It’s Hard to See Him Go

Harder 2

Popular teacher Tim Harder is leaving the
classroom for a job at the district office

By Holly Williams, Current Staff

At the end of the year students and teachers alike are faced with many goodbyes.  This time, parting must be done in the middle of the school year.

By the end of the semester, Technology Education teacher Tim Harder will leave the high schools to fill a new administrative position at the district office.  Over his nine years in West Bend, Harder has taught classes ranging from advanced digital imaging to black and white photography, and been in charge of in many extracurricular activities.  A well-known persona in the high schools, Harder will be dearly missed by students and staff. 

“It’s a huge, huge loss for the high schools,” said Jim Curler, WBHS principal, “but a much needed gain for the West Bend School District.”

Others expressed a similar sentiment.

“It’s going to be sad when he leaves, but he will do excellent as the technology administrator,” said East senior Nathan Swanke.

“It’s sad to see Mr. Harder leave the classroom, but I’m happy that he will be the district’s Director of Technology!,” said Cindy Mennig, business teacher.

“It’s a huge, huge loss for the high schools.”
– Jim Curler, principal

In his new job, Harder will manage technology throughout the district and also oversee Pathways charter school, which opened this past fall.  According to Harder, one of the main aspects of the new job is, “getting to see how technology is infused, and being able to step back and look at it at a bigger scope.  The neat thing about being an administrator is you get the ability to come in and see all of the areas here at the high school.”

Unfortunately, being an administrator does have its drawbacks.

“As part of being an administrator, I can’t coach,” said Harder, who not only has to give up his position as an offensive line coach for the East football team, but also his role as advisor of Skills USA, an organization dedicated to helping students become skilled workers and responsible leaders.

“He will be missed by many on the football field,” said Swanke.

East junior Alex Vickney added, “It’ll be sad to know that he won’t be coaching football for my senior year.”

But unlike football, which finished in October, Harder will be leaving in the middle of the Skills USA season.  Under Harder’s leadership, several members of this club have competed nationally in the past few years.  With regional competitions just after semester, Harder’s parting is not ideal.

However, Harder does not expect this to be a problem.

“Mr. Willmas, our Graphics teacher, he’ll take that over, with the support of the other Tech Ed teachers.  But for those students that are doing the content pieces, I’ll still support them as we transition until we get a new person in here,” said Harder.

As to who that new person is, Harder said, “That we don’t know yet.  We’re just starting the interview process, so it will take a little bit to find that person.  But we’re excited.  The expectation for whoever takes over is that I will help them keep the transition almost as seamless as possible.”

Still, his absence will not go unnoticed.  “He’s involved in so many different things at the high schools that it will take more than one person to fill all of his positions,” said Curler.

“I’m going to miss him and the unique way he taught his classes.  It was almost like a workplace.  He created a sense of professionalism while still allowing us to be creative,” said Halsten Fichtner, East senior.

Harder 1Harder is going to miss teaching, too.

“One of the cool things about being a teacher is the ability to work with students, and see them ‘get it’, and watch them grow and move forward.  There’s nothing more powerful than when you have a student come back after a year and say ‘this really set me up for success when I went to college, or tech school, or got a job.’  So, working with the kids on a regular basis, that’s the part I’ll miss most, the connections that I’ve had here,” said Harder.  “But I will still be visiting and seeing what’s going on, and working with the administration and staff up here around the technology piece.”

Though many will miss seeing him on a regular basis, they expressed good wishes to Harder in his new position.

“Knowing that he’ll be able to push forward in his interest of technology is enough,” said Tyler Schommer, East senior.

West senior Spencer Flynn added, “I wish him luck at his new job.”

(Photographs by Holly Williams.)

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