He's accepted a high school teaching job near his daughter in Michigan.
The Crookston School Board Monday evening "reluctantly" approved a surprise, last-minute addition to their agenda: The retirement of high school drafting, metals and welding teacher and longtime Pirate tennis coach Mike Geffre, who, at 34 years, was the teacher in the district with the most seniority.
Due to rules relating to Minnesota teacher licensure, Geffre is officially retiring as a Minnesota teacher, but he is not retiring from teaching in general. He's taking a high school drafting and woods teaching position in Paw Paw, Michigan. There's a tennis coaching opening there, too, he tells the Times, but he has told district officials in Paw Paw that he's not interested in coaching right from the get-go.
So why is Geffre, his wife and sons leaving Crookston? Family, he says. His daughter, Amanda, lives in Niles, Michigan about a half-hour from Paw Paw, and several cousins are also relocating to the area.
"I never, ever thought this was going to come up like this; I'm still trying to wrap my head around it," Geffre says. He says he clicked on a teaching availability app on his phone, specifically, casually searching for any openings within 40 miles of his daughter. The Paw Paw job popped up. Geffre says he followed up and over a whirlwind process that barely covered a few days, he had the job.
"This was a very difficult decision and I really struggled with it," said Geffre, 60. "I've enjoyed the opportunity to work with kids, athletes, their parents; it never felt like work. I enjoyed coming into the building every day and everyone I had the opportunity to work with made 35 years go by very fast."
Board members and administrators thanked Geffre for his service to Crookston students, student-athletes, parents and the community. "You've cut a really wide swath and you're leaving very big shoes to fill," board member Tim Dufault said.
"It's been really nice knowing you and working with you all these years," added board member Dave Davidson, a retired teacher.
Geffre recently was inducted into the Minnesota Coaches Hall of Fame, and he will be inducted in August to the Crookston High School Hall of Fame.
Cody Brekken will assume the role of girls' tennis head coach. Brekken became the boys' tennis head coach in 2018.