Mr. Fuhrman: more than meets the eye

At Leesville, there are thousands of students, 125 teachers, several administrators and… two principals?

Well, to be specific, two staff members with principal experience. Of course, one is Dr. Muttillo, current principal, but then there is Mr. Terry Fuhrman, substitute teacher and ex-principal.

Mr. Fuhrman grew up in Harrisburg, PA, in a family of ten children. He has a twin brother, Tim Fuhrman, who is now a retired FBI agent.

During his high school years, Mr. Fuhrman was exposed to many different aspects of education, experiences that would later help him decide on his career. “My major influences to become an educator were a few of my high school teachers and coaches,” said Mr. Fuhrman.

After high school, Mr. Fuhrman was accepted to the North Carolina State University where he majored in Political Science with a Social Studies concentration. Then, around his junior year at NC State, he decided to pursue education as a profession.

“Until then I had wanted to be a lawyer,” said Mr. Fuhrman.

Fresh out of college, Mr. Fuhrman taught seventh and eighth grade math, science and religion at Cathedral Elementary School in Raleigh for his first year.

Mr. Fuhrman found teaching more difficult than he anticipated. “I was teaching out of my major so that was a challenge,” said Mr. Fuhrman. “But, I also realized very early that I could be a positive influence for so many, either in the classroom or in the athletic arena.”

Soon, Mr. Fuhrman made his way to Jacksonville, NC, where Jacksonville High School hired him to teach social studies and coach tennis. He would spend six years in Jacksonville until he left for New Bern High School in New Bern, NC.

At New Bern, Mr. Fuhrman taught social studies. After eight years as a teacher, Mr. Fuhrman moved into an Assistant Principal role.

“Although I loved being in the classroom as a teacher and on the ball fields as a coach, I came to believe that I could impact a larger number of students by serving as an administrator. I also cannot lie, the pay is higher in school administration,” said Mr. Fuhrman.

After having worked for a number of years as an Assistant Principal, the position of New Bern High School Principal came open and Mr. Fuhrman applied for it. “I was honored to be chosen as the Principal,” said Mr. Fuhrman.

He would stay as the Principal for 16 years. “As a principal, one is responsible for everything that occurs in the school, both academically and in extra-curricular venues. A principal can and should delegate much decision-making, but he/she is ultimately accountable for what happens,” said Mr. Fuhrman.

Throughout his stay at New Bern, Mr. Fuhrman coached baseball, soccer and tennis. Coaching has always been a passion of his and eventually he was appointed athletic director for four years.

Mr. Fuhrman eventually retired in July 2007 before moving back to Wake County in order to teach as a substitute teacher for Leesville Road, Panther Creek, Apex and Green Hope.

“After retiring as a principal and staying away from education for the required six months, I found myself missing the energy and vigor that comes with being around 2,000 young people on a daily basis. I applied to be a substitute teacher, was accepted and have enjoyed it very much,” said Mr. Fuhrman.

“There is a lot that I miss, but I can tell you I don’t miss the sixty-hour weeks, the walkie-talkie buzzing my name,” said Mr. Fuhrman. “ I do miss most the challenges, or as I like to call them opportunities, that are confronted by a team of professionals resulting in a positive outcome for those involved. ”

Now that he has time to relax in between teaching, Mr. Fuhrman spends his time reading, walking, attending DPAC events, watching “Jeopardy,” following NC State sports and enjoying much time with his wife, Toni.

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