Hudson steps down after 28 years in education

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By Bryan Marshall

In more than 28 years in education, there is little Mark Hudson has not done.

While at Williamstown Independent Schools from 1976 to 1980, he taught physical education and middle school math and science and coached seventh and eighth grade basketball, boys and girls golf and cross country.

Hudson also spent one year as athletic director and head basketball coach at Williamstown.

When he started working for Grant County Schools in 1985, Hudson taught physical education at Crittenden Mount-Zion Elementary and the old Corinth and Mason schools his first two years.

He then was assigned full-time at CMZ, where he eventually spent three years as assistant principal and 15 years as principal.

During the 2007-08 school year, Superintendent Michael Hibbett asked Hudson to fill a vacancy as district director of operations, a role he’s been in ever since.

In charge of about 100 employees, Hudson is head of transportation and all of the district’s facilities.

“I’ve driven school buses a little bit, too,” said Hudson, adding to his endless list of jobs during his tenure.

“I’m not going to kid anybody, this is a stressful job,” he said. “I answered all the security calls 24-7 for every building, fire alarm call. I check the roads in the middle of the night.”

As of Jan. 1, Hudson will finally be able to relax after deciding to retire mid-year.

“It’s just time after 28 and a half years,” he said. “The biggest thing I miss in this position is working with kids every day. After doing that for 27 years basically, I really miss being around the students. I had an enjoyable time with kids. Some people who have retired ahead of me have told me it’s going to be an adjustment, especially this time of year.”

Hudson, who has been married to his wife, Debbie, for 34 years, will begin his retirement working on a project in his basement.

He said he also plans to play golf more than once a week once the weather warms.

Of course, he won’t be too far away from the schools.CMZ already has asked him to be a volunteer reader.

He’s just hoping there is not any significant snow fall before his retirement, which forces him to head out at 2:30 a.m. to check on road conditions for buses.

After working for six superintendents and three interim superintendents, there is another thing in the back of his mind that nudged him toward retirement.

“My father was able to retire but never did working for the postal service,” Hudson said. “He died at age 56. That’s my age now. You think about those things.”

“It’s been very rewarding,” he said. “You don’t realize it until you sit down and think about it. What’s rewarding to me is when a kid comes back that I had in school. I had one kid who told me the reason he stayed in school was because of my encouragement.”

Hibbett said Hudson as been invaluable to the district and will be missed by all.

“Mark is a type of guy that you can’t replace him,” he said. “He does so much. I’ve never met anyone more dedicated to a school district than he is.”