Schaffer retiring to put family first
Mary Gales Askren
Published: Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
Family led retiring math teacher Dale Schaffer to Custer and family is once again exerting its influence, motivating him to take early retirement.
“I look forward to utilizing the time I’ve been in the classroom to visit my kids and grandkids,” he said.
He is one of six teachers taking early retirement this year. The school board also approved retirement for Neal Sieger, Lorie Steinhauer, Jana Martinson, Mike Pahl and Eileen Wahlstrom.
Schaffer took a circuitous route into education. He began his college career by studying architecture, but changed his course of study to become an industrial arts teacher. Four years later, he left teaching to take over a business his parents had started, the National Museum of Woodcarving outside Custer.
However, his interest in education prompted him to serve on the Custer school board, and then to hire staff at the museum so he could resume teaching. Of course, he had a secondary, more pragmatic, reason as well.
“I wanted a more stable income,” he said.
Schaffer began his 19-year career with the Custer school district in the alternative school. However, openings in the district allowed him to transfer to the high school, where he initially taught both middle school and high school math before becoming a full-time high school math teacher six years go.
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