Celebrating Alumni Stories: Dave Mumaw

September 19, 2023 / Trisha Blosser
Dave Mumaw ‘58
Dave Mumaw ‘58

Mr. Mumaw taught Biology and other sciences at EMHS in 1962, and from 1965-2002. His teaching inspired countless students to pursue their interest in science, especially in biology and medicine.

I enjoyed my time at EMHS – excellent teachers, good friends, and a spiritual emphasis. Because of the high school-college connection, some of my teachers were college professors. Vivian Beachy and Grace Lafever stand out. A Latin course with college professor Dorothy Kemrer was beneficial to my work in biology, but extremely hard. I knew many of my good friends since elementary school, like John Stall. We found hawks, owls, and crows together. The spiritual emphasis included chapel, as well as some prayer in class.

In 1962, I started teaching at EMHS, and I promised president John R. Mumaw that I’d fill in one year before leaving for my masters. In that year, I discovered that I loved teaching. I then went to Virginia Tech for my masters of science in Wildlife Management with a research focus (and later received my teaching license from James Madison University). My wife Eleanor Eby ’58 Mumaw and I wanted to raise our family in the Shenandoah Valley. We appreciated the Christian atmosphere at EMHS, and turned down other offers so I could return to EMHS in 1965 as science teacher. In 1969, I started teaching driver’s education.

Experiential outdoor learning has always been important to me. I lead many mini-terms [now e-terms] with students. We hiked the Appalachian Trail, climbed Pikes Peak three times, and snorkeled in the coral reefs in Florida. We took flying lessons at Shenandoah Regional Airport (I hold a pilot’s license), conducted wildlife research on Shenandoah Mountain, and learned taxidermy. The opportunity for sabbaticals to explore other biological environments appealed to me, and I was able to travel to Alaska, Australia, Peru, and Arizona.

I always enjoyed the biology of my environment. My father Homer Mumaw was a biologist, scientist, taxidermist, and mentor. We lived on a farm, and I took care of cows, sheep, horses, chickens, pigeons, rabbits, and even foxes, so I had first-hand experience with many different types of animals. College teachers like D. Ralph Hostetter and Kenton Brubaker also inspired me when I was a biology major, and I had the opportunity to assist them.

After retiring from EMS, Eleanor and I have traveled to Europe, the Panama Canal, and Arizona. I mowed the athletic fields for five years, and enjoyed watching grandchildren, Rebekah Hertzler ’13 Stoner and Luke Hertzler ’16, attend and graduate from EMHS.

Now, I mentor teenagers from families at church and work with Ukrainian refugees (finding housing, furniture, cars, jobs etc). I enjoy hunting, fishing, camping, and spending time with grandchildren.

I hope EMHS maintains a Christian atmosphere, including chapels with faculty and outside speakers. I would also like to see EMHS continue to honor academic excellence, and encourage hands-on subjects like shop and art.

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