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End of twenty-six years of teaching for a Hancock teacher

In twenty-six years of teaching, Dale Swanson has seen a lot of changes, most for the better but not all. Swanson will be retiring at the end of the school year, serving his entire teaching career in Hancock, a small school very similar to the one he attended.

In fact Swanson still lives only 50 feet from where he spent his school days. He grew up in the Kensington area and continues to live on a small hobby farm there. He graduated from Kensington High School, started college and then enlisted in the Marine Corps.

After his tour of duty was complete, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota where he attended the Institute of Technology. After being a civil engineer for 4 years, he returned to the Kensington area and attended the University at Morris to become a math teacher. He then did student teaching for Linda Meichsner who was teaching math courses in Hancock. In 1983 he got his first full-time teaching position in Hancock when Meichsner went to Alexandria. During his year of student teaching he met a former Hancock math teacher Fran VanZomeren. It was an impressionable meeting as Swanson noted her small stature and assumed a meek personality. VanZomeren was subbing that day and when the students misbehaved he quickly learned that she was not one to let anything like that get by her.

Over the years Swanson has seen many students come and go and loved to follow their futures. He is especially pleased to see them have success in colleges and jobs.

He has had many great memories through the years of the students, staff, parents and events at HHS. One of the top things that came to mind was the state tournament teams which was such an exciting time. He also really enjoyed a special outing in 1993 when he took the 7th grade class to a special event at the Institute of Technology in Minneapolis.

He was also the class advisor when the junior class opted to have a Riverboat Prom which was a fun trip. His last Knowledge Bowl team made it to the State level competition.

Some of the sad events he recalled were the Courneya trial, illness of Principal Roger Clarke and sudden death of students due to car accidents.

Swanson is a little uncertain about his retirement plans. He said it probably won't even sink in until about mid-August when he normally starts missing the kids. He may get a job, or perhaps be a substitute teacher.

His hobby farm is sure to take up some of his spare time along with his hobbies of hunting and fishing. He will have more time to spend with his grandchildren who are just getting to the age when they can also enjoy these sports.

He added that he will miss the school, students and community that he has enjoyed for the last twenty-six years. He noted that he has had a lot of good kids over the years and met many wonderful parents. He would not have wanted to spend those years anywhere else than in a small school atmosphere much like where he grew up.