Parent's and Family Weekend Essay Winner


Honorees: Eric and Devon Verno
Submitted by: Novalea Verno

Ever since I was a little girl, my family and I would attend every Bloomsburg homecoming football game; sitting behind the opposing team on a grass bank, wrapped in blankets and Bloomsburg gear. My dad cheered when they won and reminisced on the “better days” if they lost. My mom would hold us kids close, protecting us from the crisp autumn breeze that threatened to spoil a pleasant afternoon. She’d reminisce about her childhood growing up at Bloom and tell us stories that even after the thousandth retelling would make us laugh. As evident by the windburn we boldly faced each year and what felt like hundreds of miles to us kids walking to the field, my family is proud to be a Husky family.

My dad, Eric Verno, proudly claims Bloomsburg as his alma mater. He always says some of his favorite years were spent on the football field bleeding maroon and gold. When he wasn’t playing ball, he would be hard at work earning an education degree. My dad is one of the most dedicated people I know. Ever since he was a kid, he knew he wanted to be a teacher. Bloomsburg helped him achieve those dreams and more. He has now served almost two decades in the public education system. He is currently a 6th-grade math and science teacher. He is fiercely loved by all in his district, coined the favorite teacher by many students, and constantly recognized on the streets by former students.

His love for teaching is obvious to all. His dedication to education has allowed him to work with an organization called Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Through this, he is able to work with teachers to implement technology, ranging from Minecraft to 3D printing, into the classroom. Through his many years of teaching, he has always been quick to give credit to Bloomsburg for pushing him to not merely succeed but to have fun while doing it.

My mom, Devon Verno, had a childhood spent moving from state to state. Yet despite her impressive list of hometowns, she is always quick to answer the question of where she grew up in Bloomsburg. Roaming the streets as Devon Carney, she wandered wild with friends causing havoc on the college kids. My whole life she has delighted in telling tales of her rambunctious childhood. From throwing tomatoes at college students from the roof of a friend’s house behind Elwell hall and running through corn fields at night she definitely should not have been running through, to spending her afternoons with friends sitting outside a pizza shop merely to smell the aroma of pizza they couldn’t afford with pocket change, her time here was well spent. Anytime we drive through the town, she’s quick to point out houses of old friends, go-to hang-out spots, and how much the campus has changed since she was a young girl using Centennial as her school’s gym.

My parents have proven themselves dedicated to the Bloomsburg community as a proud alumnus and a former "townie." Their love for this town and campus and their pride in their time here continue to grow with each passing year. I am proud to belong to a family that believes so strongly in a school like Bloomsburg University.