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Kelly School – A New Challenge

September 13, 2013

My first year of teaching in Jackson Middle School ended with the narrow approval of a bond issue for a new Jackson Hole High School.  Doing most of the leg work for bond issue was time consuming, and I was relieved when it was over and proved successful by just 44 votes.  My second year at the middle school would have a surprise of its own.  The school district was short on classrooms.  The superintendent of schools realized there was space available at the two room Kelly School in the village of Kelly, fifteen miles northeast of the town of Jackson.   The little school had only twelve students. It could easily  handle thirty or forty.  He planned to have students from Moose, Wyoming and the airport/golf course area bussed to Kelly School instead of attending the over crowded Jackson Elementary School.  He knew there could be opposition from parents not wanting their students used to solve enrollment problems and moved to a tiny two room school that lacked the facilities enjoyed by the rest of the schools in the school district.  The superintendent knew he would have to make lots of promises to the parents of the Moose/airport/golf course area students t counter any opposition.  First he decided to promise a remodel of the interior of the two room school.  Next he would promise to build a badly needed playground.  The final promise he made was to assign two master degree teachers to be the staff of the enlarged enrollment.  My wife, Bobbi and I were the two teachers in his plan.  We were called to his office where he made his plan known to us.  This became a huge issue for the two of us.  Should we accept the challenge?  What grades would each of us teach?  Did we want to be isolated from our colleagues?  Would we want to teach three or four grades in each of our classrooms?  Would we want to be on lunch and recess duty everyday?  The superintendent gave us time to think it over.  For a month during the spring of 1979 we wrestled with the decision.  Next blog – Taking the Plunge

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