LEIPSIC — The Leipsic Elementary teachers gave an “un-frog-getable”
send off to two of their retiring colleagues on Wednesday, May 28.
Rodriguez, an elementary teacher’s aide, and Judy Newell, a fourth
grade teacher, were “toad-ally” surprised on the students’ last day of
school when their former principal, Fred Bryan, arrived at the school
just as the last of the students were leaving. Not only was Bryan
driving a convertible, he was decked out in a frog costume. Newell
taught 30 years at Leipsic; 20 in a special education classroom and the
last 10 in fourth grade.
“The first year I taught fourth grade, I
used a frog theme in my classroom,” Newell explained. The concept caught
on, and Newell’s students began gifting her with frogs of all kinds.
“I had a collection of frogs you wouldn’t believe,” she described, estimating that she had 50 frogs.
She held drawings during the last days of school in which students were able to take home one of the frogs.
“I was known as ‘The Frog Teacher,’” she laughed.
spent 35 years at Leipsic. “I will miss the kids. I really enjoyed
working with them,” she declared. “And the staff was great.”
Newell echoed the sentiment.
“The kids. I’ll miss the kids. And of course, my friends,” she commented.
women climbed into the back of the convertible as their fellow
educators presented them with crowns. Current Leipsic Elementary
Principal Darren Henry “hopped” into the passenger’s seat. The quartet
then drove around the Village, to celebrate Newell’s and Rodriguez’s
“leap” into a new chapter of their lives.