Contact the Author |

The Authors

Jerry Schumm

Rev. Dr. Gerald E. Schumm – Jerry – is a retired United Church of Christ minister and Miami-Dade Public School social studies teacher. In late 2000, he lived out a life-long dream – canoeing the Mississippi River from the headwaters in Lake Itasca to New Orleans. The “Paddlin’ Pastor” did so with the assistance of nineteen paddling partners. Jerry and his wife Jeanne (now married 50 years) have always had the bug for travel adventures. This has included many trips abroad and setting foot in all 50 states. Jerry is most comfortable in the out of doors, e.g., canoeing, sailing, boating fishing, camping, golfing, or simply working in the yard. The Schumms spent most of their working lives in South Florida and are now retired and living in Diamondhead, Mississippi.


John Maybin DeFraites, Jr.

John Maybin DeFraites, Jr. is a Geospatial Information Manager. After studying landscape architecture and urban planning, he worked for several years in private engineering firms. John currently works for the City of New Orleans Department of Public Works. John has been married to Jerry and Jeanne’s daughter, Jamie (an elementary teacher with Jefferson Parish Public Schools), for twenty years. They have two children, Jack and Sophia. The DeFraites family travels extensively in Louisiana, throughout the United States, and internationally. The family also enjoys the rich cultural, historical, and recreational opportunities the Crescent City has to offer.


Jeanne Shay Schumm

Dr. Jeanne Shay Schumm is Professor Emerita from the University of Miami. Jeanne tells her grandchildren she had the best job in the world – as a professor she got paid to learn. Her research and teaching focused on struggling readers. She is the author of multiple textbooks books and research articles. Since retirement she enjoys new travel adventures – particularly on seeing the world through the eyes of their grandchildren, Jack and Sophia. Jeanne also is relishing the time she now has to grow herbs, take piano lessons, golf, tap dance, and attend book club.