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Mr. Bouché to Retire at the end of 2018-19

Bouché to retire from LUHS after 2018-19 school year

Schaub: ‘Jim and his team have really brought us to a different level’

Brian Jopek, Reporter
12/28/2018 7:29 AM

At the Lakeland Union High School district board of education meeting Dec. 17, one of the action items on the agenda was the board’s acceptance of a retirement letter from Jim Bouché.

He has more than 40 years in education and in recent years, was LUHS’s principal when former district administrator Todd Kleinhans’ contract was not renewed by the school board in May 2015. 

Bouché then became, for a time, both principal and district administrator until the hiring of Justin Szews as LUHS principal in March of this year. 

“Certainly in this school, in the last 11 years, Jim and his team have really brought us to a different level,” board president Ed Schaub said. “I know I, for one, personally really appreciate what you’ve accomplished the last 11 years as the administrator and principal.”

His comments were followed by a brief round of applause from the other school board members and others in the room. 

Board member Gary Smith echoed Schaub’s comments regarding Bouché.

“I appreciate your dedication to the students and the staff and to us,” he said. “It really showed the way you really did step up over the last three years. You really helped us out when we needed help.”

‘A great profession’

Bouché’s final comments in his Dec. 17 report to the school board were about a recent listening session he attended conducted by Wisconsin governor-elect Tony Evers. 

He didn’t sound like someone who was getting ready to call it a career after the end of the 2018-19 school year. 

“We were in a group, a listening session, talking about what we needed in education and what we need to get more people into the world of education,” Bouché said.

He explained since ACT 10 went into effect early in the administration of Governor Scott Walker, there’s been what he said is a considerable downturn in the number of people looking for careers in education.

“In all aspects,” Bouché said. “Let it be teaching, let it be principals, let it be administrators ... it’s gone down. We’re having a hard time finding the people to begin with.”

He said what he shared with the group at the Evers listening session was there needed to be more talked about in the way of the positives in a career in education.

“We as the professionals in this world of education, we need to talk about what a great profession it is,” Bouché said. “To be able to work with students throughout the years, to help them become educated that’s a real great opportunity for us. To talk positively. More people will go into a profession if you talk positively and not negatively.”

He said there was discussion about pay scales for public school teachers among others but maintained much of the issue centers around the positive.

“I stressed the fact that we need to build ourselves up,” Bouché said. “As professionals and educators, we need to talk about what a great profession this is and more young people will think about going into our profession.” 

Brian Jopek may be reached via email at bjopek@lakeland
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