Teacher Spotlight: James Fendryk


Social studies teacher James Fendryk holds his son James on their family camping trip. Fendryk enjoys going hiking and camping with his family.

Shannon Olsen, Lifestyles Editor

After six hours of hiking seven miles up the incredibly steep mountain, social studies teacher James Fendryk and his family finally reached the end of their annual hike up Old Rag Mountain. Even though they were exhausted, they have been enjoying this hike since Fendryk was a child.

Fendryk first discovered his love for the outdoors when he was a child. His parents were “really into the outdoor scene”, so naturally Fendryk “grew up spending weekends in the woods” camping, hiking and even at the beach, where he learned to surf.

Each year he and his family take a trip to Shenandoah National Park where they spend the weekend camping and hiking together. They go every year to celebrate his parents anniversary because his parents went on their honeymoon at Shenandoah.

Their favorite hike is the trek up Old Rag Mountain. Even though it “a pretty intense trek from the bottom to the top of the mountain,” they still enjoy the hike because they get to spend time together as a family, according to Fendryk.

The trail is a little under seven miles and takes Fendryk and his family about six hours round-trip to finish because of the steep elevation of the mountain.

Along with his annual family trip to Shenandoah National Park, Fendryk has taken a few lengthy trips on the Appalachian Trail.  “The longest I did was a 10 day trip where we were averaging about 14 miles covered each day,” Fendryk said.

Fendryk’s favorite part about camping and hiking is “getting to spend them with the people that matter most to me.” He also enjoys hiking with his family because “it reminds me of when I was young.”

Shannon Olsen is a Lifestyles Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.