Glenfield-Sutton Plan Trial Merger


March 24, 1960 - Glenfield and Sutton school districts in a unique gesture of cooperation, this September will combine their schools.

Here is how the merger, planned for one year on a trial basis, will work:

Glenfield will send its expected enrollment of 74 pupils in grades one through six to classes with children from the same grades in Sutton's new $120,000 school. Total number of students in the Sutton school will be 122. This includes Sutton's 48 children and Glenfield's 74.

Sutton to Send 56

Sutton will send its 56 students in grades seven through 12 to Glenfield for classes with pupil from the same grades in the Foster County school. Total enrollment in the upper six grades is expected to be 116, 60 of these from Glenfield.

Basically the reason for the merger is this: new North Dakota school laws require a high school curriculum which neither Sutton or Glenfield alone can provide.

For example, when the laws go into effect in July 1961, every high school in the state must teach general science, biology, chemistry, physics, four years of English, algebra, geometry, three social sciences and a music course.

Requirements Hard to Meet

With teachers and enrollment combined the two districts will be able to meet the state requirements.

Another advantage of the plan is that there will be only one teacher for each grade from one through six. Currently two grades and sometimes three grades are taught in one room.

After the one year trial, voters in the districts would have to approve by a two-thirds majority reorganization into one district. The temporary setup has been given the go-ahead from the state department of public instruction. Glenfield first suggested the plan to Sutton.

The one-year proposal will be of greater financial benefit to Glenfield district. Sutton will pay Glenfield $3,849.27 more in tuition next year than Sutton will be receiving from Glenfield.

During the one year there will be no increase in school taxation in either district, according to Raymond Starks, Glenfield superintendent. If the districts reorganize, the combined assessed valuation would be almost 1.9 million dollars.

Enlarged Faculty for Glenfield School

May 1960 - Glenfield will have an enlarged faculty next year in its high school, largely because increased enrollment brought about by Sutton high school students coming to Glenfield to attend classes next school term.

Glenfield lower grade children are to be transported to Sutton to attend school under terms of an agreement between the two school systems.

New courses planned for next year, Supt. Starks said are physics, mechanical drawing, woodworking shop, home living, art, behind-the-wheel driver training, office practice, vocal music instruction and a complete physical education program for all boys and girls.

Present plans call for the school day to start at 8:45 a.m., and run to 4:00 p.m., with all band and athletic practices to be held during these hours. Some classes will probably be staggered to run through the noon hour, the superintendent said. It is thought that by doing this all children will have an equal opportunity to take part in extra-curricular activities without placing an additional burden on patrons living in the outlying areas, he added.

Source:  Glenfield History 1886 – 1987 Page 126


January 4, 1972 - A meeting was called to order and decided to plan school reunion. After much discussion, LeRoy Johnson was appointed chairman. -Decided to contact all the former students, their families and faculty from 1914 to 1972. A letter was drafted and mailed to all of the teachers and students.

The banquet was held on July 20, 1972, at school gym. Five hundred and eleven attended the banquet which was catered in by Dutch Catering Service, Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Following the banquet music was furnished by Glenfield-Sutton School Band. Then the reunion chairman LeRoy Johnson welcomed the alumni and teachers and friends.

Mrs. Carl Johnson read history of the Glenfield school. The history was written especially for the occasion by Mrs. Doris Bronaugh. The history recounted the development of the school from its beginning as a grade school in 1914, to the present.

Past and present county superintendents Mrs. Helen Thompson, Edna Cusick and Doris Bronaugh were introduced. Lottie Posey, the first Glenfield teacher, was presented with an inscribed brass cup. Glenfield's first graduating class was held in 1930.

Good Humor Prevailed as Hundreds

Came for Glenfield School Event

1972 - If any one thing characterized the Glenfield school reunion, it was laughter.

There were several causes for celebration. The first was the reunion. Its activities filled most of Thursday. The gaiety continued Friday with the Glenfield-Sutton Town and Country Club's Harvest Festival.

