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Judson High School's Brenda Milam retiring after 36 years of service to Judson ISD

In 1985, the average cost of a new house was $89,330, the average rent was $375.00, gas was $1.09 a gallon, the Color Purple premiered, and Michael Jordan was named NBA’s Rookie of the Year.

More importantly, Ms. Brenda Milam at Judson High School began her career in Judson ISD.

And after educating students in our community for 37 years, she is retiring.

She started at Kirby Junior High School, which at the time housed seventh, eighth, and ninth graders. When the Gray Campus at Judson High School opened, Milam moved over and taught every math subject other than statistics.

“I enjoy my job. I enjoy it when I am able to come into my classroom and shut the door, and just teach,” Milam said. “Fortunately, as you stay awhile, you get to move up and work with older kids, which has made me love my job more.”

She reminds herself that every student needs a good teacher. That mentality was the driving force to keep coming back to the community she has served for over three decades.

“Of course, there are times where I would get frustrated - like any other job,” Milam said. “Then, I look at these kids and I tell myself, ‘they deserve someone to teach them too. They deserve good teachers too.’”

There is no doubt that teaching and education have had a rough two years. However, Milam is a perfect example of commitment to the profession, a commitment to the community, and a commitment to her campus, often being the contributing factor to that family feel in her math department.

“I feel like if I left, I wouldn’t just be letting down my students, but I’d be letting down my teachers. I’d be letting down my team,” Milam said.

When it comes to classroom life, it is the people that she will miss the most.

“I will miss the interaction with the kids,” Milam said. “I enjoy working with people. I enjoy helping them. I will miss working with my team of teachers, with my friends.”

And when it comes to Judson, a school rooted in tradition and experience, it’s also the people that made her journey great.

“At one point, the math department was really a family. We were all really close,” Milam said. “Having those friends and family to work with made my job a lot easier.”

Just like most things, you know when you know, and Milam knew that retirement was coming up soon. But it was life events that made her reflect on the time she has left on Earth.

“In the last eight months, I have had an older brother and a younger sister both diagnosed with cancer,” Milam said. “I always equated retirement as if you were too old to do anything else, so I never thought I would retire. But (those events) made me start wondering if I really wanted to work until I can’t do anything else or do I want to take advantage of the ability to retire and enjoy life.”

As the interview came to an end, she reinforced that teaching is one of society’s most noble professions and that students need good teachers.

“One thing that bothers me the most is all the negativity that is put out about education,” Milam said. “These kids deserve good teachers, people that want to be here. We shouldn’t discourage people from being teachers.”

With the school year coming to an end, her plans are - to do absolutely nothing.

“I don’t have any immediate plans,” Milam said. “I’ve thought about subbing or finding a part time job to keep me busy, but right now, I have nothing planned.”

Milam is a career educator, committing over three decades to the Judson ISD community, serving her students in the best way possible. She reminds us how noble being an educator is, how powerful it can be, and how a good teacher can make a lasting impact on any child.

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