Flo Judd came to Duncanville to stay & She has for 46 years

Flo Judd in Duncanville ISD board meeting

In 1977 Flo Judd made a comment that has since proven to be prophetic.

“Forty-six years ago, I said to a student, ‘You are looking at a woman who has come to stay,'” Judd said.

And that’s exactly what she has done. Now in her 46th year with the district, the 83-year-old Duncanville High School associate principal has been with the DISD well over half her life.

“The best thing about being here has been the people……kids, teachers, staff, parents, administration…..all. In Duncanville, I found family and home,” Judd said.

As much as she loves the DISD, they love her equally. In fact, the library at the high school was recently named in her honor.

“Mrs. Judd will not lower her standards, but she knows when to go with the flow. And we go with Flo,” school board member Carla Fahey said, also noting, “Very few people can keep up with her.”

“It is lovely that people would want my name to be remembered as having been a part of Duncanville High School for so many years. However, I would really like to be remembered by our graduates as someone who cared and wanted only the best for them,” she said.

“People may not remember things that I have said, but I hope that they can remember some good things that I did here.

“I am, however, deeply honored that the library will carry my name. How proud my parents would have been to have known that.”


Her mother worked until she was into her mid-80s in a school tax office following the death of Judd’s father. That has served as an inspiration to Judd and her four sisters, all of who were also teachers, as was their mother.

“My mother was without doubt the strongest woman I have ever known,” Judd said. “My father was a farmer and during my childhood almost everyone was poor. But, because of my wonderful parents, I thought we were rich.

“We lived way out in the country and attended a very small rural school. My mother made all of our clothes, had no washing machine, and she starched and ironed every dress that my sisters and I wore to school.

“Was my mother an inspiration? Without doubt. I never heard her complain about anything, never heard her say an unkind word about another human being, never heard her say, ‘I’m too tired to help your right now,’ and if she was totally exasperated, she would say, ‘Oh, tut!’ Those were the strongest words I ever heard come out of her mouth.

“I did not set out to beat her record…..but, I may. My mother will always remain my hero. Although she passed away years ago at the age of 97, she is still with me every day. At her funeral, her pastor said, “We all know that Christine was the original energizer bunny.”

Her father passed away a few months after she graduated from high school. He had had to quit school in the eighth grade, the oldest of seven children, and went to work in the fields to help his father support his family. Still, her father valued education.

“He was an amazing man and parent. He always told my sisters and me, ‘My job is to work, and yours is to go to school.’ His rule was that none of his girls could get married until she had a college degree in her hand,” she recalled. “Sometimes I think I can still smell his cigar smoke like I did when he used to hug me.”

Another strong influence was her high school English and speech teacher, Florence Hill.

“Early on, I knew that I wanted to be a high school English teacher just like Mrs. Hill,” Judd said. “Throughout all of my schooling…public school, Baylor University, graduate school at Baylor, mid-management certification at Texas Woman’s University, Mrs. Hill was the best teacher I ever had.”


Flo Judd
Photos courtesy of Duncanville ISD

Life had presented a challenge when Judd first came to Duncanville. She was in the middle of a divorce and needed good schools for her two young children. Although she had previously taught for six years in Waco, Richardson, and Dallas, she had not worked for the previous 10 years.

It was a painful and scary time in her life.

Judd was first hired to teach a special vocational English class made up of students who were “not very academically inclined.” She was the fourth teacher in the position.

“On my first day in the class, a male student informed me that I needed to realize that these kids had ‘already run off three other teachers.’ That was not quite true. Health conditions and out-of-state moves had necessitated teacher changes,” she said. “I quickly told the young man that there was something that he needed to realize. I told him that he was ‘looking at a lady who had come to stay, and that if anyone left, it would be he.’ I also told the kids that we were going to work hard, play hard, and that they were going to learn more in this English class than they had ever learned in an English class.

“When I responded to the student, I had no idea that 46 years later, I would still be present and loving Duncanville High School.”

After that first year, she moved into the regular English department where she happily stayed for a number of years. She then became an assistant principal and later an associate principal.

“I like to tell everyone that I have been in public school education for 52 years and that I am presently 39 years old,” she said with a laugh.

“When people ask me why I am still working, I simply reply that it is because I love Duncanville High School and Duncanville ISD – and mostly, because I love what I do. I have no desire to go home, sit down, get sick, and die. I want to keep on keeping on.”


“When meeting Duncanville High School alumni they always want to know if Flo Judd still works at the high school and I proudly say yes!” Superintendent Dr. Marc Smith said. “It feels great to hear current and former students talk about the positive impact Ms. Judd has had on them. She is energetic, forward thinking and a true servant leader.”

Judd stays in touch with many of her students throughout the years. She said her “kids” are everywhere.

“I very rarely go anywhere in the Metroplex that I don’t hear a voice say, ‘Hey, Ms. Judd, do you remember me?’ What a thrill and a blessing it is to see ‘my kids’ doing well, being happy, and succeeding,” she said. “Somehow, even when you are tough on them, kids always know that you care, and their stories come back to you.

“I will always remember when the mother of three little children said to me, ‘Ms. Judd, I came by because I wanted you to see my children and to say thank you.’ When I asked her what she had to thank me for, she replied, ‘Because you always made me feel special when I was in your English class.’

“Then there was the young woman who was receiving her doctorate in English from Florida State University. She emailed to say, ‘Ms. Judd, you are a large part of my doctorate.’ And a young man who had spent a great deal of ‘quality time’ in my office. In a newspaper article about his having made a business presentation, he was quoted as saying, ‘I wish Flo Judd could see me now. She was the only one who ever had faith in me. Maybe she really didn’t, but she always made me think she did.’

“And a year ago I received a telephone call from a man who had graduated numerous years before. He said, ‘Ms. Judd, you may not remember me, but when I was at that high school, you rode by butt every day.’ I responded, ‘Well, honey, maybe it needed it.’ After a pause, he said, ‘Yes, Ma’am, it did. Thank you for making a better man out of me.'”


Flo Judd
Photos courtesy of Duncanville ISD

She’s also seen plenty of changes in her career. She noted that the greatest are in the advancement of technology, which has changed the teaching world in a variety of ways.

“Through technology, the world is now smaller and vast amounts of information are instantly available at everyone’s fingertips. What is currently being taught and how it is taught are vastly different from my days in the classroom,” she said.

“Am I saying that technology can replace the human touch? Absolutely not! Teachers play such an important role in the lives of kids. Of course, the way we live and the vast changes in society have also been huge. Kids now grow up much faster and enjoy more freedom than in days gone by. Is that good? In some ways, maybe, but not necessarily in others.

“Kids still must be taught that everyone has to follow rules, no matter what their job is nor how old they are. Learning the lessons needed for successful lives does not change.”

How much longer does she see herself continuing in education?

“I want to stay as long as I can be of value to the kids, teachers, DHS, and DISD,” she said. “Am I going to celebrate 50 years in DISD? Who knows?”

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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters