By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Tim Devine is coming out of retirement to serve as the Colfax school district’s alternative education, GEDO and interventionist teacher.
After teaching middle school Language Arts in the Colfax school district for 34 years, Devine retired at the end of the 2017-2018 school year, and the Colfax Board of Education approved hiring him for the new position at the August 20 meeting.
The school district has enough students who qualify to justify hiring a teacher for this kind of support position, said William C. Yingst Jr., superintendent.
The position will be for one year with a review at the end of the 2018-2019 school year, he said.
Some students, including freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, struggle with English and Language Arts, and one of Devine’s tasks will be to help them strengthen their skills so they can earn their diplomas, Yingst said.
Devine also will be supervising the General Education Development Option (GEDO) online and will be monitoring the distance learning classes in sign language, psychology and sociology, he said.
According to the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI) website in reference to the GEDO program, “Wisconsin school districts can now apply for permission to prepare students for the HSED (high school equivalency diploma) through their alternative education programs provided the student will be awarded the traditional high school diploma. The school district will be using the HSED to measure proficiency in lieu of credits, and students are required to meet other graduation requirements in school policy such as community service, high school graduation test, teacher recommendation and academic preparedness.”
After an educator retires, state law requires the person to have a 75-day interim period before accepting another position in a school district.
Devine meets the criteria for the 75-day break and can come back to work at the school district, Yingst noted.
“We can do this within the budget. (Devine) will be doing extra-curricular as well as getting the kids caught up and on track for their diplomas,” he said.
“I am excited Colfax High School is able to offer this. I am proud Colfax is able to do this, and I know we will find it beneficial,” said Ken Bjork, school board member.
“This is something that’s needed,” Yingst said.
“After a year’s time, I hope we make every effort to not let it fall by the wayside,” Bjork said.
In addition to approving Devine for the Alternative Education/GEDO/interventionist teacher position, the Board of Education approved hiring Heather Niesen as a special education early childhood teacher; approved hiring Corey Adams, the high school science teacher, as the Science Olympiad advisor; and approved hiring Shannon Harris and Alyssa Smith as the middle school student council advisors.