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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax Board of Education has accepted requests for retirement from two more teachers, Colleen Verdon, high school Spanish teacher, and Lori Halpin, middle school language arts teacher.
At a special meeting August 5 held primarily to consider the back-to-school plan, the school board also approved transferring Dianna Dachel, fourth grade teacher, to the middle school math position, and transferring Megan Pawlak, sixth grade teacher, to the middle school language arts position.
Carl Rudi, who taught middle school math at Colfax for 28 years, retired at the end of the school year.
Lisa Neuburg, Family and Consumer Science teacher, also retired at the end of the school year.
Adam Davison, high school history teacher and wrestling coach for the Colfax-Bloomer wrestling cooperative, resigned in July. Davison planned to accept a position in Stratford as a teacher and as head wrestling coach.
Finding another Spanish teacher will be difficult because they are few and far between, said William C. Yingst Jr., district administrator.
Yingst said he planned to meet with a Spanish teacher candidate at the end of the week who had not yet completed his or her student teaching.
According to Verdon’s letter dated July 20, “It is with mixed emotion that I write this letter today. I have made the very difficult decision to retire.”
Verdon goes on to write, “It has been an absolute joy to share my love of language and culture in Room 103 for so many years. Truly, an absolute joy. I have a treasure trove of memories of students growing and learning in my room. I loved being a teacher, and I loved teaching here in this community! When I began in Colfax, I had and continue to embrace the philosophy that students’ needs always come first. I have brought my best effort to that every day, and have been incredibly fortunate to watch not only students grow, but the program grow from two levels, to a strong four-year program, with many students choosing to further their Spanish education beyond high school.”
Verdon taught in the Colfax school district for 15 years.
According to Halpin’s letter, dated July 18, “I have decided that it is time for me to retire. My retirement comes a few years ahead of schedule due to the coronavirus epidemic and the District’s decision to begin the year with face-to-face learning. I hold no ill will toward the District, and I understand that you cannot accommodate everyone in this situation.”
Halpin notes in her letter that she has taught in the Colfax school district for seven years, and that “I am a Viking, through and through, and having the opportunity to teach and coach in my home district was a dream come true.”
Halpin goes on to say she will not be leaving the profession entirely because she plans to teach online English as a Second Language classes part-time.
“I am very excited about this new endeavor. I spent the entire month of June taking webinars to improve my distance learning skills in preparation for the fall, and now I can make good use of this training,” she wrote.
The Colfax Board of Education meets next on August 17, with the annual meeting at 6 p.m., and the regular school board meeting at 7 p.m.