Leadholm set to retire after a long career at BRFHS


Change continues to happen in the counseling office as counselor Sue Leadholm decides it is her turn to retire after this year with Karen Kutcher, long-time counseling office secretary, retired earlier this year.

Leadholm is one of two school counselors. She began during the fall of the 1991-1992 school year, worked here for three years, left for one year, came back and has worked at the high school ever since. She has brought experience, intelligence, and positivity to her job as well as to other students and teachers.

“We provide students with the direction and explanation of all the classes and programs that they can participate in to help with their future goals and aspirations,” Leadholm said.

Building relationships with students is a very important part of the job, and Leadholm makes sure they go the extra mile to check up on every single student throughout the year.

“We meet individually with each student once a year to go through their transcript and to talk to them about what they may want to do or be when they grow up,” Leadholm said.

Leadholm has been described as cheerful, friendly, energetic, compassionate, funny, among many others.

“Mrs. Leadholm has been an inspiration to me,” said instructional coach and long-time co-worker Megan Finch.

“Her outlook on each day is refreshing and I look forward to that pick-me-up each morning to start the day off on the best foot,” said fellow counselor Libby Secard.

During Leadholm’s time at BRFHS, she has taught her students and colleagues many things that help improve their experience at work.

“The best thing Sue has taught me is that nothing is too small to celebrate! In our office, we celebrate everything, and I am looking forward to continuing that after she is retired.”

“She has taught me to trust my instincts and to take advantage of every minute with the people I love,” Secard said.

When you spend so much time around someone you create a strong bond. This can make the people around you feel like your own family.

“We have been through many life experiences together which has made us stronger,” said former counseling secretary Karen Kutcher.

“I was able to discuss things with [her], sometimes of a personal nature,” said retired social studies teacher Paul Rykken.

During her time here, Leadholm, along with Rykken, invented the advising program. This was so that every student had a “home” in the school that they went to every school day. A big part of this idea was due to Leadholm’s compassion for each student.

“We wanted every single student to have at least one adult in the building that ‘had their back’,” Rykken said.

“Sue always wanted students to get the most out of their own ability and also the opportunities available to them–I think that was/is her driving passion,” Rykken said.

Colleagues say filling Leadholm’s shoes will not be an easy task.

“I cannot imagine what our counseling office will be like when she is not here,” Finch said.

During her time at BRFHS, Leadholm has been all about positivity at school whether it is with students or staff.

“She spends time giving students strategies they can use to be in a more positive mental space,” Finch said.

A lot has changed throughout Leadholm’s time in high school, but the one thing that hasn’t changed was that she never knew what to expect when coming to school each morning.

“I can just think of one day, many years ago, someone left a little piglet out in the hallway, and everyone was just trying to round up this slippery pig,” Leadholm said.

With the time in her career quickly winding down, Leadholm wants to make sure all of her students know one thing.

“We always say pick a career that you love so it doesn’t feel like work, and  I cannot stress that enough when I’m now winding down in my own career, that it would be just a horrible feeling to wake up every morning and dreading going to work.”