PLUMMER, Idaho--A retiring Lakeside Middle-High School principal in Plummer was leaving behind a legacy in May. Principal John Brumley more than doubled the school’s graduation rate in the three and a half years he was at the school.
Brumley had taught for 40 years. He was a principal for 25 of those years. Brumley had planned to retire in 2010 after being principal at Lake City High School in Coeur d’Alene for 17 years but realized the needs of the students at Lakeside were too great to pass up.
On Friday, Brumley was preparing to hand out diplomas at Lakeside’s graduation on Saturday.
"That’s the name of the game. That's why we do what we do. Is to make sure that our kids graduate,” said Brumley.
Lakeside’s graduation rate shot up from 37% to 92% in the three and a half years that Brumley was there.
"I'm not owning that, I'm owning that as a team of people here. I am greatly indebted to some of the really awesome people here that pull together, and we changed some things,” said Brumley.
Students and staff at Lakeside credited the principal for the changes at the school.
"I've noticed there's a lot of change between the student's attitudes towards school. They're more likely to come to school and they kind of enjoy themselves more at school since Brumley's been here,” said senior Jonathan Daman.
“He's really the best principal I've worked with in 30 years of teaching because of the way he deals with staff, and because of the way he deals with students,” said Special Education teacher Gail Malone.
Brumley said it would be the students that he would miss the most in his retirement.
"Oh, the relationships. The relationships with the kids, you know. Standing out in the hallway or visiting with them at lunchtime… this business is about people and about relationships,” said Brumley.
Brumley said he planned on hunting, fishing and spending time with his grandkids in retirement.