There's a certain symmetry to Yoshimasa Sudo's 31 years at Minnetonka High School. In one of his first years, one of the wrestlers he helped coach won the state championship. Then just before he retired, he coached another state champion
"It was kind of a nice bookend to my career," he says.
It's a career he started in 1968, right out of the University of Minnesota graduate school and ended up being what he calls "the only permanent job I ever had."
"When I applied for the position, Minnetonka was one of the top districts in the state, so I was surprised to get it," he says. "I did get another offer, but I chose Minnetonka because of its reputation for excellence."
As a social studies teacher Yosh Sudo developed and taught Minnetonka's first Asian Studies course at time when most schools only focused on American and European history.
Also a Judo instructor, Yosh says he's proud of his many high school students and athletes who went on to great things—in fact, it's the kids he misses most in his retirement.
Last year Yosh stopped in at the high school to see his old friends—and some new technology. "I was very impressed," he says. "No more blackboards or chalk. The District has maintained its high standards and I'm proud of it."
Those high standards were built over the years by teachers like Yosh, who will long be remembered for their unending commitment to students, but he gives the credit to the students who came to his classroom every day ready to learn.
"I really enjoyed every year," he says. "I just enjoyed being with the kids."