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Aukema's 27-year teaching career comes to a close

After leaving a business career to become a teacher 27 years ago, Brent Aukema said he has no regrets.

The New Richmond High School business teacher said that he's enjoyed teaching because the field is always changing and evolving.

"There was a time when I was teaching all computer classes," he said. "Now, I don't teach any because we have a whole department for that."

Aukema said he enjoys teaching business because it taught students practical things that he knew they would use later in life.

In personal finance, for example, students are tasked with buying a car, calculating rent, figuring the cost of building a home and building an investment portfolio.

"We also do taxes," he said. "I'm the only one here having them fill out a 1040EZ."

Aukema said that after 27 years at New Richmond High School, he's not one bit sad to be leaving his post.

"I'm ready," he said.

Aukema said he plans join his wife, Julie, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where she's been living for the last year.

The two actually bought their home 12 years ago and have been working most summers to get it ready for full-time living.

"There are a lot of vacation homes there, but in the winter it's pretty isolated," Aukema said. "This winter, I talked to my wife who said she hadn't talked to anyone in four days."

Aukema said he's excited for the new adventure, but that he has no big plans for retirement.

"I figure I taught for 30 years so I can do whatever I want for the next 30," he said.

Aukema said he expects to do a lot of biking, running and various house chores in his free time.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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