"Rewards in teaching don't come with a price tag. Teachers treasure little notes, hugs, pictures, and maybe even a smashed cupcake from a child's bookbag. I truly believe you 'reap what you sow.' Each teacher plants good seeds that, if watered, over time will come to harvest . . . I want every child leaving my classroom in May be full of the seeds I've planted from my heart that will someday be great memories. When I pull thoughts, ideas, and lessons from my heart, I know those are the things students will retain years from now. Then, I am able to pull up the covers at night and know that I've had a good day in the classroom."
An idea and action person, Humburg created "The Peanut Butter Solution," an economics project in which groups of students became companies and marketed products created with peanut butter.
Humburg's ability to plant seeds in her students is reflected in the musical career of former student Brooke Ramel. Humburg sponsored the sixth-grade production of the musical "Alice in Wonderland," and not only selected Ramel to play "Alice," but also asked her to write the theme song of the show. A transfer from Minnesota, Ramel occasionally already had covered material Humburg's class was studying. During those times, Humburg allowed Ramel to go to the library to read or listen to music. As Ramel put it, "I would sit with headphones and lose myself in the 'Carpenters' Greatest Hits,' an album that inspired my artistic dreams." In 1996, Ramel released her first CD; and the second was released in November.
As a sponsor of the Math Team from 1996-98, Humburg's team was the Kansas Association of Teachers of Mathematics state winner in 1997, and 12 team members placed in the top 10 in each of three categories for their grade level.
"Her love for students and teaching is evident when you first meet her. She has a warm smile and so many wonderful teaching ideas that challenge her fifth-grade students. She brings enthusiasm and a wonderful sense of humor to everything that she does. Judy is a very innovative and creative teacher."
Brett and Sue Watson, parents of a former Humburg student
"Judy Humburg is an 'idea' person, but she is more than that. She is an 'action' person. She sees a need and fulfills it . . . Recently widowed, she donated her husband's memorial fund to the weight room project, which is aptly named in his honor . . . Judy is a 'people' person. She spends time with students before and after school hours . . . Judy is always willing to serve on school and community committees."
Lora Siegrist, sixth-grade teacher, Andover
"Judy Humburg possesses the qualities necessary to achieving excellence in teaching. First and foremost, she loves children. Her devotion to her students encompasses a desire not only to guide them in academic pursuit, but also to support them in social development during the crucial middle school years and to promote their personal growth. In her teaching, Judy is able to strike that delicate balance between establishing a warm, secure classroom atmosphere and maintaining a professional position while doing so. Likewise, Judy instills confidence and builds self-respect in her students. She empathizes with young people as they struggle to find their places in an ever increasingly fragmented society. She searches for ways to meet their needs to belong yet also to maintain their individuality. Fianlly, Judy is dedicated to learning. Being a lifelong learner, she inspires her students, through her creative talents, to develop a healthy curiosity about life which serves as a springboard to pursuing knowledge."
Carol M. Williams, former colleague