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“It’s going to be hard when I walk out that door for the last time. My time here at Liberty, the last 21 years, have been the best years of my life.” These were just some of Sally Bruer’s thoughts as she discussed her July 1 retirement as Liberty Middle School’s principal for 13 years.
Bruer joined the staff at Liberty Middle School when it opened 21 years ago as a math teacher and later became assistant principal to Dr. Dee Fowler, Superintendent of Education, who was principal at the time.
In 1998, Madison established a city school system, separate from Madison County, in which Dr. Fowler became Superintendent. Bruer then became principal of Liberty Middle School.
“Mrs. Bruer has become an icon at Liberty Middle, moving from a math teacher, to assistant principal, and then to principal,” Dr. Fowler said. ”She has excelled in all three positions. She has led Liberty through many changes and ushered in many new academic enrichment and extracurricular improvements. There is no doubt that she is a very strong child advocate and will be sorely missed in Madison City Schools.”
Ray White, President of Madison City School Board echoed these sentiments: “Mrs. Bruer is one of the founders of our system. Her dedication to children helped set our culture, and that will last way beyond her retirement. Liberty is consistently recognized as an outstanding school, and she will be remembered for that, but more importantly, I appreciate that she loves children and pushes them to be their best. That was always evident anytime you spoke with her about her school.”
When asked what she considered to be the school’s greatest accomplishments while she was principal, Bruer said she was very proud that Liberty became a National Blue Ribbon School, an Alabama Reading Initiative School and an Alabama Math and Science Technology Initiative School.
“More importantly we have maintained those standards, which is hard to do after a program is piloted,” Bruer added. “We didn’t just do it, check the box, and move on. We are still sustaining the stringent requirements and making a difference in the lives of our students.”
A unique fact that Bruer shared, due to her 25 years of teaching in the area, is that she has actually hired some of her former students to teach for her.
Bruer is now looking forward to life in retirement. Traveling, finding other interests related to children and teachers, and staying involved with Liberty in some capacity, are just some of items on her “to do” list.
To students and parents she stated, “I cannot thank you all enough for your support over the years, and I want you to know how much I appreciate you allowing me to serve Madison and your children. Madison city schools are the very best anywhere.
“Liberty is a very unique place and having worked in many other schools, there is just something very special about this school,” she continued. “It is not tangible; I can’t put my fingers on what it is, but it’s a feeling you get, and I have loved being a part of it for 21 years. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be. Liberty is a part of my very being and will always be in my heart.”
By Molly King