Loudoun Laurels to honor two county institutions
Loudoun Laurels, a coalition of citizens involved with continuing and spreading the rich cultural and economic history of Loudoun County, has named Loudoun residents Stanley Caulkins and Fred Drummond as recipients of its annual award.
The program’s goal is to engage and inspire Loudoun County, honor outstanding individuals and organizations who have served their community and create a sense of community to those who serve Loudoun.
A ceremony will be held in their honor Oct. 19 at Rose Hill Manor in Leesburg.
World War II veteran, local businessman, dedicated volunteer. In Leesburg, Stanley Caulkins is known for many great things.
Caulkins was born in Philadelphia, Pa. and lived there until the age of 12. His father was a chaplain in the Army and during the Depression was in charge of the religious service for the civilian corps that built Skyline Drive.
After his father retired from active duty in the military, the Caulkins’ family remained in Leesburg where his father served as the minister at Leesburg Baptist Church. Caulkins is a 1943 graduate of Leesburg High School and later went to Montgomery Jr. College in Bethesda, Md.
During World War II, Caulkins served as a radioman and waist gunner flying on the B-17 “Five Grand” bomber.
“At the end of the war we would fly over Belgium and Holland and drop food rations down to the people who were starving to death,” Caulkins said. “We also helped people who were leaving the POW camps with nothing but the clothes on their backs. We took them to their homeland and just opened the doors and let them go. They had no transportation, nothing.” Caulkins said.
“There is no glory in dropping bombs, but feeding the starving people and helping them get home was a good thing,” said Caulkins.
When he returned home from the war, he received training through the GI Bill of Rights to become a watchmaker. He soon opened Caulkins Jewelers in downtown Leesburg. Caulkins’ brother Roger became his partner at the store. The store has been a fixture in Leesburg since 1956.
Aviation is one of Caulkins’ most passionate causes, and he was a tireless fundraiser for building the Leesburg Executive Airport, which is named after him.
“I was flabbergasted when I heard the news that I would be receiving this award,” said Caulkins. “I had no idea such an endeavor was in process, and that people would think of nominating me.”
“I’m a team player and I have not done anything on my own. On all of the committees where I have served, we worked together and did things as a team. I have found that patience is the key word to work things out and to get things done.”
Father and husband, devoted volunteer. Above all else, educator.
Fred Drummond has dedicated almost his entire life to public schools and teaching. He has taught in the Loudoun County Public Schools and served as an assistant principal and principal for 36 years.
Born and raised in New Jersey, he moved to Loudoun County in the 1950s with his wife Peggy, who was from Purcellville. They have been married for 67 years and have a son and two grandsons.
Although he was hoping to start his career in Loudoun County, there were not any jobs available that matched his experience. So, Drummond’s first job was as a teacher in Paducah, Ky. He worked there for several years until his wife needed to return home to Purcellville to take care of her sick mother.
Drummond contacted the superintendent to see if there were any jobs in Loudoun. It turned out the timing was right. He was offered a job as principal at Banneker Elementary School in Middleburg, even taking a pay cut from his teaching job in Kentucky.
Drummond recalled how he told the superintendent that when he reviewed the staff list, he saw they were short a teacher. The superintendent then broke the news that in addition to his role as principal, he also would be the seventh grade teacher.
He stayed there five more years, until he was offered the job as principal at a new elementary school in Leesburg. He accepted the job, starting a decade-long run at Douglass Elementary.
His next job was as an assistant principal at a newly integrated high school, Broad Run in Ashburn. Drummond was later offered the chance to return to the elementary level as principal. He found a place he could call home at Catoctin Elementary and stayed there for almost 20 years. The Catoctin school named their library after him.
“I would like to be remembered as an educator who did his very best for the boys and girls entrusted in his care. I always told my students to be the best you can be,” Drummond said.
As an educator who worked during the process of desegregation, Drummond expressed his approach to teaching:
“I wasn’t going to teach a white student or a black student. I was going to teach a student. Race made no difference to me. I don’t think it made any difference to the kids either.”
Receiving the Loudoun Laurel award is a sincere honor for Drummond.
One of Drummond‘s guiding principles in life has been to inspire his students.
“I’ve been in education all of my life. I was taught you must inspire as well as instruct. I have found if you did that then the kids were really ready to learn,” said Drummond.
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