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Grambo retires from Colfax school district after 28 years

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  After teaching history and serving as the athletic director in Colfax for 28 years, Wes Grambo has decided to retire.

Grambo has taught American History, Modern American History, Wisconsin History and Driver’s Education at Colfax.

Prior to accepting a position at Colfax, he taught at the Black Hawk School District for six years.

At Black Hawk, Grambo taught World History, Social Problems and Driver’s Education and also coached volleyball and track.

The Colfax Messenger sent out a questionnaire to Grambo, who graciously agreed to answer those questions:

• What are some of the changes you have noticed over the years?

Technology is probably the biggest change that I have noticed. For audio/visual we were still using film projectors and film strips. Computers were using punch cards. I remember how excited I was when I received a Commodore 64 computer for my classroom (it had 64k of memory!). Eventually that computer was replaced with an Apple IIe; that was really moving up! One of the other big changes has been the amount of state testing that is being done. It seems like more and more classroom time each year is being devoted to state tests. These tests certainly serve their purpose, but most teachers will tell you that it is taking time away from what they really love — which is teaching kids.

• What did you like best about teaching in Colfax?

I have enjoyed every moment of teaching for the Colfax School District. I have had a chance to work with some great people. Also, our school facilities are some of the best in the area. But the part that I like the best are the kids; the kids are what has made my job interesting and enjoyable.

• What will you never forget?

There have been so many great moments. I think that the part that I will remember the most, though, will be the projects that kids would do at the end of each Modern American History unit. I had saved many of those. It brought back floods of memories as I was cleaning my classroom last week. These projects were a reminder of how talented our kids are.

• What event stands out during your time as Athletic Director?

Just as in the classroom, there are many events that rank equally. Certainly the 1994 state basketball tournament stands out. Colfax has participated in many state tournaments since, but this was special for me as it was the first one.

• What will you miss?

I will miss the students tremendously. When you teach and live in a small community, you develop a special relationship with the students and their families. For many of my recent students, I have taught their parents or maybe their aunts and uncles, and it is always enjoyable to hear about what everyone is doing now. Each and every kid that has been in my classroom has brought their own uniqueness, gifts and sometimes challenges, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

• What are you looking forward to doing after you retire?

In the near future, I plan on spending more time fishing and gardening.

• Anything else you would like to add?

There are so many people that I am thankful for. As I mentioned before, I have worked with some wonderful people. I want to extend my appreciation to the School Board and the Administration for all that they do. The coaching staff and event workers are much appreciated, too, for all of their hard work, dedication and professionalism. They have made my job easy. And lastly, I am immensely grateful for my family as they have been patient, supportive and understanding.