Embarking on a brave new adventure in the Boscobel School District are 10 new teachers.
Some come with an extensive background in education, while others are just setting out on their first teaching jobs.
All, however, are looking forward to working with the community's youth and getting to know Boscobel.
For Duane Updike, a high school math teacher, it was fate that brought him here.
"Something told me that Boscobel was where I needed to be," said Updike, who is coming out of retirement in Florida to teach again and help coach football.
"I'm looking forward to working with kids again. I missed it a lot."
Updike taught at Evansville for 34 years, before moving on to Juda, where he worked until 2006.
On the other hand, there is Samantha Mand, of Fond du Lac. A graduate of UW-Oshkosh, with a major in biology, Mand is entering her first year as a full-time science teacher, after serving as a long-term substitute in the Chilton district.
"This my first actual teaching job, so I'm just happy to have a job," she joked.
On a more serious note, Mand is looking forward to teaching upper level elective science courses and thinks she'll be a good fit in the community.
"It's a small town, which I love, and this area of Wisconsin is just beautiful," said Mand. "I love the outdoors and canoeing and kayaking."
Along with Updike and Mand, Seth Bausman, Rhonda Zart, Lacy McCullick, Erik Kinney, Michelle Erickson, Michelle Tollefson, Liz Bransky, and Jeni Maly will be joining the ranks of Boscobel's teaching staff.
It's an enthusiastic bunch.
In the high school and middle school, Updike has, by far, the most experience of the new batch of educators.
He once received a Golden Apple Award for teaching, sponsored by Channel 15 in Madison.
A 1968 graduate of UW-Platteville, Updike was elected to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2004.
In 1995, Updike was named the Rock Valley Conference/WICA District coach of the year.
Then, there's Bausman, who received Magna Cum Laude Honors at UW-Platteville, where he played collegiate football from 2004-05. Bausman, who is serving on the football coaching staff with Updike, has been a substitute teacher at Iowa-Grant High School and Riverdale Elementary, among other schools.
In those assignments, he taught physical education, high school and middle school English, and history. Bausman will be teaching mainly middle school students in Boscobel.
"I just like working with young people, and the middle school is where I prefer to teach," said Bausman. "I'm looking forward to being part of the community as soon as possible, which I have already through football, but I'm looking forward to being a bigger part of it as the year goes on."
Like Mand, this is Bausman's first full-time teaching job. Such is not the case with Lacy McCullick, who has served as a Spanish teacher, at all levels, in the Praire du Chien district since 2006. Before that, McCullick taught at Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, Wash.
Not only is she a graduate of UW-Platteville, she also spent six weeks studying in Cuernavaca, Mexico while attending Instituto de Chac-Mol.
"I'm looking forward to teaching at the high school level, and I look forward to teaching upper level classes," said McCullick. "And I really enjoy small towns."
Of all the new high school and middle school teachers, Zart may have the most familiarity with Boscobel schools.
The music teacher has served as an accompanist for Boscobel, and other area schools, during solos, ensembles, choir, madrigal and musical theater events.
Since 1977, Zart, who lives in Boscobel, has run her own music studio, where she is currently instructing 24 piano students and prepares students for solo and ensemble competitions.
On the elementary level, Erickson, Tollefson, Bransky and Maly are all new Boscobel.
Kinney, who will be teaching fourth grade, does know the district well. His children go to school in Boscobel, and his wife graduated from high school here.
Having taught at Ithaca for 15 years, Kinney, who will also be coaching middle school football, said, "I am looking forward to working with the staff. This is a new start."
Erickson has degrees from UW-Platteville and UW-Madison, where she majored in English literature. Having started out in the journalism field, where she worked for the Oconomowoc Enterprise and Lake Country Freeman, Erickson will now be teaching second grade.
"I really like small towns," said Erickson, when asked what attracted her to Boscobel. "Small communities are good places for families and to raise children. And I like the smaller class sized, and the fact that this is a SAGE school is something I really like."
Tollefson, who lives in Fennimore, will be teaching special education in the elementary grades. She is excited to be able to use her educational background in teaching students with special needs.
"I went to school and studied special education, and I hadn't been working in it," said Tollefson. "For me, this is it."
Maly has been hired as Boscobel's new elementary art instructor. Previously, she worked in grades 9-12 as an art instructor at Mount Horeb and the Rosendale-Brandon School District.
Of late, Maly worked as a long-term substitute art instructor in the School District of South Milwaukee.
"I am very excited to make the transition here, after being in South Milwaukee and Mount Horeb," said Maly. "I was looking for an elementary position after teaching high school."
As for Bransky, she will be splitting her time between Boscobel and North Crawford, the district that has a contract with her. She will serve as the library/media specialist at the high school and elementary school levels.
"I love books, and I love technology," said Bransky, "and I love connecting kids to exciting technology and books."
Along with the new full-time teachers, the district will have a new long-term substitute teacher working this year.
She is Abby Wiest, who will be replacing Tomi Gebhard in the 4-year-old kindergarten program.