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January 21, 2015

Faces of Fauquier: She always wanted to teach

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“This is my home away from home,” Lise Hicklin says of Highland School in Warrenton.
I knew I wanted to be a teacher from the get-go. I love to be with children, and I’m excited to see them learn. I love to work with students, teachers and parents on this educational journey.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
With a delightful demeanor, she walks the colorful hallways of Highland’s Lower School.

Lise (pronounced Lisa) Hicklin, the lower school director (equivalent of a principal), has a knack for communicating with elementary-aged students.

“I knew I wanted to be a teacher from the get-go. I love to be with children and I’m excited to see them learn,” Mrs. Hicklin said.

During her 30-year career at Highland, she also has taught second grade and served as head of the primary school.

“This is my home away from home,” she said of the independent, preK-12 school in Warrenton.

Her job includes developing school curriculum and ensuring everything runs smoothly.

“I love to work with students, teachers, and parents on this educational journey,” Mrs. Hicklin said.

She and her husband Gary moved 30 years ago from Roanoke to Fauquier County.

“It’s the perfect spot to be — beautiful countryside and access to big city stuff.”

In her spare time, she and her husband, who also works at Highland, enjoy tandem bicycle excursions.

“A year and half ago we rode from Virginia to Mackinac Island, Michigan. It was about 1,100 miles and it took us three weeks.”

• Age
61

• Home
The Plains

• Work
Director of the lower school at Highland School for 10 years. In charge of pre-K through fourth grade students and faculty. Develops curriculum, gets children excited about learning, and makes sure everything runs smoothly. This is her 30th year at Highland School.

I started as a second grade teacher and I loved being in the classroom for 10 years. Then I became head of the primary school, and now, director of the lower school.

• Why do you do the job?
I’ve always loved teaching. I knew I wanted to be a teacher from the get-go. I love to be with children, and I’m excited to see them learn. I love to work with students, teachers and parents on this educational journey.

I’ve stayed at Highland because of the fabulous group of people I work with. It’s always a great place to be, and I never had the desire to leave. This is my home away from home. It has always really met my professional needs and made me happy.

• Family
Husband, Gary, who teaches middle school science at Highland; Labrador retrievers, Millie and Baylor; three brothers and a sister who live across the U.S.

• Education
Bachelor’s degree, physical education, East Tennessee State University, 1976; master’s, physical education, Radford University, 1982; post-graduate license in early childhood education, University of Virginia.

• Civic involvement
None at the moment. When I retire, I plan on filling my days with volunteering.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
30 years

• Why do you live here?
I think it’s the perfect place with countryside and culture. You can pop into D.C. I came from Roanoke, and I was worried I wouldn’t have any more mountains. But here, the mountains are at a distance and I enjoy that. The mountains call to me. Fauquier County is beautiful. I go on vacation and come back and think there is no place prettier than right here.

• How do you describe this county?
It’s the perfect spot to be — beautiful countryside and access to big city stuff.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
Nothing really. I’ve seen growth since I’ve been here, with new restaurants and businesses. I hope growth takes it’s time or is handled in a good way.

• What do you do for fun?
My husband and I bicycle. We ride on a tandem bike. A year and half ago we rode from Virginia to Mackinac Island, Michigan. It was about 1,100 miles and it took us three weeks.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
The place where we live on a farm in The Plains. It’s my little piece of heaven that we rent, called Mount Eccentric. The home is from the late 1700s and it has been expanded. It’s a fun house in a gorgeous spot.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
More developed, more houses. It’s just a natural thing I’m sure will happen.

• Favorite TV show?
“The Voice”

• Favorite movie?
“My Cousin Vinny”

• Favorite book?
All mystery books. I like “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. A parent gave it to me knowing I had a Brazilian exchange student and suggested I read it.

• Favorite vacation spot?
I love going to different places. I love the beach. The most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to was Lanikai Beach in Hawaii.

• Favorite food?
Shrimp

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
My dad always said, “Do the best work you can, each day on Earth.”

• Who’s your hero and why?
My husband, Gary, because he is selfless, hardworking, determined and brave. He has helped me do things I never though I could do, such as the challenge of the bike ride to Michigan.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I would pay off all debt, give some away and save some for fun trips.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• As 9-1-1 dispatcher, Kateland Rich works to maintain calm during crisis.

• Chaplain Liz Danielsen finds a giving community.


• 9-1-1 response in Rodney Woodward’s bloodline.

• Fast talk a tool of the trade for auctioneer Kathy Shumate.

• Sam Poles takes care of varmits.

• Diane King mentors student performers at Fresta Valley Christian School.


• Lewis F. Lee Jr. followed his father into taxidermy business.

• Edward Payne returns to Orlean and to photography with passion.

• Janet Metzger’s Old Town Warrenton shop a hub of creativity.

• Pablo Teodoro bakes to build community.

• Community trails have become passion for retired VDOT engineer Bob Moore.


• Teresa Reynolds makes transition from butcher to museum director.

• After working in New York and Italy, Christine Fox moved home to open fashion boutique 25 years ago.

• Steve Lewis develops hunting reality show on Dish Network.

• Julia Trumbo grew up in the family grocery business.

• Tax preparer Renée Turner enjoys owning a business in Old Town Warrenton.

• ICU staff Carol Jones values patients’ trust.


• Wilson Sanabria grew up working in his family’s Warrenton restaurant and learning to box.

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.


• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.


• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.


• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”


• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.


• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.


• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.


• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.


• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.


• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.


• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people


• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.


• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.


• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.


• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.


• Pastor a constant in Calverton.


• She keeps the courthouse spotless.


• He loves working working outdoors at the park.


• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton


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