After 8 years of serving at Wichita West High School, Principal Joel Hudson will be retiring at the end of this school year.
Joel Hudson has been serving in the USD 259 district for 30 years. He built himself up from a teacher and sports coach to a principal.
“I was principal for 5 years at Northeast Magnet High School before I came here to principal,” Hudson says, “I’ve been a building principal for 13 years and I was an assistant principal at both Northeast Magnet and Northwest High,”.
“When he first came, he was nervous, but he came out of that fast,” says Charla Geier, Hudson’s former secretary, “He has a great sense of humor. He likes to laugh,”.
Charla Geier was at West High before Hudson was. She was here for 20 years and has always been Hudson’s secretary up until December 2018, when she retired before winter break last year.
Along with dedicating 8 years to West high, Mr. Hudson has also changed the school. Some changes include:
- The enrollment rate increased by 400 students, raising West from a 5a school to a 6a school.
- The graduation rate has increased by 10%.
- Upgrades to the school, such as the pool, gym, fine arts wing, and tennis courts.
“It looks entirely different from when I went there,” says West High Alumni Stephanie Lee, from the class of 2000.
When asked about leaving, Hudson said: “I will miss hanging out with kids, just talking to kids about what they’re doing after high school, just going to their events. Whether its a school play or a game. I’ll miss working with staff, the day-to-day things. I’ll miss the people,”.
He also said: “I’m not leaving for anything bad. I’m just old and it’s time for me to go. Let someone new and energetic come in and be the principal,”.
Hudson has stated he plans to retire peacefully on a farm.
“I wish him well on his farm.” Geier says “I wish him happy days riding his tractor.”