Founder of Hyla Middle School passes away

Manvel Schauffler, one of the founders of Hyla Middle School, passed away Jan. 8. He was 88.

A longtime educator known to many simply as “Schauff,” he was headmaster of the Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Ore. from 1967 to 1980 and also taught at The Bush School in Seattle. He helped found two middle schools; Hyla Middle School on Bainbridge Island in 1993 and Explorer West in West Seattle in 1996.

Lark Palma, the head of school at Caltin Gabel, recalled in a letter to the community how Schauffer was adored by students, faculty and parents.

"Everyone who knew Schauff will remember these 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,'" Palma wrote.

Faculty at The Bush School also shared their memories of "Schauff" and his inspiring presence in a tribute on the school's website.

“Schauff was eternally optimistic and amazingly encouraging and supportive of everyone with whom he came into contact, regardless of circumstances," said Gary Emslie, the former director of the middle school.

"He was clearly a very humble person and loved working with middle-school children. When you retire as a school head at 55 and choose then to be an eighth-grade middle school history teacher, you stand out from the crowd," he said.

“Schauff was a rock of a person and an inspirational teacher who inspired his students to love the subject," added Jay Franklin, a former Bush student who is now director at the school.

"I later went on to become a history teacher in large part because of him. Schauff was tough in that he expected a lot out of you, but he was also very consistent in his care and compassion for others and in his belief that kids, especially middle school kids, are valuable and able to participate in and contribute to any venture," Franklin said.

Schauffler was born in New York City in 1924, and served with the Navy during World War II. He met his wife, Verna, at Black Mountain College in North Carolina after the war, and they  moved to Oregon in 1947.

He joined the staff at Catlin Gabel School in 1951 and remained there for nearly 30 years.

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

A public celebration of Schauff’s life is scheduled for 1 p.m.  Sunday, Feb. 17 at the Catlin Gabel School.



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