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Raising enough money, at last!

March 4, 2013
With the bond issue for the new high school passing by just 44 votes out of over 2200, the school superintendent advised me to keep a low profile and stay out of sight for a while.  He said I was loved by half of the voters and hated by the other half.  I did stay out of sight as much as possible, but at a meeting concerning education one of the county’s large land owners and a town official gave me a shove as we stood in the hallway after the meeting.  Next day, he called to say he was sorry probably because I had grounds for pressing charges.

It turned out that the bond issue would fall short of providing enough money to finish the new high school.  The bond issue was limited by state law and no more could be put on the issue. The next project was to find more money.  We turned to our local AM radio station, KSGT, and had a fund raising radio-thon on a Saturday morning.  People were very generous and called the station all morning to pledge their gifts.  We raised $250,000.  Still that was not enough, so the school district appealed to the State Land Board and received another million dollars.  When the high school was finished, the whole building cost less than some single family homes in our valley.

After that 1978-79 school year my wife, Bobbi, was hired to teach fifth graders in the town elementary school.  The principal who said he did not hire older teachers was no longer around to stand in the way of the hiring a great experienced teacher.  With the bond issue behind me, I now had time to complete the research and write my first children’s book.  The 1978-79 school year was less hectic, but the spring of 1979 would see everything change.  Once again the superintendent of schools ask me to come to his office for a meeting.  Right away I wondered what momentous plan he had for me this time.  It would end up being one of the greatest challenges of not only my life but of the lives of my whole family.  It would be all consuming, full of outright battles, full of joys, full of successes, and full of opportunities to do wonderful things for students.  Be back with more soon.

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