Principal Sue Ice to retire in June

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34 years in education, 24 at Cedar Key

By Lou Elliott Jones

Sue Ice, principal at Cedar Key School, did not intend to retire this year. She was planning on doing it next year.

But her husband, Rob, is retiring this summer and they would like to do a lot of things together.

So come June, Ice will join the ranks of the retied, sleeping late, kayaking, traveling to Hawaii to visit her son’s family. 

“We decided we wanted to do things together,” she said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “It’s a personal decision based on that.

“This is 34 years for me. I’m excited but I will certainly miss Cedar Key School,” she said. “I’ve been attached to this school for a long, long time as a teacher and principal.”

Ice is in her sixth year as principal. Prior to that she was assistant principal in Chiefland and taught math for 18 years at Cedar Key.

The one item she will miss?

“The interactions with the students. The brightness in the day when I see a kindergartner or first grader that is just beginning to read and they will read out loud to me. And the learning in the classrooms.”

The best thing about Cedar Key School?

“It’s not only isolated ... and as small as it is makes it a family atmosphere. A lot of the students start in kindergarden and graduate fro high school, so those teachers see them start and watch them progress. And they (the teachers) stay in touch with them and see them in school. The rapport makes it very special.”

The challenge of leading the school?

“Because its small, you have small classes ... bigger schools will have the advantage of offering more electives. and offering more courses. We do a good job of it, to offer everything that’s needed and make it work in the schedule.”

One other good thing? 

“The other thing I was thinking of is we have a good connection with the community. The lifestyle of the community works. We have the marine science club and the FFA which connects with aquaculture. And the CRA funded programs for years.”

One person who influenced or affected your work?

“I’d have to say Mr. Hastings because I worked with him in three different capacities, He was my principal here when I taught, my principal when I was assistant principal in Chiefland and superintendent while I have been a principal. He has been a big influence on my educational leadership style.”

Ice’s last day will be in late June. 

The day after she plans to sleep late.