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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — All together, nine new staff members introduced themselves to the Colfax Board of Education at the September 19 meeting.
Annie Hughes is the high school special education cross categorical teacher.
Hughes taught at Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School for five years.
Hughes and her husband moved to the area because her husband accepted a job in St. Croix County as a land surveyor.
“He is from Boyceville, so we are planning on settling down here. I’m excited to be here,” Hughes said.
“My goal this school year is to start building positive relationships with students and their families. I know Colfax is super tight-knit, so I want to build that rapport,” she said.
Cross-categorical includes students with learning disabilities and emotional behavior disorders, including some autism, Hughes explained.
Hughes said she works with students who need support and intervention.
Kyle Easter is the high school chemistry and physics teacher.
Easter was suffering from laryngitis, so Polly Rudi, pupil services director, read a statement he had written for the school board meeting.
Easter graduated from UW-Stout this past spring and completed his student teaching in the third quarter with John Dickinsen at Colfax.
“This year I really want to work toward my students understanding how chemistry and physics play a role in their everyday lives and the importance of science as a whole,” Easter wrote.
Easter also would like to start a Science Olympiad team in Colfax.
William C. Yingst Jr. said he wanted to share with Ken Neuburg, school board member, that during the interview, he had asked Easter about his Eagle Scout project, which was collecting eye glasses with the Lions Club that were sent to Central and South America.
Rudi said Easter had written something about his Eagle Scout project as well.
“I coordinated with local businesses in my community and provided baskets for people to donate their extra eyeglasses. I had a neighbor who was an optometrist. He provided a machine that could determine the prescription and label the glasses. I then donated them to a charity that distributed them to people who needed eyeglasses, generally in other countries,” Easter wrote.
Jesselyn Julson is the Spanish teacher at Colfax High School and Colfax Middle School and is the advisor for the student council.
Julson graduated from UW-Eau Claire this past spring.
“My goal for this year is to introduce students to cultures that they don’t really get introduced to because many of our students have not had the chance to travel outside of the U.S. or outside of the Midwest. I’m hoping to introduce them to Latin American and Spanish culture through the language, and to start building that community with students and with the community, which is a big part of student council as well,” Julson said.
Breanna Graff is the middle school special education teacher.
Graff graduated from UW-Stout this past spring and was a student teacher with Kristi Huset at Colfax Elementary.
“My goal is to build relationships and to be involved in the community,” Graff said.
Felicia Glomski is the Colfax Middle School civics and science teacher.
Glomski is originally from Cadott.
“It’s like deja vu here because I ran track for sectionals at Colfax,” she said.
“One of my goals is to build relationships with students and also with the community members,” Glomski said.
Adeline Amble is the sixth grade English teacher in the Colfax school district.
Amble completed her student teaching last year with Sarah Yingst during the first quarter.
Amble then was a substitute teacher at Colfax from January until the end of the school year.
“I love it here so much. I am from a small town in southern Wisconsin of about 400 people. So this is a big school for me. I graduated from a school with about 60 kids in my class. It was seven towns in one school district,” she said.
“My goal for this year, since I already know my sixth graders from student teaching last year when they were in fifth grade, I am looking forward to growing relationships and getting to know them a little bit more — and having a lot of in class participation. That’s my big goal,” Amble said.
Kara Noll is the elementary special education teacher.
“I also student taught here, but it was a few years ago — 21 years ago,” she said.
Noll has worked as a long-term substitute teacher in Colfax for the past several years, and this past year, has taken on the first through third grade special education students.
Noll also is cross categorical, working with students who have learning and emotional/behavior disorders.
“My goal for this year is to help those kids reach their goals, their IEP (individualized education plan), and to be that person who provides a stable and caring place for them to come to (so they) can get regulated,” she said.
Allison Mulroy is the special education early childhood teacher.
“I’m from a small town that is similar to Colfax in northern Wisconsin, which is my big draw to the small schools,” she said.
“One goal for my classroom is to provide a safe and caring environment for all of my students,” Mulroy said.
Logan Mittelstadt is the Information Technology (IT) coordinator for the Colfax school district.
Mittelstadt graduated from Colfax High School in 2015 and then graduated from Chippewa Valley Technical College with a degree in IT.
“My goal is to help improve efficiency and productivity for students and staff,” he said.
“Welcome home!” said Jaclyn Ackerlund, school board member.
Retirees from the Colfax school district this year included JoAnn Mayfield (Title I teacher/reading specialist), Patrick Furey (high school chemistry and physics) and Janice Cox (early childhood and special education teacher).
In other business, the Colfax Board of Education:
• Learned that the equalized value in the school district has increased by 13.1 percent, from $419.18 million to $473.95 million. When the equalized value increases, the mill rate decreases, but it also results in an increase in aid from the state, Yingst said.
• Reviewed the Back-to-School Plan for the 2022-2023 school year as part of a six-month review process required by the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding the school district received. Another requirement is that the Back-to-School plan must also remain on the school district’s website, Yingst said.
• Approved the energy efficiency exemption of $179,569, with $18,783 in utility savings in the 2021-2022 school year. This is the last year of the energy efficiency exemption, Yingst said.
• Accepted a donation of $1,500 from Colfax Chevrolet for the student assistance fund.
• Approved updates recommended by NEOLA for the following policies: English language proficiency; district-sponsored trips; education options provided by the district; independent education evaluation (IEE); open enrollment program (inter-district); students accidents/illness/concussion; and bullying. The updates are technical updates involving words or lines in existing policies, Yingst said. NEOLA is a “must have” in case there are changes in state law or changes in wording that are necessary, said Todd Kragness, school board president.