Scoring high on any “grit” scale is prof. Rommy Fuller, a lifetime Poultney resident, scholar, teacher, athlete, wife, and mom.
Increasingly, researchers are focusing on traits referred to as “determination,” effort,” and “stick-to-itiveness.” In a word, they are researching “grit”—an ability to sustain commitment to long-term goals and develop self-control against temptation (think Facebook, Angry Birds, or Dunkin’ Donuts).
Scoring high on any “grit” scale is prof. Rommy Fuller, a lifetime Poultney resident, scholar, teacher, athlete, wife, and mom. The director of GMC’s elementary education department, Rommy recently won the annual Carol A. Moore Scholarship presented by Vermont Women in Higher Education. The scholarship recognizes women working in Vermont higher education who are advancing their careers, and Rommy will use the grant towards her doctoral degree in educational leadership.
“For me, I have to be working really hard at whatever I do. That’s how I was raised. I tell my students if you work hard, you don’t always find success. But 90% of the time, you’ll be successful,” she said.
Rommy grew up on a farm in Poultney, in a home her father built. Her family ran a farm stand on Route 30, and she did farm chores. Rommy’s twin passions of teaching and athletics came together during high school. A gymnast since the age of three, she decided to open her own summer gymnastics day camp. She spent weeks clearing out a barn on her parents’ farm and installed a 40-foot spring floor. She got her first intensive experience teaching and earned enough money to buy her first car. While teaching at Poultney Elementary School, Rommy began pursuing a second master’s degree from Simmons College with an emphasis on language and literacy.
She was inspired by what she learned, but also realized how unprepared she was coming into the teaching profession after college. To make real change in education, she decided her mission was teaching future teachers.
“I realized in college I was just a number,” Rommy said. “The first thing I tell my (GMC) students is they are very fortunate to get so much intensive instruction, support and mentoring . . . they also get far more in placement time and experience than students will at bigger schools.”