Utrust - Appreciating, Developing, and Supporting School Staff

Appreciating, Developing, and Supporting School Staff! click here to learn more

DBS Beach – Story Honoring Judy Bybee

By: Tammy WoolbrightDBS-Beach

Principal, Dodson Branch School, Jackson County

As educators, we have often heard the story of the starfish and the little boy who made a difference. The story says the young man is walking the beach and questioned by a man why he is throwing starfish back into the ocean. That he can’t rescue them all. The young man says “It made a difference to that one.” Mrs. Judy Bybee has made a difference to many “starfish” (students, families, faculty, and staff) in her 34 years as an educator at Dodson Branch School.

Mrs. Judy Bybee has worked at the “DBS Beach” (DBS School) impacting students, families, and colleagues in many capacities. At times she has been the “lifeguard” hugging students and consoling families in difficult times. Other times she has been the “lifeguard instructor” teaching numerous grade levels and many skills and standards throughout her career in the classroom. She has also worked as “litter patrol” challenging her students to be good citizens in keeping their classroom and school clean.

Other jobs at the “DBS Beach” include “On the Job Trainer”. Throughout Mrs. Judy’s 34 years at DBS, she has mentored and helped m any young educators grow and evolve. In addition, she has been a “Concession Worker” involved in many extracurricular activities and events including ball games, fall festivals, art auctions, and numerous fundraisers. Ms. Judy also performed her duties of “DBS beach Safety Patrol” which included bus duties, lunch duties, and after-school duties. She always has a smile on her face no matter what job she is performing at the “DBS Beach”.

Although all of these jobs are important, Ms. Judy’s greatest difference maker has been her ability to rescue “Struggling Reader Starfish” and throwing them back into the “Ocean of Success”. Ms. Judy has a passion for reading. Throughout her career, he has rescued struggling readers as a Title 1 Remedial teacher, 1st & 2nd grade classroom teacher, and presently as Literacy Leader in our building. Ms. Judy has always had a special interest in struggling readers from giving extra time in the classroom, to tutoring after school, modeling lessons for teachers to scaffold instructions, and purchasing materials and intervention programs that help students be rescued and put back in the “Ocean of Success”. In her 34 years, it would be impossible to count all the starfish she has saved.

One way to describe her attributes as a “Starfish Student Rescuer” is using the letters of Starfish.
S-Selfless dedication to others
T-Time and energy devoted to school
A-Positive and Caring Attitude
R-Excellent Rapport with students, families, faculty, and staff
F-Fundamental belief “All children can learn”
I-Involved in all aspects of the school
S-Shining example to others
H-Heart of love

As one can see, Mrs. Judy has definitely made a difference in many lives. Personally, she has made a difference in my life as a fellow educator. In 1988, I began my teaching career at DBS and Ms. Judy took me under her wing and mentored me. She has given me many words of wisdom and encouragement along the way. She continues to do that today in our roles as principal and assistant principal. The greatest gift she has given to me is the importance of believing in others. She believed in me and continually encourages me to be the best educator I can be.

In conclusion, Ms. Judy deserves to be recognized as a difference maker. She has made a difference in students, faculty, and staff. She has been an inspiration for all! Truly, one can say “I made a difference for that one!” Please recognize Ms. Judy and make a difference for her!