Long-time Will-Moore teacher to retire after more than four decades

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 12:32 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Friday the last day of school for Bismarck Public Schools.

For many teachers, it’s their last day of school ever. Twenty teachers are retiring after this school year.

Among them, Will-Moore kindergarten teacher Ruth Puttre.

Puttre has been at Will-Moore for 38 years.

Retirement is bittersweet for her, but the good news, is now she will have more time to pursue her other passion – painting.

Ruth Puttre remembers the names of all these students and the stories behind all these photos. Puttre has been teaching kindergarten for more than four decades.

“Kindergarten all the way!” she laughed.

She started in her hometown of Tioga, then spent a year at Bismarck’s Riverside elementary and has been at Will-Moore for the past 38 years.

“I always felt like Will- More is a small-town school in a big city. We have just a beautiful neighborhood and a variety of families, students and kids that feels like home,” Puttre said.

Some of her current co-workers are former students.

“I had Mrs. Puttre, my brothers had Mrs. Puttre, said Jackie Holt, who now works as a Title 1 reading and math teacher at Will-Moore.

Her current students say Mrs. Puttre was the best thing about kindergarten

“When she reads us stories,” said kindergartener Rebel Hurley.

“Mrs. Puttre is a really good teacher,” added her classmate Colton Mikkelson.

Puttre’s time as a teacher is coming to an end. She’ll retire when this school year is over.

“I thought about it last year, and I decided to go one more. I like even numbers, so it’s 42,” she said.

42 years and more than 1,400 students later, Puttre will forever remember those years and those students as some of the very best parts of her life.

A life-long North Dakotan, Puttre is looking forward to spending more time at her family’s cabin at Lake Metigoshe and working on her paintings. North Dakota scenery is her favorite thing to paint.

You can check out her work on her website,

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