History teacher leaves district | NevadaAppeal.com

History teacher leaves district

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer

Joe Enge, a history teacher at Carson High School who in spring 2005 alleged that the Carson City School District was not providing early American History education in accordance with state standards, is no longer teaching at Carson High School.

Enge met Monday with a federal mediator and school district officials to negotiate a deal for a separation. He said his last day was Friday.

“I’m happy with the results and, as to the separation, I agreed to it,” he said.

He will stay in Carson City with his family and continue running his translation company, Enge Translations, which focuses heavily on translation for Estonian businesses, government and academics.

“Of course, one always, when they leave teaching, will miss the students,” he said. “Just like when students leave at the end of the year, (there is) the pang of realizing you won’t see the kids again.”

He also plans to work for EdWatch Nevada, a group to promote education reform, he said. Through EdWatch, he wants to raise public awareness on education issues and lobby for legislation to reform education. People can read about these goals at http://www.edwatchnevada.com.

“I like Carson,” he said. “And plus with getting involved in local activism, this is the best place to be anyway.”

He is not planning on seeking a teaching position elsewhere.

“I might be out of the classroom, but I’m going to stay involved in education. I think I may make a bigger impact this way.”

Enge was in his fifth year at Carson High School. Previously, he has said that he received a negative performance review at Carson High School because he was a whistleblower. District officials and teachers at the school have said the state standards in American History are being met.

An Internet campaign occurred last fall with hundreds of e-mails being sent to the school district urging pre Civil-War history be taught in the U.S. History class after Chuck Muth, president of Citizen Outreach, brought up Enge’s claims on his Web site. History tests from 2004-05 indicate several history teachers, including Enge, touched on early American history in their classes, and the history department head has commented that those tests were not required to cover the entire semester.

Because of the resolution of Monday’s meeting, Enge said he could not comment whether he felt his allegations had any effect.

“It’s a pleasure teaching the kids in Carson and it’s just time to go off and do something else,” he said.

The official statement released as a result of negotiations says: “On Feb. 27, 2006, the parties met under the auspices of a mediator. Through frank discussion, a meeting of the minds was achieved and parties have agreed to part ways.”

Richard Stokes, associate superintendent of human resources for the school district, said that would be read to Enge’s students to explain his disappearance.

“We’re trying to gear up to have another teacher in there to finish up the school year,” Stokes said.

— Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.