empathetic, and she understands that for the vast majority of Gunston families, tuition is the single largest, most important, and often most stressful monthly expense. Over the years, many Gunston families have shared with me how Becky caringly partnered with them to sustain this investment in their children’s education. It’s not easy to be the person who makes the “business” phone calls for the school, but Becky does this with exceeding grace.”