Familiar Faces Greet Families for Nearly 40 Years at Tully Magnet Elementary School

Susan Ramirez and Glenda Rodriguez smile in the front office of Tully Magnet Elementary School.

If you've visited Tully Magnet Elementary School any time in the last 30+ years, you've likely been greeted by the smiling faces of Glenda Rodriguez and Susan Ramirez. 

Glenda, the office manager, has worked at Tully since January 1986. Susan, the registrar/attendance tech, joined her a few years later in 1990. Both women have roots in Tucson Unified – Glenda attended Mary Lynn Elementary School (now Lynn-Urquides Elementary), Maxwell Middle School (now Morgan Maxwell K-8) and graduated from Cholla High School, while Susan attended elementary school in Chicago and started middle school in Tucson at Pistor and also graduated from Cholla. Their children attended Tully and graduated from TUSD. 

You wouldn't know it if you saw them together now, but Glenda and Susan say they didn't get along when they first started working together. After working together for so long, they became as close as sisters, but they still occasionally have disagreements. Glenda explains how they work through them: "I have my invisible shutters and she'll close her window and after awhile I'll dial my phone and ask, 'Is it ok if you open your window?'"

Since the pair have been working at Tully so long, they've gotten to see multiple generations of families attend the school, which has been a special experience. "There have been kids and parents too who've come back to visit us and just say thank you," says Susan. They also got to meet the Somali refugee families when they moved into the area, and help provide a safe and welcoming environment for those students and their parents. 

Glenda and Susan have experienced a lot of growth and change at Tully and in the surrounding neighborhood since they started working there. But one thing that hasn't changed is their passion for the students and families at the school. "The bond that we have, we're the first people that they see when they walk in, and as soon as they walk in we have to try to make them feel welcome." 

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