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One student eagerly asks, “Is it time yet?” Another says, “Mr. Schumaker, check your watch, please!”

While they wait, Schumaker comes prepared with questions of his own. He prepares trivia questions or asks about their morning. When the clock strikes 8:35 a.m., Schumaker quickly moves so students pile their way through the single door and walk to their classrooms.

“We have someone at every door in the mornings, so each child knows someone sees them and is there to welcome them,” Schumaker said.

While the simple gesture allows students to interact with their principal, it has also fostered open conversations with parents who drop off their children in the morning.

Koryn Kessler, the Digital Learning Coach at CTES says, “He stands outside and will talk to any parent who wants to come by and chit-chat. He knows all the students by name, and he supports families outside of the building in ways that don’t go unseen.”

Kessler led the effort to nominate Schumaker for the 2020-21 Administrator of the Year. The nomination packet included a two-page letter detailing Schumaker’s dedication to CTES and it was accompanied by every staff member’s signature at the bottom.

As if the building’s support wasn’t enough, Kessler linked to a video so the annual awards committee could view parents praising Mr. Schumaker.

One parent said Schumaker led CTES with “integrity and compassion and in doing so has, created a culture of respect at the school. As a parent, I am forever grateful of his support and encouragement.”

When asked about winning the award, Schumaker is tight-lipped, but his admiration for the school is obvious. After greeting students outside, he visits classrooms, checks in with his teachers, and sits among students, no matter how small their seats may be. 

“I’m proud of what they’re learning. When somebody acknowledges you’re doing something well, you want to continue to do better. That’s the message I’m trying to set for my whole staff,” he says. “I have the best job in the world, because I make it fun every day.”