It is fortunate for Devine students that Farrah Schueling did not quit college when she “failed the first test I ever took as a college student,” as she relates. She was so discouraged and homesick. She recalls that the class sizes at Texas A&M were sometimes as large as her entire high school at DHS. However, failing that first test “lit a fire” under her and failure was not an option. Subsequently, Farrah graduated in 2006 Suma Cum Laude with a 4.0! She gives God the credit, “[He] had a plan for me, and I wasn’t about to stand in His way.”
Having spent her time at A&M studying for a career in agriculture, Farrah took a job with the USDA for the Farm Service Agency. About that job she quips, “If you ever wore a pair of shoes that didn’t fit right, you will know what my experience was like working for the USDA.” She was not happy. Perhaps she should have pursued a career as a writer, which was her goal during her young life. Or, she could have become a storm chaser, another brief goal.
Possibly because she wasn’t happy in her career, and clearly, in her heart, because God had a plan for her, Farrah found that working with the youth at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Quihi was a better fit. She relates, “He had plans for me to pursue a career in education, and when that desire took seed in my heart, I could not let loose of it until I was in a classroom somewhere.” So, Farrah went back to school to earn her teaching certificate and left her agricultural career after just two years.
In 2008, Farrah began her new career as a fifth-grade teacher at Devine Intermediate School. “Fortunately for me,” she says, “the place that I called home my whole life… gave me the freedom to find my way and become the teacher that I am today.” It is a dedicated teacher who says, “I went home late everyday feeling like I was living a dream that I never knew I had. In fact, I remember in high school specifically thinking that I would never in my life want be a teacher.” Instead, Farrah often spends sleepless nights thinking about the next day’s lesson or worrying about some of her students’ welfare. She is determined to leave behind a legacy of being a caring and dedicated teacher, and she also hopes to someday become a principal.
As for her personal life, Farrah is rich with a delightful family. She met her husband, Gaylon, in 2005 at a benefit dance for the Hondo Volunteer Fire Company. She couldn’t help thinking how handsome he was, and when she noticed his hardworking hands, “I knew he was the man for me.” And hard worker he is, as he owns and operates his own heavy equipment construction company called Schueling and Sons.
The couple married in 2009, and they have three children: Reese is 10; Harper is seven; Grayson is four. Staying busy with her family, Farrah says there’s not much time for hobbies, but she loves to cook and to occasionally watch Netflix or a Disney movie with her family. Of course, the family regularly attends church where she was first inspired to work with children and where she is a Sunday School teacher and VBS Director.
Farrah’s positive attitude toward life helps her through the trying times. One of those is when she lost her dad in 2015. She relates that he had suffered with heart disease for many years, and his final several months were terrible ones for the family, as he had to have a leg amputated as a result of an infected foot. And, as Farrah had so dreaded, her father was devastated. As she tried to comfort him over the next couple of months, Farrah says that she prayed that God would bring something good out of this, and He did! With nothing else to do, he watched church on TV and read devotionals that Farrah had given him for Father’s Day. Farrah says, “I knew later that my dad had to lose his leg to save his soul.” She felt at peace when he died, knowing that she would “see him again in heaven one day.”
Another trial for Farrah and her young family was discovering that her daughter, Harper, after months of experiencing excruciating headaches, was diagnosed with a Chiari malformation. This is a structural defect in which part of the brain extends into the spinal cord, and without treatment, debilitating headaches would continue. After making the difficult but necessary decision for Harper to undergo brain surgery to relieve some of the pressure, Harper’s surgery was successful, and today she suffers from only occasional headaches. The hopes are that in time, her skull will grow enough that she will no longer have any pain.
After a challenging year, Farrah says she plans to take it easy and enjoy the summer with the kids and “possibly take a nap in the afternoons.” Then she adds that they are building a new house with all that decision making along with her oldest daughter, Reese, having been drafted into an all-star softball team. Good luck with that nap idea.