Impacting Generations of Students: Mrs. Sallie Gude
For over forty years, Sallie Gude has touched the hearts and minds of hundreds of Woodcrest Christian Day School students. She has invested her time, talents, and love to not only third graders and first graders, but she has spent over three decades serving in kindergarten.
When asked why kindergarten is her favorite grade to teach, Mrs. Gude answered that she lovers her students’ sense of discovery. Everything is new to them, they are enthusiastic about everything, and regarding their personalities, she says, “They entertain you without even trying.” Mrs. Gude loves to spread the joy that is found in kindergarten and always has a good kid story to share. For instance, after attempting to recite a Bible verse, one student said, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and…and…Fridays!” Another stated, “Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking…disease!”
Besides their contagious excitement, Mrs. Gude also loves the nurturing aspect of ministering to the youngest of children. On any given day, that could include opening countless containers of food during lunchtime to giving them a hug when they are sad. In fact, this was one of the catalysts that drove Mrs. Gude toward teaching. When she was in kindergarten she remembers folding towels for naptime and “pretending to cry.” Concerned, her teacher came over and asked if she was okay. Even though she was only pretending and nothing was truly bothering her, Sallie remembers realizing that day just how much her teacher cared for her. She felt loved and thought that when she grew up she wanted to be a teacher too. She wanted to make other children feel the comfort and care that she had felt with her teacher’s simple kindness.
Sallie Gude has seen and been part of many changes over the decades, but her love for her students and for God has remained unchanged. “I am so thrilled that I get to tell children about the Lord, make an impact for eternity, and get paid for it! That God would entrust me with that is an honor and delight. Also, that parents trust their greatest treasure to me—I am aware of that honor and privilege.” Parents are aware of the blessings too. Melissa Becerra, parent of a former kindergartner, says of Mrs. Gude, “I call her the ‘kindergartner whisperer’ because every time I was volunteering and I walked into her classroom, the children were quiet, listening, and doing exactly what they needed to do.”
1 Peter 4:10, 11 (NIV) says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms…if anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ…”
Mrs. Gude has faithfully shown God’s grace to these precious children. We at WCDS are grateful for the many years Mrs. Gude has been serving at our school and impacting the lives of her students and their families. Parent Allison Bussey, former WCDS student herself, sums up Mrs. Gude’s ministry with the following memory: Seraphim, her son, was nervous about starting kindergarten. The whole summer he told his mother he did not want to go to school, but the minute he found out he had gotten Mrs. Gude as his teacher, his mother reports he felt at ease. He knew that his mother and his older sister had also had Mrs. Gude when they were in kindergarten. The fond picture that has embedded itself in her memory is during Back-to-School Night when Mrs. Gude gave her son the biggest hug. It meant so much to her to see Mrs. Gude showing love toward her child. “She’s got that spirit and great heart for children. I will never stop loving her.”
Mrs. Sallie Gude will be retiring this year! If you would like to send a card or note to Mrs. Gude, please send them to:
A “Gude” Retirement
3612 Arlington Ave.
Riverside, CA 92506