Ad Spot

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.”

Madison

School board approves bid to turn the old West Madison campus into PreK Center

Bob Jones High School

Greenpower racing builds STEM skills and confidence

Madison

Madison Animal Rescue Foundation in need of new foster homes

Madison

How to submit your child’s “Letter to Santa”

Events

Neighbors: Community theater groups in Decatur to stage ‘ELF: The Musical’

Events

Driving Nights for Galaxy of Lights begin today at Huntsville Botanical Garden

Events

Polar Express Christmas Tree Trail lighting and Wassail Fest being held Friday in downtown Madison

Polar Express Christmas Tree Trail lighting and Wassail Fest being held Friday in downtown Madison

Bob Jones High School

Former Patriot named assistant director of coaching at North Alabama SC

Former Patriot named assistant director of coaching at North Alabama SC

Digital Version

Check out the new issue of Madison Living Magazine

James Clemens High School

James Clemens medical and drama students, first responders simulate trauma scene

Bob Jones High School

Scholarships at stake in American Legion oratorical contest

Bob Jones High School

Nichols’ podcast avers multi-disciplines feed theatre

Business

Town Madison becomes city’s first Arts & Entertainment District

Events

Asbury Church to present “Lessons & Carols: The Songs of Christmas” on Dec. 4

Events

Christmas at Burritt on the Mountain

Events

Madison Community Band to present “Christmas Journey”

Events

Winter Park at The Orion Amphitheater is now open!

Harvest

Still Serving Veterans named ‘Nonprofit of the Year

James Clemens High School

Markowitz, Odom and Wyche earn BBB’s ‘Torch Award for Ethics’

Bob Jones High School

Arslanbekov of Madison merits first place in von Braun Symposium

Harvest

Civic-minded groups help Madison’s blood supply

Events

Fantasy Playhouse’s “A Christmas Carol” to open Dec. 2

Bob Jones High School

Fantasy Playhouse uses grant for technical theatre lab

Events

Rocket City Christmas Light Show in Madison returns Friday

x