The graduating class of 2016 has departed into a world of endless opportunities. Students and staff now follow and enter a summer break to be followed by a recommitment to another school year this fall. Sadly, a few staff members will not be returning this fall and I take this opportunity to write a note of appreciation and farewell.
Tom Behrens, Special Education Teacher at the high school, will not be returning this fall. Although Tom’s time as a Pointer was brief he made a positive impression on the students and staff that he worked with. Tom’s relocation to Illinois to be closer to family is commendable. His choice of states is suspect. Kidding aside, I have always wanted what is personally best for employees at Mineral Point before what is best for the organization of Mineral Point Schools. Tom’s personal wellbeing and placing his family first is at the core of his decision and I send best wishes to Tom on his next adventure.
Brad Brogley, Elementary Principal, will also not be returning this fall after accepting a position as Director of Pupil Services in Platteville. Brad lives in Platteville and his career change will allow him to also be closer to family. Mineral Point grew under Brad’s leadership, as the elementary school proficiency rates were as high or higher than any other year during my tenure. Brad, like his predecessor Anne Palzkill, raised the bar yet again for excellence in elementary education at Mineral Point. Brad learned first hand how to implement and sustain positive school change in elementary instruction and school culture, and these attributes will serve him extremely well in the Platteville School District as he continues to grow personally and professionally. I look forward to following his career down the road and wish him boundless happiness and success in his new role.
A final staff member worth noting that will not be returning this fall is Paul Staufiger. Paul is an employee of CESA 3 and is retiring at the end of this school year as the Alternative Education Instructor at the Renaissance School located on the first floor of the old high school in Mineral Point. The alternative school is a setting for students throughout Southwest WI that are not succeeding in a traditional school setting. Paul guides high school students toward graduation as an instructor, mentor, and at most times a father figure. I witnessed first-hand what Paul means to students on a recent visit as one student stated she would not be on track to graduate had Paul not supported her. Last week I shook hands with Mineral Point graduates that completed programming under Paul’s mentoring. Paul has my long-term gratitude for taking great care of Mineral Point students for so many years and I wish he and his wife Wendy a long and happy retirement.
To staff and students returning this fall I wish you a safe and relaxing summer break.