• 55°

Woodruff retires from Columbia

Suzanne Woodruff has retired after teaching for 27 years. (CONTRIBUTED)
Suzanne Woodruff has retired after teaching for 27 years. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – When Columbia Elementary School opened 11 years ago, Suzanne Woodruff transferred from Madison County Schools to teach.

“I gave up tenure and took a chance on a fresh new path,” Woodruff said. “We began that school with a wide variety of teachers and styles, but we all worked together like a well-oiled machine.”

The district recognized Woodruff’s retirement when this school year ended, but she actually retired in October 2014. Since graduating from Auburn University, she has taught grades 3-6.

Woodruff and her co-workers used humor to get through difficult days. “Our friendships went much deeper than co-worker relationships. I stay in touch with many weekly,” she said.

“I always wanted to be a teacher,” Woodruff said. She admired all elementary teachers, especially in fourth and sixth grades. “They both cared more about the children than what they were required to teach.”

“This philosophy of education has served me well for my 27 years as a public educator,” Woodruff said. “I’ve reached hundreds of kids by loving while educating them. It’s too hard of a job not to love what you do.”

Woodruff has three suggestions for new teachers: “Love those kids. Laugh with those kids and co-workers. Remember each one of those kids is someone’s most prized possession … treat them that way.”

A native of Iuka, Miss., she moved to Huntsville in 1988 after college and to Madison in 1993 after marrying husband Van, who works as an engineer at NASA. Their daughter Allison graduated from Bob Jones High School in 2013 and is a junior majoring in accounting at the University of Alabama.

Suzanne tutors part time, helping her transition from a classroom. “With Allison in college, extra shoe and dress money doesn’t hurt either,” she said. Suzanne also cares for her 88-year-old father.

When school starts in August, Suzanne will be enjoying the beach. “The first time in 27 years. There’s nothing more rewarding than reflecting on your career and knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, you made a difference in lots of children. I’m at peace.”

Harvest

Groups can apply for Master Gardeners grant for horticulture projects

James Clemens High School

Madison teens’ yearlong practice culminates in 2021 State Scholastic Chess Championship

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Alabama State Games Offer Academic Scholarships

Bob Jones High School

Exploravision regional win goes to James Clemens

Bob Jones High School

Alabama State Games To Offer Academic Scholarships During Opening Ceremony

James Clemens High School

James Clemens shows its tech savvy in Science Olympiad

James Clemens High School

James Clemens Jets Press rates first at All American High School Film Festival

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – April 7, 2021

Bob Jones High School

Sam Uchitel at Bob Jones founds business for Madison CEO

Madison

City Chess Blitz Championship to decide victor on April 24

Bob Jones High School

Senior boys can apply for Alabama Boys State

Madison

VBC says scams targeting ticket seekers increasing, explains how to avoid them

Madison

State open records bill clears Senate committee

Madison

‘Essential business’ bill goes to governor

Madison

EDITORIAL: Fighting COVID-19 will require personal responsibility when mask mandate expires

Madison

Huntsville Ballet Company is back with Peter and the Wolf – April 16-18

Madison

Hubert Family Farms finding success with area’s first “pick your own tulip” experience

Madison

Community tips lead police to Harvest man accused of sexual abuse of a child

Madison

State Senate bill could send over $3.2 million to Madison City Schools

Madison

State health officials ‘encouraged’ by improving COVID-19 numbers

Madison

Digital version of The Madison Record – March 31, 2021

Madison

Tornado relief supply drive continues at Liberty, Madison County District 2 office

Madison

Groundbreaking held for new middle school in Madison

Madison

Kory Alfred reaches credentials as Certified Parks and Recreation Executive

x