by Sue Austreng
At the close of her ninth year as principal of Franklin Elementary School – and 25 years in District 11 – Vickie Spindler bid students a teary farewell.
“I shed a few tears every year on the last day of school. It’s hard to say goodbye,” Spindler said.
This year is especially hard because Spindler is retiring.
Franklin teachers and staff threw their principal a retirement celebration in mid-May and on May 31 the school’s PTO staged an open house and bid her a fond farewell.
“I just can’t imagine this place without you,” Franklin parent Jill Keller said to Spindler.
Ginessa Bradley agreed and said her 10-month-old baby is the only one of her four children who will attend Franklin without Spindler as principal.
“We have high hopes but we love Mrs. Spindler,” Bradley said about Spindler’s replacement, Brian Erlandson.
“I’m just really impressed with her. She knows so many students by name, she’s always at every activity, every event… you can tell she genuinely cares about the children.”
To hear Spindler talk about her years at Franklin is to hear her express the love and care she has for the students.
“It’s so hard to leave this community. It truly is a family and to leave that family is hard,” she said. “But I have six grandchildren and I’ll be able to spend more time with my family.”
Even though she won’t be in the school building, the retiring principal’s care for District 11 school children is sure to continue.
“I hope to get involved with Youth First and maybe the Search Institute,” Spindler said.
But as her final school year came to a close, the retiring principal relished her role as mother figure of the Franklin family.
Sue Austreng is at