A third reason for celebration was the 60th anniversary of both Glenfield and Sutton. Both were founded in 1912, when the Great Northern Railroad laid the tracks of the Surrey Cutoff.

Formal activities did not begin until the banquet but the reuniting of friends and classmates was taken up by the first arrivals - some of whom pulled into Glenfield days before the banquet.

A scene often repeated was the meeting of people who looked at each others' faces, then glanced at the buttons and then looked up again with heightened interest. "You're not.?!" was heard asked many times in wonderment. And when recognition finally dawned, the exclamations of surprise and pleasure usually sounded something like: "My gosh! I wouldn't have known you from a bale of hay!"

Overheard in the hallway: "I'm going back man. I didn't even recognize my old girl friend."

Rows of white covered tables stretched the length of the floor as the gymnasium was the only room in Glenfield large enough to hold a banquet for more than 500 people. It was barely big enough as all the seats were taken.

Following the meal and music by the Glenfield-Sutton stage band, reunion chairman Leroy Johnson welcomed the alumni and friends. He opened the program with several jokes - a lighthearted note that was sustained by all following speakers.

The presentation of awards began with recognition for the first teacher in the Glenfield school, Lottie Posey. Leroy Johnson's introduction was simple and appropriate: "Everybody knows her - Lottie Posey." Miss Posey was the first teacher hired in Glenfield in 1914. She received an inscribed brass cup.

Awards also went to members of first graduating classes. A member of the first eighth grade class, Mrs. Agnes (Hendrickson) Pitch, was honored.

Glenfield High School did not graduate a class of seniors until 1930. It had not been a four-year high school until two years previously - Glenfield students had finished their high school education elsewhere.

All five members of the first graduating class were present at the reunion. They are: Hazel (Martin) Leininger, Sutton; Elva (Hendrickson) Silliman, Park River; Clara (Halvorson) Michaelson, Fargo; Dorothy (Dunbar) Edlund and Margaret (Johnson) McDaniel, both of Glenfield.

The graduate coming from the farthest distance was Stella (Sharpe) Cooley of Anchorage, Alaska. The youngest graduate was Glen Walen.

The reunion merged with the Harvest Festival Friday as hundreds of additional people flocked into Glenfield. Dutch's Catering Service of Aberdeen, which had also supplied the banquet meal, was on hand with enough beef sandwiches to feed the picnic crowd.

The day ended with a dance at the gym with music by the Burleson Orchestra of Kensal. When the orchestra came to the end of its final set, the dancers were in no mood to quit. A hat was passed through the crowd, came back with $70 in it and the band played on.

First Glenfield Grades 1-2 Teacher

Remained, Now It's Lottie's Town

1972 - Sixty-five years ago she was the young schoolmarm from Wisconsin - and now 84-year old Lottie Posey stands on the corner of the near-deserted main street and talks about "her town."

She is still flushed with the excitement and warmth of a Glenfield school reunion and celebration that brought back more than 500 graduates the day before. All, it seemed, knew Lottie Posey.

And well they might. Because it was this silver-haired lady who taught first and second grade when they first opened the school here in 1914.

"I didn't have to ask too many who they were," Lottie says. "I recognized most of them." It was for sure they all knew Lottie.

It was back in 1906, that Lottie came here with her parents from Wisconsin. Starting in 1907, she taught in rural areas around Glenfield. Then in 1914, they hauled an old rural school in and opened up the Glenfield school. "There were 37 students and three teachers," Lottie recalls. "I had the first and second grades."

That isn't all she did. In 1912, she was commissioned postmaster here and held that post until 1958.

How can you teach and be a postmaster at the same time? "There wasn't much doing," Lottie smiles. "There's only 135 people here now and there weren't any more then."

She's a gentle gal with an infectious smile - but don't let that fool you. She's also a hardnosed independent. Says Leroy Johnson, co-chairman of the big celebration, "Lottie's been running things in this town for 50 years."

Lottie doesn't deny it. "I've had my say," she admits. "Hit or miss." She owns the old bank building that now stands vacant. And she owns the house that she has lived in alone since 1943.

