DeCurtins makes half-step toward retirement
By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter
The students may have finished their spring semester classes at Madison Middle School, and Kevin DeCurtins has submitted his retirement papers, but the math teacher and coach is still staying busy working with students.|
On Thursday, DeCurtins will accompany 31 Madison track and field athletes to the State A track meet in the Black Hills as their head coach. For Tuesday and Wednesday, he was attending a meeting about Common Core education standards to learn about math-education goals.
DeCurtins didn't fully retire this year from teaching. This fall, he'll split seventh-grade math duties with another teacher, Kindra Wiese, that will allow both teachers to work a part-time schedule. DeCurtins will teach two math sections and Wiese will instruct three seventh-grade sections. DeCurtins also plans to supervise an eighth-grade Power Hour, a study hall in which the boys and girls often do their math homework.
According to DeCurtins, the shared duties should benefit both teachers. Wiese wanted to spend more time with her two young children, and DeCurtins will have more time for hunting, golf and his grandchildren. He has two grandsons and one granddaughter living in the Sioux Falls-Tea area.
"I'm hoping to do more with them than if I stayed working at a full-time job," DeCurtins said.
DeCurtins said he had considered retirement during the last two school years.
"I don't know if I'm ready to be done with it," he said. "I still enjoy working with the kids. I still enjoy coaching."
Not eager to walk away from his career, DeCurtins and Wiese talked about sharing a teaching spot. They also looked at the same sort of shared-job arrangement that was used in the West Central School District at Hartford.
"Every other day seemed as the best option, and we took the idea to (Principal Cotton) Koch and proceeded from there," DeCurtins said.
The teachers and administrators structured the shared position so no one should worry about whether the middle school students will receive proper math instruction.
"Everyone -- Koch, (Superintendent Vince) Schaefer and the school board -- has confidence that this is a good situation for the students," DeCurtins said.
DeCurtins will also keep coaching track and field and seventh-grade boys' basketball. He said working with 12- and 13-year-olds helps keep him young.
"Even though I'm getting older," he said, "it's good to see them come up from the middle school to their high school years -- growing, changing and seeing their successes."
As a basketball coach for middle school students, DeCurtins said he was able to see a different side to some of his students in the gym as compared to the classroom.
"You see them as not quite so serious on the basketball court," he said. "It's less strict and less formal than the classroom, and they've decided for themselves to play basketball.
``They don't have a choice to come to math class."
©Madison Daily Leader 2013
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