NEW ALBANY —
As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, New Albany High School changed forever.
It has nothing to do with a physical alteration to the building or the new International Baccalaureate program. It had to do with the retirement of longtime teachers Bob Dusch and Lee Kelly. Combined, the two have 87 years service to the school.
Not only are the two “NAHS legends,” but also the best of friends. Since 1980, their classrooms have been next to one another and each morning for the past 33 years or longer, the two have shared coffee and stories prior to the start of the school day.
“We’ve been a sounding board for one another for a long time,” Kelly said. “One of us always talks the other off the side of the building. We both have a great love for New Albany High School. We both said we would retire the same year.”
And they held true to their promise, although the exact date of their exit has changed a few times in the last two years. The two actually thought last year would be their last, but said after speaking to Principal Janet Page, they decided to stay another year. Then they thought about leaving at Christmas break in 2012, before deciding to stay the entire year.
Kelly, who has been the voice of the Bulldogs and operated the WNAS radio and television studios/classroom at the school since the 1973-74 school year, said retirement started creeping into his mind driving home from Bedford following a basketball game last year.
Dusch said he knew it was time to leave after not wanting to go back to school after spring break this year. Oh yes, there was that time last year after a rough day when Dusch walked across the hall to Kelly’s classroom.
“After sixth period, I walked over there and said ‘let’s go quit,’” he said laughing.