As a stay-at-home mom with three little girls to care for back in the 1990s, Sharie Buskager had plenty to do.

She loved children so much, she started to volunteer with the Stoughton Area School District when she could. And when her youngest was old enough to attend school, she went to school right along with her, believing the timing was right for her to return to work.

It turned out to be the start of a challenging but rewarding career, as Buskager, the long-time Fox Prairie Elementary School administrative assistant, is retiring this month after 25 years in the district.

“Working for the schools seemed like a great fit for me and my family,” she wrote to the Hub in an email last week. “Time goes by quickly, and you work a long time. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to look back on it and feel good about the career you had.”

Buskager said she learned a lot during her years as an administrative assistant.

“I always say that you can’t possibly stay in a job for any amount of time and expect to be doing everything the same way when you’re done,” she said.

Buskager said the most challenging part of her job was the “busyness” of an elementary school office – but it’s also what she enjoyed the most.

“Everyone is incredibly busy and truly cares so much about our students, and I enjoy helping with that,” she said. “Elementary school is a very special time for a community’s children and their families.”

Getting to know so many families over the years has been her greatest reward, Buskager said, particularly when former students stop back to say hello.

“It’s always fun for me to see former students and try to see that ‘little boy or girl face’ that I remember,” she said. “It’s fun to see them and hear about what’s going on in their lives.”

Buskager plans to spend more time with her own growing family during retirement, including five grandchildren, and indulge in some of her hobbies including traveling, walking, horseback riding, reading, biking and golf.

Fox Prairie principal Krista Huntley-Rogers said Buskager will be greatly missed by staff and families alike.

“Most people, including myself, don’t know what Fox Prairie is like without her,” Huntley-Rogers wrote. “Her favorite expression that she says each week during announcements is, ‘if you can choose to be anything in this world, choose to be kind.’”

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at scott.delaruelle@wcinet.com.