Rusty Willis resigns as principal
On Monday, Jan. 9, it was announced during Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education meeting that Rusty Willis has resigned from the principal position at the Sabetha Elementary School (SES). Her last day at SES will be Friday, June 30.
Though Rusty has enjoyed being at SES and living in Sabetha, she must leave to be closer to her family.
“I left my home of 25 years, my mother and children when I accepted this job and opportunity [as principal]. And while I have no regrets about coming to USD 113 and Sabetha, the pull of my family ties is too strong, so I am moving back to Atchison,” Rusty said.
My mother is 86 years old, she lives alone and needs help. As an only child, it’s important to me that I am there for her. I am also looking forward to seeing my daughter and son, who are 21 and 18, regularly once again. My future husband also just retired from 25 years in the United States Army. We need to be closer to a post for him to work and have access to his benefits, and Fort Leavenworth is only 20 minutes away.”
Once Rusty is back home with her family, she plans to return to teaching in Atchison. She is considering returning to administration in the future, but right now, personal time is most important for her to protect.
Giving the official notice of resignation has been difficult for Rusty, but she is proud of the staff and students at SES and will miss them.
“[The feeling of resigning] is incredibly bittersweet,” Rusty said. “I am very proud of the staff and students of SES, and the things we all continue to accomplish. Everyone here has become like family. While I’m excited to be back with my actual family on a regular basis, it’s hard to imagine that I won’t see the staff and the kids every day anymore. I will miss everyone terribly!”
Rusty will especially miss the people of Sabetha and assisting the students and staff members at SES.
“The best part [of being principal] by far is helping staff and students every day and watching everyone improve and grow, which is the greatest gift,” Rusty said. “[I will greatly miss] the people. I have so many new people that I plan to call my friends forever now.”
Rusty very much appreciates the people of Sabetha for their hospitality and will keep Sabetha in her heart.
“I want to thank the residents of Sabetha for taking me in and treating me so wonderfully,” Rusty said. “It’s not easy to move to a place where you don’t know anyone, and somehow I never felt alone! Sabetha will always hold a piece of my heart.”