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Brubaker Retires After Overseeing Matsunaga Elementary’s Rise From Drawing Boards to Winning Awards

When driving on Richter Farm Road, the driver’s eye is drawn past the houses to the sprawling building in the midst of the residential homes. Make the left onto Bromfield Road, realize it’s an elementary school — a huge one at that. In the late afternoon, Spark Matsunaga Elementary School will be empty. The school’s 850 students gone. Its teachers and staff dispersed. But one room will be occupied. The office of Principal Judy Brubaker.

She will be beginning the long process of clearing out her things, collecting memories of 15-years in that office. An office and school she helped to plan and design, and build into an award-winning institution of learning. She will be packing because, after 40 years of being an educator, Judy Brubaker is retiring.

Brubaker first got her start in MCPS at Germantown Elementary, she the principal there for eight years and before that, a teacher in multiple other schools and places in and outside of the county. With a background in elementary and special education, she quickly climbed the ropes and was sought out to become not only part of the planning committee for a brand new Spark Matsunaga Elementary, but the principal. She was there in 2001 when the school opened its doors for the first time and has remained as the only principal the school has known for 15 years until this year. “I’ve got to start a new journey,” Brubaker said.