Trudy Jurchen taught traditional classes long before coming to the Pine River-Backus Alternative Learning Center (ALC), but it was here that she found her calling.
Jurchen was raised in Pequot Lakes and graduated from Bemidji State University with a degree in language arts. Her first teaching position was in Cass Lake, where she taught for two years. She subbed in various places after that, including Pequot Lakes, Pine River-Backus and a school in Oregon. She started at the ALC in the fall of 1994, and has been there ever since.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 19 years, but it’s been good working with at-risk students for different reasons,” Jurchen said.
Jurchen has experience teaching traditional classes, but favors her ALC experience. Perhaps that is because ALC is a more personal teaching experience based in independent study.
“So we get to know them,” she said. “I taught parenting as well as English.”
Though she’s retiring now, she said she will return as a substitute teacher, though only at the ALC.
“I’m going to sub here next year. I already said I would do that and have had that OK’d,” Jurchen said.
Jurchen will retire from her position at the completion of the 2012-13 school year. Jurchen said she will miss her students, but she will miss her coworkers the most. She will use her free time to spend more time with her husband, to travel and possibly to join a book club.