Remembering Manvel ‘Schauff’ Schauffler, 1924-2013

The family of longtime educator Manvel “Schauff” Schauffler, a founding board member of Explorer West Middle School among many other achievements, shares this remembrance:

Manvel Schauffler, who taught hundreds of Seattle-area kids history, sailing, camping, cooperation, and the joys of classroom and outdoor learning for more than a decade, passed away on January 8, 2013.

Known to all simply as “Schauff”, he taught at The Bush School in Seattle and also helped found two middle-schools, The Hyla School on Bainbridge island and Explorer West in West Seattle.

He was born in New York City in 1924, and grew up in New Rochelle, New York. His pastimes there were sailing on Long Island Sound, playing ice hockey and other sports, and rooting for the New York Yankees. He once shook hands with Lou Gehrig.

He served with the U.S. Navy during World War II and met his wife, Verna, at Black Mountain College in North Carolina after the war.

The couple moved to Oregon with a group of college friends in 1947 and formed a farming cooperative in Estacada where Schauff also taught school at Estacada High while finishing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Lewis & Clark College.

The members of that group celebrate every year over the Thanksgiving weekend, now with their children and grandchildren which include more than 80 people.

Schauff began working at Portland’s Catlin Gabel School in 1951 and remained there for nearly thirty years, becoming headmaster in 1967.

In 1980, he and Verna moved to Seattle, where Schauff worked at The Bush School as Dean of Faculty and Director of Transportation while also returning to his love of teaching middle school students.

After finishing his career at Bush in 1992, Schauff was instrumental in founding both the Hyla Middle School on Bainbridge Island (1993), and Explorer West Middle School in West Seattle (1996).

As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy he also founded a summer exchange program with the Zushi Kaisei school of Japan, bringing 48 of their students to Seattle every summer for an intensive four week program in ESL, Community Service, Sailing, and Camping.

Everyone who knew Schauff will remember some of his favorite expressions: “I’ll take three volunteers – you, you, and you,” “Be sure to take care of each other,” “Never put a hot pancake on a cold plate,” “Lady with a baby,” and “The sun always shines on the righteous.”

He is survived by his wife, Verna; their daughters, Robin Schauffler and Deborah Schauffler; their son, Allen; and their grandchildren Robin Macartney and Alex Macartney

The family asks that gifts in Schauff’s memory be designated to financial aid at Hyla, Explorer West , Bush or Catlin Gabel School, or to any school or program that nurtures and supports young people in their middle school years.

The family also suggests some good ways to honor Schauff: cook a pancake, chop some wood, ride a ferry, sail a boat, register to vote.

A public celebration of Schauff’s life is scheduled for 1:00 pm on February 17, 2013 at the Catlin Gabel School in Portland.

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2 Replies to "Remembering Manvel 'Schauff' Schauffler, 1924-2013"

  • Jeff Rose January 19, 2013 (1:36 pm)

    I remember Schauff as my sixth grade teacher at Catlin Gabel School. This was almost forty years ago. He gave me one of his “hero” badges for describing where Denver, Colo was to a make believe space alien. He was a memorable person in my life.

  • KR January 20, 2013 (9:35 am)

    Schauff was my middle school history teacher at The Bush School in the 1980’s. He was an inspiring educator at my life and many others.

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