MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The students at The Cushman School in Miami just welcomed in a new school year; but the principal at Cushman, Dr. Joan Lutton, is bidding farewell to thirty years in education.
Dr. Lutton will be retiring at the end of the current school year, but can still recall her first day on the job as principal.
“I came and sat at this desk that Dr. Cushman the founder had just vacated and I thought ‘Oh my gosh; I’ve got to run this school. It’s me.’ That was very scary,” Lutton said.
Her fear quickly faded, but her passion for education grew along with her school which has grown from 100 students to 500. Dr. Lutton sees every student’s education as a responsibility and every students’ success as a victory.
“That’s why you do the work to see what happened — that you made a difference in somebody’s life — that going to this school mattered to them,” she explained.
One of her graduates now attends West Point. Five students she taught are now teachers at Cushman. They said Dr. Lutton was a tough teacher, but now children say, she’s a lot of fun. She even makes an appearance each year in the spring play.
But that is not what students will miss the most.
Dwight Spencer has attended The Cushman School for the past two years. He said he’ll miss, “her just being around us and comforting us and giving us a positive attitude.”
Dr. Lutton said she’s also learned a lot during her time at The Cushman School. She said the most important lesson: “Every child has a gift and we need to try really hard to find that gift and not waste it. So that’s who I am,” she added, “I’m a person who cares about children.”