By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — When classes ended for the 2015-2016 school year, the Colfax Board of Education had already accepted retirement requests from Billie Jo Fiege, Deb Mathson and Joe Doucette.
At the staff recognition banquet on June 1, staff members learned that Wes Grambo, athletic director and high school history teacher, also planned to retire.
At the June 20 meeting, in addition to approving Grambo’s retirement, the Colfax school board accepted two more resignations from teachers, Laci Cook (first grade) and Vince Ross (fourth grade).
Cook has taught at Colfax for ten years and wants to spend more time with her family, said Bill Yingst, district administrator.
Ross, who has taught at Colfax for 11 years, is resigning to take an elementary principal’s position in the Flambeau school district, Yingst said.
In addition, Shirley Meier, a teacher’s aide working with special needs students, submitted her request for retirement.
This is actually a second retirement for Meier, who worked at Eau Claire Memorial for a number of years before retiring and then returned to work at Colfax, Yingst noted.
Meier has been at Colfax for five years, he said.
Krista De Moe, a part-time food service worker, will not return to work in the fall as well, Yingst said.
The Colfax Board of Education unanimously approved all of the submitted requests for retirement as well as the resignations.
Along with Cook, Fiege also taught first grade at Colfax, while Mathson taught second grade and Doucette taught elementary physical education and was a coach.
School board member Ken Bjork asked about the number of applications being received for teaching positions and wondered if the number was fewer or more than in recent years.
Trevor Hovde, Colfax Elementary principal, said he was pleased with the applications he has been receiving.
“It’s a nice amount, but not like it was ten years ago,” Hovde said.
In years past, a school district might have expected to receive 200 applications for a single teaching position.
Hovde reported that 389 students from kindergarten through sixth grade at Colfax Elementary participated in the Accelerated Reading program this past school year.
The students passed 32,519 quizzes, which is over 2,000 more than last year.
The average comprehension score was 91.7 percent, and a total of 277 students ended the year with a score of 90 percent or higher.
Research shows that students who maintain a comprehension score of 90 percent or higher can make two years of reading growth, Hovde said.
All together, the students read more than 165 million words.
A total of 47 students read more than one million words; 16 students read over two million words; seven students read over three million words; four students read over four million words; three students read more than five million words; and two students read more than six million words.
In other business, the Colfax Board of Education:
• Established the date for the audit review July 18 at 6 p.m. and the budget review at 6:30 p.m.
• Approved hiring Stacy Reit as a school psychologist. Reit has nine years of experience in the Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire school districts and was looking for a part-time position, Yingst said. Reit will be working a 60 percent position (three out of five days) at Colfax.
• Accepted a bid from Earthgrains (formerly Sara Lee) as the bred vendor for the 2016-2017 school year. The prices are the same as last year at $3.22 for a 24-count package of whole grain steak buns; $3.15 for a 30-count package of whole grain coney buns; and $2.95 for a 30-count package of whole grain hamburger buns.
• Accepted a bid from Dean Foods as the milk vendor for the 2016-2017 school year. The bid amounts were two cents less than last year: .1521 for eight ounces of one percent white milk; .14 for eight ounces of skim white milk; and .1516 for eight ounces of TruMoo chocolate fat free milk.