Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

Read about the inspiring lives and careers of our alumni who leveraged their RMS education as a launching pad for success in various fields! Each month we “spotlight” an RMS alumnus. Take a moment to read about our featured alum! To share your story after graduation and inspire current students please contact the Advancement Office at 804.741.0040 x 27.

See many more Alumni Spotlights here.

Alumni Spotlight: Jamie Fielo Coleman, class of 2004Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 1.29.46 PM

If you are in the working world, what are you doing and where are you working?

I finished my masters degree in nursing education in 2015, so I’m done with school for now. I work part time as an RN at an outpatient surgical center called the Skin Surgery Center of Virginia. We focus on the removal of higher risk skin cancers and reconstruction of the defects created after their removal. The rest of my time I am mommy to a wonderful 1-year-old little girl.

Do you think your time at RMS helped you to pursue this? If yes, how?

Indirectly. I didn’t decide to pursue nursing until my first year of college. I’ve been interested in science, biology in particular since I was a child, and RMS certainly nurtured my exploration of this subject that ultimately lead me to nursing. My experience at RMS has definitely shaped my success in the field. From a young age, RMS taught me critical thinking, problem solving, and self direction — all essential to successful nursing.

Did you ever envision doing this while you were at RMS?

No. Depending on the year, I thought about being an artist, owning a daycare, doctor, actress, or a physical therapist.

Where do you live now?

Henrico County about halfway between Short Pump and downtown Richmond.

Where did you live when you were a student? 

Nine houses down the street from where I live now.

Did you enjoy your time at RMS?

Very much so. I still smile when I see the sign on Parham Road.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Anita Pishko. She is the quintessential Montessori teacher. Encouraging, respectful toward each student as an individual, and fun to spend time with. I have a lot of good memories from Ms. Hogan’s class as well. She really went all out for class plays which was so much fun for a theater nerd like myself. I still laugh with my dad about learning to spell Chattahoochee for one of her geography tests.

What were RMS students campaigning for/ most interested in when you were a student?

The Manatees.

What was your most memorable moment as a student?

Expert project in 6th grade. That was a fun and valuable experience. We learned how to research and craft a paper and practiced public speaking by presenting them to each other and our families. I still remember presentation night. It was raining, as it always did on expert project night. My presentation was on the underground railroad, and I sang a song as part of it. Afterward a friend and I changed back into our street cloths and ran around outside. We were soaked when we came back in and of course ran right into Mr. Ackerman, the principal. He just smiled and nodded to us to join our families. Looking back now I realize how grateful I am for his response. We were supposed to be dignified little presenters that night. But his smile acknowledged that yes we were there that night to be professionals but we were still kids and kids still get experience the joy of running around in the rain even on project night.

What was your funniest moment as a student?

In 8th grade we had weekly grammar tests every Friday. Our English teacher, Mrs. Daniels, promised us one week to take our whole class out for ice cream if all of us got 100s on the test. I don’t think she ever thought it would happen because we hadn’t yet had a week where all of us got above 90 and her car only could only fit three of us. Well that Friday came and we took our test and sat and watched her grade each one. The tension in the room was noticeably high. Sure enough, we did it! The next week she divided us into groups of three and at lunch she took us to Bev’s for ice cream.

Are you still friends with anybody you met at RMS?

I’m still connected to a few people through Facebook.

Would you send your children to RMS?

Absolutely!

Describe RMS in 3 words.

Community, supportive, enriching

Do you still believe in the same principles as you did when you were a student?

I believe so.

What is your lasting impression of RMS?

RMS was my second home for most of my childhood. RMS nurtured my whole person from the curious preschooler to the preteen trying to remain true to herself during a time when it feels the world is turning upside down. I would not be the person I am today had it not been for my experience here. Because of that, RMS will forever hold a special place in my heart.