Cudahy Principal Jackie Santi retires after 36 years

After more than three decades in education, the principal of J.E. Jones Elementary in Cudahy is retiring, and her students weren’t going to let her go without a very special goodbye.

"I love it. I feel so blessed," said Principal Jackie Santi. "I have an amazing student body. For 36 years I’ve been in the world of education."

Principal Santi called retirement "bittersweet."

"Because I love the kids, and I’m going to miss them," she said. "That’s the hardest part to me."

When the student body heard about the well-earned departure, they felt it best to say goodbye in their own, unique way.

"It’s a really special day," said Abbey Sosalla, fourth-grader. "Our principal, Mrs. Santi, is retiring."

Each student in the school stopped by her office throughout the day Monday, June 7 to give her a flower and say goodbye;  small gestures of appreciation leaving everyone feeling emotional.

"It felt really really nice to give her something," said Sosalla. "I’ve really never experienced anything like this, and it’s been really sad, but I hope for her that she has a great retirement."

Goodbyes are certainly bittersweet but such a loving gift can’t help but make you smile.

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"It’s going to be tough because I’m going to miss them," said Principal Santi. "It’s all about the kids."

Congratulations on your retirement, Principal Santi. All of us here at FOX6 News wish you well.