She never married. Why not, Lottie? You sure must have had some offers. She turns on the smile and answers. "Well, I've seen some I couldn't get along with and some I wasn't sure about, but didn't want to take a chance. Besides, I was always independent."

Yes indeed. A postmaster and school teacher doesn't really need a husband for security.

Back in the days when Lottie taught, you didn't need much training. Lottie's formal education ended in the eighth grade. "You didn't need anything else then," she says. And it is obvious she thinks that is sufficient. "I notice," she says, "that the kids don't turn out any better nowadays."

As proof, she shows you her old bank building. It is in great condition except for the broken windows. "Vandals," Lottie sniffs. "They break everything. Kids never used to do that."

At the big program at the school, they let Lottie know they remembered her. It was a wing-ding of a weekend and Lottie says, "I don't know of any town that ever had a better one."

It pleased her, made her prouder than ever of "her town."

Lottie, still a correspondent for the Foster County Independent at Carrington, isn't ready to concede that her town is declining. "Our school is a big drawing card," she says, "and so are our elevators."

Lottie Posey puts it this way, "It's easy to plant a young tree - but not an old one. I have to stay."

You bet she does. This is still her town and, hit or miss, she's gonna have her say.

Source:  Glenfield History 1886 – 1987 Page 127


McHenry School Considers Trial

Merger With G-S

January 30, 1980 - Preliminary discussions are underway within the McHenry School District for a possible trial-merger with either Glenfield-Sutton or Binford.

Although McHenry voters have not yet decided if there will be a merger for the 1980-81 school term, less in state foundation aid payments due to declining enrollment and inflated operating costs have forced the district to look to alternatives for operation.

McHenry superintendent Dan Buckles said merger discussions were instigated not only by budgetary problems but as an attempt to improve curriculums.

With 90 students in grades 1-12, 40 in high school and 50 in grades 1-8, elementary grades are doubled up, Buckles said. "We have a good staff," he said, but because of the projected financial situation, the staff of 10 may have to be reduced. Buckles also teaches a science class.

McHenry's situation is not unique. Numerous rural North Dakota schools are feeling the pangs of increased operating costs, specifically the 50 percent increase in gas and fuel this year, and declining enrollment.

Earlier this year McHenry and the Grace City district talked of a trial merger but Grace City voters didn't appear interested and the discussion never got off the ground, Buckles said.

At this point, discussions include keeping the McHenry school open for use. If a trial-merger with Glenfield-Sutton is in the future, grades one through eight for both districts may attend school in McHenry with Glenfield-Sutton housing senior high school students. If that doesn't sit right with district voters, six grades may be held in McHenry and the remaining six in Glenfield-Sutton.

"All our rooms are in use now," Buckles said. Built in 1940, the building is in good shape, he said. If merged, teachers would no longer be responsible for more than one grade. As it stands now the elementary grades are doubled up in McHenry, and in Glenfield-Sutton grades one and two, three and four, and five and six are together. Grades seven and eight are run with the high school.

Realizing that the situation faced by McHenry is shared by many other state schools Buckles said, "I hope the state department will start helping the smaller schools."

This is not the first time McHenry and Glenfield-Sutton have talked of merging, said Glenfield-Sutton board president Herman Johnson. A four-year board member, he said a merger was discussed about five years ago "but it never came about."

Glenfield and Sutton merged in 1960. At that time both schools had about the same enrollment. This year the Sutton school building which had housed grades 1-4 for the past six years, was closed. When the schools first merged, grades 1-6 were in the school.

Closing down the Sutton building "was done because of operating cost, space and teacher utilization," Johnson said.

"It's difficult. What's happening here is common to all North Dakota schools, except those where there's coal and oil development. Their problem is

not enough space. Out here we have no coal, no oil and not enough students."

"Merging between small towns is a tough deal," Johnson stated. "In small towns, no one wants to give up something."

