Judy J. Suddith
Judy J. Suddith is the face of Lord Fairfax Community College's Luray-Page County Center, serving as office manager of the Center, which is located in the former Wrangler Building.
Suddith is the Luray-Page County Center's only full-time staff person, she said, and has been there since September 2006, seven months after the Center opened. "At the College, I do a lot of marketing. I go to Chamber of Commerce events and other meetings in the community. I try to be the face of Lord Fairfax [Community College] in the community."
Suddith, who is completing a two-year term on the Planning Commission, said with changes such as the closing of textile manufacturing industries in many towns, "You have to rethink the way you do business, look at the way your town used to be and the way it is now."
She is also mid-way through an appointment by the governor to represent the Staunton District on Virginia's Board of Transportation Safety.
"I love my job at the Luray-Page County Center. I see the center as an opportunity to help our community, to improve it in a positive way," she added. "I also love watching the students become what they were meant to be and what they can be."
The difference between the Center, with its teachers, students and classrooms, and LFCC's Fauquier and Middletown Campuses is that the Luray-Page County Center does not have facilities such as a library and business office. She praised the spirit of cooperation between the campuses and the Center.
"I've never had a job where I've had so much assistance," she said. "I work with a bunch of great people, both my colleagues here and at the Fauquier and Middletown Campuses. Any time I have a problem, I pick up a phone and help is there."
Suddith said she notices that among the students currently taking classes at the Center, which averages 150, the difference in ages of those there for retraining and the ones recently out of high school does not seem to make a difference. "It's interesting to see how they communicate," she explained. "There doesn't seem to be any barrier."
Luray is Suddith's adopted home. She grew up in Cumberland, Md., graduating from Fort Hill High School and then from Allegany Community College (ACC) and James Madison University (JMU).
She majored in media technology at ACC and earned a bachelor's degree in radio, television and film production at JMU, with emphasis in broadcast journalism. Broadcasting is what brought her to Luray, to the cable TV company where she was hired to be producer and director.
She met her future husband, C.R. Suddith, after he saw her on television and had mutual friends introduce them on her birthday. He is Page County treasurer, which is an elected position.
In her leisure time, Suddith is writing a novel whose working title is, appropriately, "Hawksbill."
"It's a mystery about a small town in Virginia," she said, adding that LFCC's Luray-Page County Center is located on Hawksbill Street.
She also wrote two plays, "Strike Down the Shepherd," and "No Strings Attached," which is for children, and both have been published by Abingdon Press. Abingdon Press is the book-publishing arm of the United Methodist Publishing House.
But, one of her greatest rewards is seeing students outside the Center who have graduated from Lord Fairfax Community College and are now at four-year institutions.
"They often throw their arms around me and tell me how much they miss me, the staff here and LFCC. It's a great feeling, worth more than money."