Community

Student, teacher, principal, Judy Busch is retiring

Maplewood Heights student Kellie Dunne presents Principal Judy Busch with glass from Uptown Glassworks in honor of her retirement. - Submitted
Maplewood Heights student Kellie Dunne presents Principal Judy Busch with glass from Uptown Glassworks in honor of her retirement.
— image credit: Submitted

After 35 years in the Renton School District, Judy Busch is retiring as principal from Maplewood Heights Elementary School.

Students and staff held a special assembly for Busch Monday afternoon. The kindergarten through fifth-grade students read her poems about retirement and serenaded her with songs like “It’s a Wonderful World,” “Life is a Highway,” and “Happy Trails.”

Teacher Kalisa Amparo’s third-grade class presented Busch during the assembly with two colorful glass bowls they made on a field trip to Uptown Glassworks last week.

“I hope that you will grow up and do what you know is right,” Busch told the students in her farewell speech. She explained to the students how she started in the Renton School District as a first grader and moved up to middle school at McKnight and eventually graduated from Hazen High School as part of Hazen’s first graduating class. This brought cheers and shouts from the students as she outlined their future path.

Busch said she started as a special education teacher in the school district in 1976 during an interview after the assembly.

Born and raised in Renton, she said she wanted to come back and contribute to her hometown. She’s held various teaching positions within the district.

She hopes her legacy will be helping kids realize their potential and make the right choices.

When asked to reflect on the state of education and state funding, Busch said she can’t remember a year she didn’t worry about it.

“It seems like the state of education, the budgets for education every year has been problematic,” she said. “I don’t know that it’s ever been to this state, but I think everybody should be worried about it, unfortunately.”

But, she says she feels fortunate that she picked a job that everyday she wanted to come to work. Busch will miss the people she has encountered from the students, to staff and parents.

“The work’s been hard, but the work’s been important and I think at Maplewood we’ve done a really good job on the work we do educating kids,” she said.

Busch called the prospect of retiring scary but exciting. She plans to go to a spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., with girlfriends. She and her husband Fred will spend part of their time here and part of it in a house outside of Palm Springs, Calif.

She is looking forward to spending more time with Fred and her two adult children: Jessica, who works in Manhattan and Brandon, who attends the University of Arizona in Tucson. Both of her children attended Maplewood Heights Elementary and were in her fourth grade classroom when she taught there.

Her last day at Maplewood is Friday, June 24.

 

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