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After 25 years at Columbia Public Schools, assistant principal Diane Bruckerhoff has decided to retire from public school service. Next year Bruckerhoff will be Upper School Director at Columbia Independent School.
She has filled different positions such as teacher, health sciences coordinator, counselor and her current position as the junior assistant principal overseeing the junior class, special education classes and physical education classes.
“I know Diane had talked to the state of Missouri about retirement and what that would look like and was also looking for other leadership opportunities and [then] kind of through her hand in the hat in becoming the principal of the secondary school at CIS,” RBHS principal Mark Maus said. “It interested her so she kind of told me that, and I knew that if that went through, she would be retiring. So last Friday she called and let me know they had offered her the job and that she would sadly be leaving us.”
With the culture Rock Bridge carries, situations of leadership are different than that off a strict and more average school. Teachers must learn to adjust to this change, especially when they are new to the system. So it is up to our administrative staff to teach not only the students but teachers as well. Bruckerhoff did just that.
“She has had a strong impact on me,” said special education teacher Kathryn Kemp. “This is my first year teaching here at Rock Bridge. She helped me to understand how important it is to have a good relationship with my students, to establish respect and accountability.”
Though Bruckerhoff has made her decision to take the job offer she says she will greatly miss her students. In fact, she tears up while talking about the reality of leaving her current position.
“I have a lot of kids in my class that I see on a … regular basis. [But]… there are 600 kids in the junior class and I wish I would have go to know all of them,” Bruckerhoff said. “I try to send cards home when people are doing great things or win something. But the kids that have probably the most issues are the kids that I most close with just because hopefully I’ve built some relationships with them and their family and I’m sure some will be thrilled that I’m leaving and others will be feeling like I was a traitor and I didn’t stay with them long enough. We have kind of gone through this journey together and we build each other [up].”
By Sonya Francis