AEL Instructor to Retire After 13 Years

December 17, 2020 | Campus News

Don Boettcher is hanging up his hat after 13 years as an instructor with East Central College’s Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) Program.

Boettcher, 87, taught college and career readiness classes. That Includes assisting students who did not have a high school diploma prepare for the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), formerly called the GED.

According to Alice Whalen, AEL director, Boettcher cared deeply about his job as an instructor and each student he taught.

“Don has adapted to many changes in the adult education program over the years, but his care and support for the students has never changed,” she said, “He has always shown the greatest care and concern for their success.”

His AEL teaching career began after he got a call from ECC in 2007 to teach GED classes.

The college was offering high school equivalency classes in the Gerald area and needed someone nearby to teach evening classes.

Boettcher taught HiSET prep courses two nights a week at New Life Tabernacle in Gerald. He taught students a variety of subjects to help prepare them for the test.

After teaching students in the Gerald area for a few years, Boettcher taught at the Sullivan class site.

About Boettcher

Boettcher and his wife, MaryJane, live in Sullivan. He is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. The couple moved to Missouri in 1965.

He had served in the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s, and later he worked as a market researcher for a Canadian-owned brewing company. When the couple moved to Missouri Boettcher was a market planning manager, and at one point he worked at an advertising firm.

AEL Program

ECC’s AEL program offers several programs to help adult learners with workforce training skills, English Language Acquisition, Communication and Customer Service Certificate Programs and much more.

AEL instructors must have a bachelor’s degree, pass a fingerprint background check and complete training for certification once hired.

Volunteers with the program must complete a Missouri background check and complete virtual training with the East Central Area Literacy Council.

To learn more about the AEL Program, people may visit

Area residents interested in becoming instructors or classroom assistants may call 636-584-6533 or email