BRUCE S. FOSTER, SR.
Bruce S. Foster has been a resident of Chesterfield County since graduating from Virginia State College in 1973. He is married to his childhood sweetheart, Rose Reed Foster and they have two children, Bruce Jr. of Austin, Texas and Adrienne of Hopewell, Va.
Early on in his childhood, a favorite teacher made a lasting impact on him. She mentored him and they developed a special bond. At her encouragement and upon feeling the nudge of the Holy Spirit, he decided that he wanted to become a teacher of children. In 1969, after graduating from St. Clare Walker High School in Middlesex County, Va., Mr. Foster attended Virginia State College where he received a B.S. in Elementary and Middle School Education in 1973. He also received a Full Math certification after completing a battery of classes for graduate studies at Virginia State. He worked and lived his last three (3) years in the campus hospital where he served as Ward Attendant. Bruce also pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated during his college senior year.
Mr. Foster began his teaching career in the Chesterfield County School System in 1973 where he served as an educator until his retirement in 2009. He first taught Math at Chester Middle School for two (2) years. For the next 15 years, he taught Math, English, and Science at Matoaca Middle School to include honors classes. He later transferred to the Chesterfield Juvenile Detention Center, a holding facility for youth waiting to go before a judge to have their cases heard and judged in a court of law. There, he taught youth ages 18 and below under the “No Child Left Behind” Law.
Additionally, Mr. Foster has served as Math Department Head, a Trainer for other teachers, mentored new or less seasoned teachers, and had one college student to complete her Student Teaching Requirement under him. He has also assisted the Juvenile Detention School Principal in administration duties. Mr. Foster received "Teacher of the Year" in 1974 as a first year teacher at Chester Middle School and again in 2005 at the Chesterfield Juvenile Detention Center. During his many years of teaching, he was and continues to be highly thought of, sought out, and respected by his administrators, peers, parents and students. He has received many laudatory comments and praises from parents and students whose lives he has impacted. Many students still remember him for his “To act is easy, to think is hard” and “Work is not a curse it is a prerogative of intelligence” writing exercises in their earlier school years.
Mr. Foster has made significant contributions toward the spiritual, educational and overall well-being of young people. Shortly after graduating from Virginia State College, he worked and lived at the Children’s Home of Virginia Baptists, Incorporated. It was there that he first began to develop and demonstrate his love for children. For three (3) years, under the directorship of Mrs. Janice Mack, Mr. Foster had the opportunity to teach, mentor, discipline and care for young teenage boys. As their House Father, he served as a father figure and role model for the boys at the facility. He also drove the Baptist Children’s Home van and transported and escorted the children to outings, church and other activities. He also chaperoned events and activities at the Children’s Home.
Mr. Foster tutored young people at his own home, in their homes, for after school hours in public school and for Upward Bound Programs at Virginia State University. He was a math tutor for afternoon tutorial programs for Matoaca Middle School students conducted at the Multipurpose Building on the grounds of Building on the grounds of the Children’s Home of Virginia Baptists, Inc. He has tutored children at church and conversed with students and parents over the phone regarding homework and math assignments. Mr. Foster has served as a mediator in an effort to ease tension or resolve conflict between parent and child.
Mr. Foster also served as Boy Scoutmaster for Troop 139 in Chesterfield County (Union Grove Baptist Church) and as an Assistant Boy Scoutmaster for Troop 139 in Chesterfield County (Baptist Children’s Home). In this capacity, Mr. Foster trained boy leaders to run the troop by providing direction, coaching, and support.
Mr. Foster is an active member of Shiloh Baptist Church where he has been a member for over 25 years. As a member, he has served in numerous capacities to include Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and member of the Trustee Ministry; Member, Building Committee; Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer; Member, Finance Ministry; Member, Pastor’s Search Committee; Member, Advisory Council; Member, Sanctuary Choir and Male Chorus; Member, Youth Ministry; and Teacher, Vacation Bible School and Sunday School. He was instrumental in reinstituting Youth Sunday School classes for youths at Shiloh during a period when youth were not attending. He once rented a big screen television so that he and his junior Sunday School students could enjoy viewing pastor-approved videos at Shiloh over a weekend. Additionally, he has taken his junior Sunday School students to Maymont Park and South Park Mall in Colonial Heights for fellowship designed church field trips. He personally purchased gifts, trinkets and incentivized tokens for his students at Christmas and on other occasions. He also sponsored Honor Roll Field Trips for Matoaca Middle School as a teacher and Department Head. As a member of the Youth Ministry he assisted in planning, coordinating and carrying out youth activities He acted as chaperone, assisted with sleepovers, and transported youth to events such as Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, and Eagle Eyrie. He has provided school supplies, games, food and other items for church sponsored school supply drives, Fall Festival, lock-ins, angel trees and other outreach programs in support of youth Mr. Foster received the Shiloh Baptist Church School “Teacher of the Year” for 2008-2009 for outstanding service and many certificates for teaching, caring and watching over his class. Mr. Foster was the recipient of the Shiloh Baptist Church “Father of the Year” Award in 1999 for an exemplary role as Father, Teacher and Counselor to many youth within the community and for dedication and loyal commitment to the church.
Mr. Foster serves as a board member for and contributor to the James Alexander Gayle Memorial Scholarship Fund, Incorporated. The Scholarship Fund, created in 1976 by the late Dr. Garnett Mack, an English professor at Virginia State University and a Deacon at Shiloh Baptist Church, is kept active by his wife, Deaconess Janice Mack. Its purpose is to give scholarships to Shiloh Baptist Church youth who attend an accredited college after graduation from high school.
There is no doubt that Mr. Foster could have excelled in the area of administration, but he has always professed that God called him to teach children. For over 36 years, he has taught, mentored, counseled and watched children develop in to productive men and women in much the same way his favorite teacher did for him as a youngster.