Last year, Mr. Solie retired after 39 years of teaching, 28 of which were in Owatonna. Along with being a math teacher, he was also one of the coaches on the Owatonna Football Team for 28 years and coached a total of 40 years of football. Mr. Solie retired from teaching and coaching in the same year, he was a very well- respected teacher and coach around the district by many of his peers.
Since retiring, Mr. Solie has been enjoying his free time. His wife, a former elementary teacher at Wilson, retired at the same time. During the summer he did a lot of fishing, golfing and hunting. He said, “With all this free time now, I have more time to deer hunt then I ever have”. During the fall time he and his wife started traveling around the world, they had always hoped to do that sometime in their life.
After an accident with Ms. Mara Oien where she fell off a ladder trying to get down from putting up Christmas lights. She ended up breaking her left ulna and her left radial head was broken into five pieces, she also had a severely bruised femur. With her elbow being broken she went to Mayo to have surgery on her broken ulna and radial head, the math department was in a bind with Oien being injured. Solie was asked to come back and be a short term sub until she could make a return. Ms. Oien said, “I was extremely grateful for Mr. Solie to be able to come in and cover my classes for me, I knew my students would be in good hands”.
Since Solie did not have anything planned in December, he wanted to come back and help everybody out. Solie said, “I had already taught all this stuff before and already have lesson plans so I thought I’d help out”. He was excited to be back with the kids and to be teaching again. Fellow math teacher Mr. James Dahlgren said, “It was good to have him back in the building, he’s been a staple of the math department for many years. Many of the students were excited to see him back in the building.”
The pre-calculus class is a part of the CollegeNow program, a program that allows students to earn college credit for high school classes. If the substitute was not a CollegeNow approved instructor, then none of the students would be able to earn college credit for their course. Mr. Solie has taught for the CollegeNow program, so he is one of the few people who can substitute for someone and still allow students to earn college credit.
It was a pleasant surprise to the kids as well as the teachers, many of them thought they would never see him teaching again. Senior Austin Mundt said, “It is fun, he teaches while making fun of us at the same time”. Many students like the way he teaches, he gets the curriculum that is needed to be done while also having a good time teaching it and making kids laugh. Ms. Oien was extremely pleased to have Solie step in for her and to be able to keep her kids eligible for college credit. Solie said, “I enjoyed being back with the kids”. It was great to have Solie back in the building one more time, he can now go back to traveling the world.