Mott retires after 35 years teaching

Teacher Judy Mott is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren in her retirement.

After nearly 30 years as a familiar face around Milaca Elementary School halls and classrooms, sixth grade English and communications teacher Judy Mott is retiring from education.

“Everybody asks me if I’m counting down the days, but no, I’m not,” she said. “I just feel real comfortable with retiring. It’s time. I’m ready. I have other things to do.”

While she doesn’t have a list of those things, spending more time with her four grandchildren, ages 4 and younger, would be at the top.

“Other than that, I don’t have a big trip planned,” she said. “Things have always happened for me. So when something pops up and it looks good, I’ll give it a try.”

Mott started her career teaching third and sixth grades in Chillicothe, Ohio. Her time in Milaca began in 1983 when she began teaching part time as a child care instructor at the Mille Lacs Vocational center, Title I, and advanced English. She taught first grade for a few years before settling in her position as sixth grade English/communications teacher, where she has been for the past 22 years.

Mott also coached middle school speech and drama and held offices with the local Education Association union during her tenure.

With her husband and former Milaca Police Chief Mike Mott retiring earlier last year, the timing also seemed right for the educator.

“He’s content to stay home with the cows. That’s not my plan. I only chase the cattle when I have to,” she said laughing.

And now that she has seen many of her former students come full circle and land teaching positions themselves at Milaca schools, Mott is confident she is leaving students in good hands — those belonging to teachers like Mitch Vedders and Ryan DeBoer.

“Out of five [sixth grade] teachers, two of them were my former students,” she said. “That’s an honor for me. It’s amazing.”

For the full story, see the Thursday, June 7 print edition of the Times.