(June 20, 2014) – Susan Verdin’s 40-year career at Waterford Elementary drew attention from Washington, D.C., on June 4, when Rep. Frank Wolf presented Verdin with a flag flown over the Capitol.
Wolf, who like Verdin is retiring this year, wasn’t in his office when Waterford’s third-graders came to Washington two days before. Thus he decided to come to Waterford to answer their questions about government and make the special presentation to Verdin.
Wolf shared these insights with third-graders before going into the multipurpose room for Verdin’s surprise presentation:
- Wolf is putting forth a bill to celebrate George Washington’s birthday on his actual birthday (February 22). He said the legacy of the “father of our country” should not be celebrated by a generic Presidents’ Day.
- The hardest vote Wolf said he ever made was a “no” vote on Newt Gingrich’s nomination for speaker of the House in 1996. Even though they are friends, Wolf said he did not think Gingrich was the right candidate for the position.
- Students asked Wolf why he is retiring now. “You want to leave when people don’t want you to leave… It isn’t about you. It’s about the people.”
- The best part of his job? “Meeting people and making a difference.”
- Wolf said he is not retiring from public life. He plans to devote his time to ensuring religious freedom and human rights.
- Wolf said that, as far as he knows, he is the only member of Congress to post his entire voting record online. He explained to the students the criteria he uses in voting. “If it’s a local issue, you vote your district. If it’s a national or international issue, you listen to your district and vote your conscience.”
Verdin has spent her entire teaching career at Waterford. She has taught second and third grades and second/third grade combination classes.