Just a few things on my mind tonight...
Judy will retire at the end of the school year after doing and teaching for 40 years.
After one year in Arizona, she spent the next 39 years at Patrick Henry Middle School. Judy estimates she's had more than 5,000 students in her classroom - and she's had only four of those - in that time.
Colleagues call her "the queen of Patrick Henry."
Former students, even those who never learned world geography from her, call her an inspiration.
Justin Beckman, now 29, describes Judy as one of the top five memorable teachers he has encountered. Because of Judy, he follows the Olympics with enthusiasm.
"She was able to take lessons and relate them to the real world," Justin says. "I walked away with a different understanding and appreciation."
As word of her upcoming retirement has filtered out, Judy has started to receive comments on a Facebook fan page set up in her honor.
The only retirement gift Judy wants is to hear from her former students on that fan page, to find out what they remember from her classes.
Oh, there is one other thing she would like: People to walk with her in the Avera Race Against Breast Cancer.
Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 1986 and was told she had only a few months to live. Aggressive treatment, the best available almost 25 years ago, left her with a few lingering health issues. But it saved her life.
It allowed her to continue teaching at the school that, when she was a little girl living a block away, was only a cornfield and the neighborhood playground.
Now 62, she takes part in the annual Avera Race Against Breast Cancer. This year Judy hopes to walk May 8 with 300 current and former students. "It intertwines both of them in my love for community service and teaching social studies and a sense of responsibility and citizenship," she says.
To read the complete article here is the link: http://www.argusleader.com/article/20100413/COLUMNISTS0113/4130306