BLUE EARTH - "I'm ready."
With those two words, Dale Brandsoy's retirement as superintendent of Blue Earth Area Schools will take effect June 29.
An open house to wish him well is set for 2-4 p.m. July 1 in the high school commons in Blue Earth.
"I wasn't ready a year ago," Brandsoy said. "You've got to be ready with yourself, and it's a change. You have to accept and look forward to it."
Brandsoy became superintendent nine years ago in a twist of fate.
He interviewed for the position of middle school principal, and then the superintendent job opened up. He interviewed for it as well and was offered the top job.
"I've enjoyed being in Blue Earth Area; it's a strong school system," Brandsoy said. "I'm pretty proud of Blue Earth Area."
He grew up in Brush Creek, so this area is home.
"I taught for three years, [then] farmed for 12 years," Brandsoy recalled. "I realized I was really missing working with kids."
He went back to school and earned an administrative degree. Before coming to Blue Earth, Brandsoy was a principal at United South Central for 18 years, starting in Bricelyn. He stayed through the consolidation with Kiester and the transformation into USC.
"I enjoy my job," Brandsoy said. "I enjoy working with people. We have tremendous parent and community support. It's fun to come to work. I'll miss that part of it."
One of the perks was having his office in the middle/elementary school.
"The plus of having the superintendent office in this building was seeing the kids," Brandsoy said. "They say hi and give you a hug and are excited to see you every day. That's fun."
Over the years, former students have come back to let Brandsoy know how they're doing.
"That's the reward," he said. "The enjoyment of working with young people and seeing they have success and thinking you might have made a difference in their life."
He knows there are challenges ahead in the education field.
"More and more, education is being put on the teachers to not only be their teacher, but their parent," Brandsoy said. "We have to figure out a way to address that."
But he believes Blue Earth Area has a bright future.
"Blue Earth Area has a good system: student, parent and teacher," Brandsoy said. "If all are on the same page, they'll have success. If you take one of those links out of that, then you have a struggle."
As for himself, Brandsoy knows there are changes in his future and that's fine with him. He has no definite plans for his retirement.
"Spend time with family and grandkids," he said. "The first week away from school, my little grandson Chase will come and spend some time with us.
"You go, go, go all the time" when working," he said. "That's the big change. Relax on Sunday night and not worry about getting up on Monday morning, if you don't want to.
"I need to take time for myself and family," he said. "Take a break for a short time."
Beyond that, he is open to the possibilities.