by Sue Deyoe ~ August 21st, 2009
High school history teacher Dave Stull has taken a voluntary transfer from Su Valley High. The decision was partially his to make, according to principal Rob Picou.
The Mat Su School district makes decisions on teachers based on pupil to teacher ratios. This week, Picou got a call from the district saying Su Valley’s student to teacher ratio would require relocating a staff member to another location in the district. Su Valley has 17 teachers, but only 165 students this year. That’s down from 175 last year. From direction by the District offices, he had to make the serious decision of eliminating a position. Since Stull has been at Su Valley for 13 years, that put him in a seniority position to be at the top of the voluntary transfer list.
Stull said his decision was predicated on a family medical situation. He has transferred to Teeland Middle School, which is just 2 miles from his parent’s home. He will be teaching PE and looking at introducing a junior high version of AcaDeca into that school AND statewide. The National academic decathalon program is implementing a junior high pentathlon nationwide this coming spring. Stull says the possibility is very exciting. He leaves with mixed emotions and has told students that if cut, he will always bleed Su Valley’s colors no matter where he goes. He adds that he is excited about the new challenge and to be closer to his parents.
Picou says that if Stull had not decided to leave, someone else’s position would have been cut. Picou is now studying what is best for the students, what the least impact is, and how to fill Stull’s position among the other teachers. His hope is to have the Academic Decathlon class continue.