We are proud ofour incrediblyloyal faculty andstaff, many ofwhom serve theschool with greatdistinction fordecades.
In the pages thatfollow, we honorfive extraordinarilydedicated men andwomen upon theirretirement andthank them for theirexemplary serviceto WoodberryForest School.
When Tammy and ClydeFirman announced thatthis would be their lastyear at Woodberry Forest,— asked me, “What are you going to do without theFirmans?” Not really knowing what to say, I wouldflip the question back on them. “What are you goingto do without the Firmans? What is Woodberrygoing to do without the Firmans?” Then we wouldsit there and wonder, trying to imagine the schoolwithout them, scratching our heads and strugglingto find the words.
It is a hard question to answer, as both Tammy
and Clyde Firman have been fundamental figures
in our community for twenty-four years. As the
directors of two major operations on campus,
health services and food services, they have had
their hands and plates full for decades. But when
they are gone, some of us may soon realize how
much more they actually did. Did little elves come
in and decorate the dining room for Christmas
over Thanksgiving break? Did the ripped choir
robes just mend themselves? Was the duck blind at
Robertson Lake mysteriously tidied up overnight?
No, that was all Tammy and Clyde, and those are
just a few examples of the behind-the-scenes work
that they have selflessly done.
I would guess that I am not the only Woodberry
boy who views Tammy and Clyde as surrogate
parents. Not only have they been nourishing and
healing us, but they have also been guiding and
pushing us to be better human beings along the
way. Anyone who frequents the infirmary knows
that there is often a boy in perfect health sitting in
the chair across from Tammy’s desk. He has just
popped in to chitchat, as she provides comfort,
care, and wise counsel. Clyde too is known for
his pearls of wisdom, as many a boy who has gone
hunting in Currituck with him knows full well. Cas
Prewitt ’ 12 sums it up: “Clyde and Tammy engage
Woodberry boys at soul level, stop the bleeding
in moments of crisis, and empower self-reliance
when the tide turns. Teaching a man to fish rather
than presenting him with one exemplifies the
Firman flavor of altruism that will live forever in
the spirit of the school.”
I first met the Firmans in the late ’90s when
my older brother, Trey Collier ’99, was attending
Woodberry. Their warmth, generosity, and