3 longtime teachers to retire

By Per Peterson

The District No. 2904 School Board on Monday accepted the resignations of a trio of teachers who combined have taught at Tracy Area Public Schools for a century.
Ag teacher Paul Skoglund, who came to TAHS in 1987, and art/phy-ed teacher Randy McIntire, a 32-year veteran of the school, both tendered their resignations to the board prior to Monday’s meeting.
Both teachers’ resignations were approved. Skoglund (softball) and McIntire (football and golf) have also been long-time coaches at TAHS.
The board on Monday also approved the resignation of Cindy Van Dorsten, Early Childhood Special Education teacher at TAPS. Van Dorsten has been at TAPS for 38 years.
“You always hate to see good people leave, especially at these positions that may be a little more challenging to fill now,” said TAHS Supt. Chad Anderson. “You don’t see a lot of people going into these fields, so that makes things a little more challenging. It’s difficult to lose that tradition, knowledge and background.”
Anderson said each of the three brings their own unique talents, gifts and skills to the district. Van Dorsten’s position isn’t one that gets a lot of attention, but is one of the school’s most important jobs.
“It’s not in the limelight, but it is one of the most important positions,” he said. “She works with some of our youngest and most needy students and has a kind heart and compassionate soul. Big shoes to fill.”
Anderson said McIntire has adapted well to an ever-changing field.
“I’m sure when he started here it was pencils and paintbrushes and film cameras,” Anderson said. “Now they’re doing digital photography, online things. He still keeps the traditional things involved, but he’s also changed with the times.”
The TAHS FFA program wouldn’t be where it is today without Skoglund’s leadership, Anderson said.
“He’s been one of the leaders and innovators in FFA and the Ag program in Tracy for many years,” Anderson said. “He has turned Tracy’s FFA and Ag program into one of the premier programs in the state of Minnesota.”
Anderson cited Skoglund’s work with the annual Corn Drive as one of his biggest achievements. The Corn Drive raises money for Camp Courage, a camp for disabled students. He said TAHS has been one of the largest fundraising groups for Camp Courage under Skoglund’s leadership.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.