July 30, 2018
Humble. Kind. Helpful. Compassionate.
These words were all used as family, colleagues and friends gathered to celebrate Sue Anderson’s career as an outstanding teacher and administrator at her retirement party on July 26.
After 29 years as an educator in the Wakulla County School District, she will be retiring to spend more time with her family, including husband John, daughter Ashley, son Chris, daughter-in-law Christie, and three young grandchildren.
Superintendent Bobby Pearce presented her with a plaque, noting, “Sue Anderson put her heart into helping the children of Wakulla County, especially students who were struggling or ‘At-Risk’ of not being promoted. She has a true understanding of children and their needs.”
He added, “But she also excelled at her final job as the District Director of Assessment and Special Programs. She trained every administrator and school testing coordinator in the district, and kept her door open and her advice available when the phones starting ringing during state test administration.”
“Plus all of our Title I schools have her to thank for guiding their administrators through federal regulations that meant more resources in our classrooms. She dealt with all the federal Title issues, such as Title IX for equality for males and females in sports and other areas.”
Retired Superintendent David Miller also spoke about how fortunate he was to have her in charge of so many areas at the District Office when he was there. “Sue is a very smart lady and was always available to research information for me. She definitely helped lead the district to an ‘A’ grade.”
Anderson began her career in Wakulla County in 1975 at Crawfordville Elementary School, when it housed grades K through 6. She taught 6th grade and 4th grade, noting her gratitude towards former colleague Liann Douglas at CES for mentoring her.
After taking some time off to raise her children, she returned to work as the At-Risk Specialist, organizing classroom lessons and activities with Alternative Education teachers at Wakulla Middle School, later adding the new Riversprings Middle School. She also spearheaded the Safe and Drug-Free Schools initiative and the Service-Learning program in Wakulla.
“I loved working with middle school teachers like Mary Nell Masterson and Queen Webster who never gave up on a student. They understood that our students at risk for not succeeding in school usually have a host of other issues they are dealing with. We attended conferences and did our research to learn different approaches,” says Anderson.
Anderson holds certifications in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Reading Grades K through 12, and Educational Leadership.
She was named District Administer of the Year in both 2009 and 2015, but the award she is most proud of is the 2004 Florida Learn and Serve Award. “We paired ROTC students who were good role models with at-risk middle school students to work together helping develop Azalea Park, among other projects,” says Anderson. “Both the middle school and high school students learned a lot from each other while having a goal to work towards together.”
Anderson adds, “It has been an honor to work for a school system that I was proud to send my children to. Sometimes it takes going to state conferences or collaborating with other districts to realize just how fortunate we are to live in a high performing school district.”