This letter is especially for the Grantsdale students, faculty and parents.
Growing up in rural Nebraska, I attended a two-room school with a total of 32 students. We were only three miles from town, but at that time (1960’s and into the 1970’s) there were numerous country K-8 schools that were close to town. We were fortunate to have two wonderful teachers, one of whom is still alive at 103 yrs and knows me just as well as she did in 1971. Other schools were not so fortunate and had very poor teachers, part of what led to the consolidation of the Blair School District. As a 5th grader, I learned that word – consolidation. It meant I would lose my only two 5th grade classmates, Vince and Dan. Once the transition was made we were to join a 7th grade class of 150 in two years.
I remember my anger, my tears, asking why? why? why? Well, it was the decision of the county school superintendent, Mr. Krantz, and we had no choice; we had to leave our beloved Cumming City School. The last year – my 6th grade year – we were not allowed to put on our annual Christmas Pageant, which angered and frustrated us and did nothing to improve my feelings for Mr. Krantz, whom I blamed for all of this change. There was really nothing that could have been done to stop this or prepare the three of us for the transition to the new school with so many classmates.
I hope you can realize – I especially want the children to know – that at least ONE person out here can sympathize with the anger, sadness, lack of understanding and the hurt of leaving something important and special to you and your entire community.
I am quite sure the Hamilton School Board did not want to make the decision they felt they had to make. Well, I don’t know if Mr. Krantz cared or not, but I suspect he did. However, to this day a part of me is still angry with him!
So as you go off to school this fall, take the wonderful experiences and education you have gained from attending Grantsdale along with you to
Hamilton. Show them what good students you are and how you can be leaders and contribute to your new school and community in a very positive way.
From one much older but still feeling the loss,
Dr. Linda Kauffman