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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — After working for 36 years in food service at the Colfax school district, head cook Teri Knutson has decided to hang up her apron and call it a day.
Knutson’s letter announcing her retirement, dated March 19, exemplified Knutson’s service to the Colfax school district — efficient and to the point, said William C. Yingst Jr., district administrator, at the Colfax Board of Education’s April 26 meeting.
When Knutson started in food service at the school district 36 years ago, the cooks made homemade bread and there were no computers, Yingst said.
Nowadays, the paperwork is computerized. Nutrition standards have changed over the years, too, and there are more food allergies, he noted.
Knutson gave “outstanding service for 36 years,” Yingst said, adding that he wondered how many meals she had prepared at school in that time.
“We are sorry to see her go, but it’s time for a changing of the guard,” he said.
Here is Knutson’s letter to Yingst and the Board of Education: “After 36 years, I have decided to hang it up and retire at the end of the current school year. I have enjoyed my time here and loved what I do, but it’s time to step down and enjoy my family and see what the next chapter brings. — Respectfully, Teri Knutson.”
The Colfax Board of Education unanimously approved Knutson’s retirement.
The school board also approved several other resignations, including Sarah Reiter, speech and language pathologist; Cristina Bommarito, second grade teacher; and Maegen Moore, fifth grade teacher.
Reiter started working at the Colfax school district 16 years ago, Yingst said.
Sixteen years ago, the speech and language pathologist position was full time but then subsequently went part-time. After the Colfax position was part-time, then Reiter also worked in the Elk Mound school district part time, he said.
Elk Mound has now increased the speech and language pathologist position to full time, and Reiter has accepted the job in Elk Mound, Yingst said.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in your district and am very grateful for the opportunity to have served your students and worked with your staff. They will all leave a huge print on my heart!” Reiter wrote in her letter of resignation dated April 16.
Bommarito completed her student teaching at Colfax Elementary several years ago and was then hired as a second grade teacher, Yingst said.
Bommarito drives from Hudson every day, and the winter driving conditions have always been a concern for her. She has applied for graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology, has been accepted at UW-River Falls and will begin there this fall, he said.
In her letter to Trevor Hovde, principal at Colfax Elementary, Bommarito wrote: “I have greatly appreciated the experience and time I have spent as a second grade teacher over the last two years. I am immensely thankful for the mentorship and guidance you provided as I began my teaching career.”
Many people may be more familiar with fifth grade teacher Maegan Moore’s maiden name, Maegen LaTulip, Yingst said.
In her letter, Moore wrote: “After having a baby this year, life and daycare will work out better for my family without the daily commute … I have accepted a position in the Eau Claire school district for the 2021-2022 school year.”
Moore went on to say in her letter: “I fell in love with this district and it is difficult to walk away. I have formed many meaningful relationships with my students here, as well as the staff. The support I received throughout my four years here has helped me grow as an educator and I will be forever grateful for the experience I have gained.”
The Colfax Board of Education unanimously approved the resignations of Reiter, Bommarito and Moore.
The Colfax Board of Education also approved hiring for four positions at the April 26 meeting, including Sherri Scholfield, bus driver; Kathleen Thorn, head track coach; Ryan Krall, assistant boys golf coach; and Cheyenne Bielmeier, speech and language pathologist.
This is the first year that Colfax has had a golf cooperative with Elk Mound, and at first, no one was sure if there would be enough Colfax golf players for Colfax to have its own team, Yingst said.
All together, six freshmen and two juniors have signed up for golf. Elk Mound has the head golf coach, but an assistant coach is needed to make sure the Colfax players get to the Whitetail Golf Course, he said.
Krall (a sixth grade teacher in the district and the head track coach), wants to be the assistant coach for golf, so Thorn (Colfax High School business and marketing teacher) will take over as head track coach, Yingst said.
Last year, there were 40 students out for track, and this year, there are 20. Krall will be there for the transition to the new track coach, he said.
As for the speech and language pathologist, Cheyenne Bielmeier may be better known to people in the Colfax school district as Colfax graduate Cheyenne Olson, the daughter of Steve and Amy Olson, Yingst said.
The Colfax Board of Education unanimously approved hiring Scholfield, Thorn, Krall and Bielmeier.