Be that one: Dream job brings Judy back to school

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Fayetteville Elementary Assistant Principal Ashley Judy found her passion in the very school building she now calls home, and she is driven to help the Tiger Cubs unlock their own inspiration.

As an assistant principal, no two days are the same. You have to be a jack of all trades, doing any range of activities like scheduling, safety, cafeteria duty, and picking up trash.

“There is no average day per say, and that’s why I love the role,” she said. “You never know who you will come in contact with or what relationships you’ll be able to foster.”

Judy’s school days started in the very same building back when it was called Hood Avenue Elementary. She made a lot of good memories there, in particular one year.

“Third grade was a defining year for me,” she said. “Third grade was the year that I found my teacher. My one.”

Lynne Wood became more than just a teacher to her, and that inspired Judy.

“She really focused on relationships. She cared about me,” Judy remembered. “Life things happened that year, and she was there. I cried on her shoulder, and we had magic shows together.”

They also went on a field trip that started a lifelong hobby. On the way back to school, they ate at the Varsity where Wood spotted then-Coca-Cola CEO Roberto Goizueta. The students caught his attention by signing the Coca-Cola jingle to him, and a connection was born. A photo was taken of them together, and it still hangs at the Varsity, and Goizueta sent a group out to the school in an old-timey car with some samples. They even put the students’ names in a time capsule.

The visit made a mark on Judy. Her family still collects memorabilia, and they even have a machine on their porch so they can enjoy a cold Coke on Friday afternoons.

That same year, the class was doing an activity on what they wanted to be when they grew up, and Judy settled on assistant principal.

“I knew I loved kids but I also knew I loved adults, so I wanted a job where I could work with both, and that in my little 3rd grade mind was an assistant principal,” she said. “I tell everybody now I get to live my dream.”

She briefly taught in Coweta County before coming back to Fayette and serving as an assistant principal at Inman Elementary for 7 years.

Judy loves being back in her own school because the Tigers Cubs reflect her passion as a servant leader who lifts everyone up.

“Every adult at Fayetteville Elementary School plays a role in the day-to-day happenings but what they do is they make sure that they keep relationships first no matter what,” she said. “Even though we get busy in the hustle and bustle of teaching and learning and doing all of those great things, we make sure to remember to treat people kindly.”

 

“The Honor Role,” an official podcast for Fayette County Public Schools, features employees, rotating through key stakeholders, including teachers, staff, nurses, custodians, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers. Join us as we dive in and learn about their journeys, their inspirations, and their whys.

Episodes are available on all major podcast platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and promoted on the social media channels of Fayette County Public Schools.

Episodes will also be available here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/2200811.