DALLAS — Grant and Judy Boustead came to teaching through different paths. For Judy, it was a family tradition. Both her mother and grandmother were teachers. “My mom had much the same passion and I think I just inherited it,” she said. “I always said I wouldn’t do it, watching her, because she never came home. She was always at school. But I think once I started working with kids, there was no doubt. It’s what I loved. I found my niche.” For Grant, it was destiny diverted. A college football player with NFL talent and ambitions, he suffered a career-ending knee injury. Needing to reconsider his future, Grant decided to use his love of athletics to become a teacher and coach. He had to overcome being profoundly shy, but in the process, found just where he belonged. “If I said 20 words in a day, that was probably exceeding my limit,” he said. “When I started doing my student teaching and was thrust in front of a class, oh, that was painful. But God was looking over me, saying we’ll shut this door, but this is where we need you. “I was fortunate,” he added. “I chose a profession that was tailor-made for me.” Thursday, the couple, with 71 years teaching experience between them — 57 years in Dallas — left their classrooms for the final time. But they will likely never stop teaching. “I’m not totally walking away,” Grant said. “I don’t know how many sports I might dabble in. I’m still looking to coach track next spring. Both Jude and I will still find a way to still impact kids. I think that is what our mission has always been, to impact as many kids in a positive way. I don’t think that will ever end.” Grant began teaching and coaching in 1978, spending his entire career with the Dallas School District. Judy has spent the last 21 years of her 35-year career in Dallas, teaching media and physical education. They raised three sons — Grant Jr., Jesse and Jordan — in the community they took no small part in creating through teaching, coaching, volunteering, and taking the time to develop real connections with students and athletes. Grant, who was the Dallas School District’s athletic director for 10 years, said it was through athletics that those bonds truly form. “Sports is just an avenue to build a stronger relationship with kids and encourage them and make them believe in themselves,” Judy said. For that reason, the Bousteads have been steadfast supporters of sports, even when little or no funding existed for them. With little experience, Judy took the middle school track coaching position to save the program from dying in 2002. Then, 10 years later, she helped save it again by moving it into the Dallas Track Club when middle school athletic funding was cut. As athletic director, Grant called upon the connections he had developed during 20 years of teaching to save high school programs. As a result, donations and volunteers poured in. “Our programs didn’t suffer the death penalty they could have because I had the connections I had in the community,” he said. For three of the worst years, Judy volunteered to serve as middle school athletic director when there was no money pay for it. Those weren’t sacrifices, the couple said, rather part of a job neither ever considered “work.” “Watching kids succeed, watching them down the road have success and coming back and saying ‘thank you,’ those are the best things,” Judy said. “It’s been just a great ride.” While they take the time to travel, volunteer more in the community and spend time with their grandchildren, that ride isn’t quite at an end. Grant will continue to teach a home-school student PE class and Judy believes she will continue to coach. “We’ve really been blessed,” Judy said. “We really have a passion for kids. They bring us as much joy, I think, as we bring them. I don’t think you can ever be truly done with that. It will just come out in different ways.” Meet the Bousteads Grant ... • 1978 — Hired as a teacher, eventually serving 36 years in the Dallas School District; also coached sports at various times —track, basketball, baseball, and football until this year. • 2000 to 2009 — Served as DSD athletic director. • 2010–2014 — Worked half time teaching PE and homeschool PE. Grant will continue to teach home-school PE next school year. Judy ... • 1992 — Hired as a teacher, eventually serving 21 years in the Dallas School District. • 2001 — Moved from elementary school level to LaCreole Middle School as a PE teacher and track coach. She served as volunteer middle school athletic director for three years when funding for the position was cut. • 2012 — Helped incorporate LaCreole’s track program into the Dallas Track Club when funding was cut.