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Teaching is a science for Cuskelly -- Trinity instructor retires after 14 years at high school

Darrel Cuskelly has dedicated his teaching career to helping students understand the complexities of science.

Cuskelly is retiring after 14 years as the science teacher at Dickinson Trinity High School. His last teaching day was Friday.

A 1958 graduate of Killdeer High School, Cuskelly said a lot of emphasis was placed on teaching as a career. He graduated from Dickinson State University with majors in chemistry and biology and a minor in mathematics.

I enjoyed those classes. I felt comfortable with them, he said.

Cuskelly went on to earn a masters degree in science at the University of North Dakota. He completed the courses during five summers of study.

At that time, there were a lot of jobs available, he said. I taught the first year at Carson, N.D. I taught 14 years in Killdeer. Then I took a time out and worked for Cenex. The last 14 years, I have been at Trinity.

Ive taught a lot of different classes - geology, physical science, life science, geometry, he said. This year, Im teaching chemistry and physics.

Cuskelly said the basic concepts of chemistry are the same, but the technology of teaching the course has improved.

Weve had our lab renovated about three or four years ago. Thanks to TMI, we have a very nice lab situation, he said.

Cuskelly said many Trinity students take chemistry as a third science requirement. A smaller number of students take physics.

He said students may showcase their knowledge of the sciences through Acalympics competitions and science fairs. He helps students with their science projects by answering questions or directing them to research material.

Cuskelly said the rewards of teaching are knowing he has helped students to learn and to improve themselves.

Ill miss working with the students, being around the students and in the same respect, working with the other staff, he said.

He and his wife Diane, have a daughter Deb Knutson at Killdeer and three grandchildren. After 29 years in the classroom, he has no immediate plans for the future.

Ill take each day as something to look forward to, he said.

His final activities at Trinity included a faculty luncheon May 26 and todays graduation.

Trinitys Ken Keller described Cuskelly as having good rapport with the students and a good command of his classes.

He is just a good teacher and theyre really going to miss that, he said.

Trinity Superintendent Mike Kiedrowski described Cuskelly as a very dedicated educator.

He has a masters degree and has been teaching science for a long time. He simply cares about the kids. Hes a gentleman. Hes a master teacher and were going to miss him, he said.

Teachers in the area of physics and chemistry are at a premium and thats another reason we will miss him.

We wish him well as he enters a new chapter in his life. Hes a man who will stay busy with his hobbies and work around the house. I appreciate his kind personality, Kiedrowski added.