Glenfield-Sutton, McHenry

Agree to Trial Merger

February 27, 1980 - McHenry and Glenfield-Sutton, on a motion from both school boards, agreed at a Friday, February 22, meeting to go for a trial-merger for the 1980-81 school term.

Both schools are suffering the effect of inflation, escalating fuel costs and less money in state foundation aid payments due to declining enrollment. For both, it could have been a case of increasing mill levies or closing, but residents, for the most part, and school boards decided a trial-merger was the answer.

"Neither school likes to see a merger," said McHenry Superintendent Dan Buckles. "Schools just don't have enough money. This will only be a temporary answer if more money is not made available for education."

"We're hoping the savings in less teachers will put us in the black," Buckles said. McHenry, if it had continued to operate as it did last year, was expecting about $12,000 less in state foundation aid payments.

McHenry won't be receiving additional state foundation aid, Buckles said, "but we'll have less teachers." State foundation aid payments are so "iffy" that it's hard to determine at this time how much the school will be getting, he said.

By trial-merging, three to four teaching positions can be eliminated between the two schools. Drummond said both schools have received one resignation "and we'll still have to cut two positions." There may be a need, he said, to hire an additional elementary teacher.

The schools will share one superintendent, Buckles said. Also, McHenry and Glenfield-Sutton high school students will participate together as one team for sports.

For some, Drummond said, "it may mean another eight or nine mile bus ride. But that's something that has to come if the schools are going to continue to operate."

The trial-merger between McHenry and Glenfield-Sutton "will help for a couple years. There still has to be something done in the legislature in the way of state foundation aid," Drummond said.

State Tourney Time for Demons

1980 - There will be no classes at Glenfield-Sutton high school this Thursday and Friday.

The faculty and nearly all the kids will be gone. There just may not be any business in Glenfield this Thursday and Friday either, the people will all be gone.

Everyone, well nearly everyone in that small Foster County hamlet to the east, will be making a long-awaited trip to Bismarck. For almost everyone, the trip is a first.

All eyes in the community (and area and county) will be on the Glenfield-Sutton Demons basketball team which last Wednesday earned a berth in the North Dakota State Class B basketball tournament.

And, to add to the excitement, it is the first time ever that a Demon team has made it to the State classic.

Coach Dewy Heckaman's team defeated New Rockford for the third time this season in the Region 4 final and for the 45 kids at that school, their parents and a host of other Demon followers, an early-season dream came true.

There's no school Thursday or Friday because Superintendent Noel Drummond already had those two days off figured in the school calendar for the year. The days are circled larger now, though.

"We usually set those two days aside each year for those who want to go to the State Tournament," Drummond said. "They mean more now than ever," he added.

Drummond, who admitted he had never been so nervous at a Regional tournament (and the Demons have had their share in the past few years) could only come up with few words at his office at the school Thursday afternoon.

"We all wanted this one for Dewy .the kids, all the teachers and myself especially," he said in between phone calls asking for tickets and room reservations at Bismarck.

"You know with just 45 kids in school here we will be the smallest school represented and that's an accomplishment," Drummond added.

For coach Heckaman, in his ninth season with the Demons, it marks the first time in his coaching career that a team he has coached will be playing in a State tournament, too. His clubs at Beach, North Dakota (where he graduated from high school) for three seasons failed to make the State.

But, Dewy participated in the State as a player one time…"in 1963, against a Norlin Nelson-coached team from New Rockford that beat us 62-58."

The Demons, who under Heckaman have averaged 16 wins per season the past nine years, go into Thursday's opening game with a 22-4 record where they meet a 23-1 Berthold club at 1 p.m. "I like that first one right off the bat," Dewy said, "it doesn't give the kids time to sit around and get nervous while waiting to play."

The Demons practice Wednesday noon at the Civic Center and will attend the banquet for players in the evening.

"There's no question about it.  I've been looking forward to this trip from the beginning of the season," Heckaman said.

And so were a lot of Demon players, parents and a host of fans.

And that's why most everything in eastern Foster County will be closed this weekend.

Source:  Glenfield History 1886 – 1987 Page 128


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