Schwabe, director of Sudie A. Fulford Community Learning Center at EGSC, to retire

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Jean Schwabe, the director of the Sudie A. Fulford Community Learning Center at East Georgia State College, has announced her plan to retire in December. Schwabe began her career at the Fulford Community Learning Center in 2010 after retiring from the Emanuel County School District.

Over the past 10 years, 75,000 people have visited the Fulford Community Learning Center, and each person was greeted with a smile from Schwabe. She dedicated her time honoring Ms. Sudie A. Fulford and her legacy, connecting EGSC to the community and providing programs that would enrich the lives of elementary school children to grown adults.

She created and implemented a variety of programs, including the Fulford Youth Leadership Academy, the Total Wellness Series, the Annual Family Astronomy Night, EGSC Invitational Chess Tournament, SAT review sessions, Fulford Planetarium visitations, and Bobcat Buddies. Schwabe conducted 58 summer camps, including Camp Invention, a nationally-recognized STEM experience, along with multiple other summer camps. A big attraction of the Fulford Center is the planetarium. Schwabe made sure that everyone had the opportunity to see one of the amazing shows. The Fulford Center acquired 20 planetarium shows and conducted nearly 1,200 planetarium shows. She was also instrumental in helping establish the Fulford Teen Volunteer Program and working with the Correll Scholars Program and their efforts to provide tutoring and mentoring to local elementary students.

The Fulford Center was a gift donated by A. D. “Pete” Correll to his wife, Ada Lee, to honor the memory of Ada Lee’s mother, Mrs. Sudie Akins Fulford. “Miss Sudie” was a well-respected and beloved teacher in Emanuel County for over 30 years. Schwabe began her career in education as Mrs. Sudie was retiring but had much respect for her and her dedication for educating children.

As EGSC’s President Dr. Bob Boehmer said recently for the 10th anniversary of the Fulford Center, “Since the date of its establishment, there has only been one director of the Sudie A. Fulford Community Learning Center, Jean Schwabe. It was fitting that Jean be appointed as director because she too served our local schools as an educator for many years before taking on this important role. Since the day she was appointed as director, Jean has worked tirelessly to carry out the vision of Pete and Ada Lee Correll, to make this center the connection between Swainsboro-Emanuel County community and this great college, and to make this place one where citizens of all ages are inspired to engage in a lifetime of learning.”

While at the Fulford Center, Schwabe hosted many events including: the Annual Pine Tree Festival Flower Show, Sherman’s March Tour Orientation, Annual Earth Day Celebrations, Annual 21st Century Leaders Workshops, coordinated and hosted Annual 2nd Grade Experience, Annual Amazing Science Day, and a myriad of community workshops and trainings.

Schwabe received the EGSC STAR Staff Award in 2015 and 2019, the “Friend of Extension Award” from Georgia Extension Association of Family & Consumer Science in 2015, and served on Magnolia Midlands GYSTC Board of Directors.

Before her time at EGSC, Schwabe retired from the Emanuel County School District in 2009 following over 30 years in education. During her time with the school district, she was a teacher, a school counselor, an assistant principal, curriculum director, and an assistant superintendent.

She and her husband, Charles Schwabe, have two sons, Clarke and Phillip. She is a member of the Swainsboro First United Methodist Church, where she is a trustee and the Scholarship Chair. She is also on the board of directors for The Sunshine House, a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society, and the Georgia and Emanuel Retired Educators Associations.

A search for a new director will commence soon.

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