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Our First Year – 19791980

January 6, 2014

We were underway for our first of many great years at Kelly School.  We were called Mrs. T and Mr. T.  Mrs. T had the upstairs room with a beautiful view of the Grand  Teton Mountains  and had 17 students, grades three through six.  I had the lower room with 12 students, grades Kindergarten, first and second.  Before coming to teach at Kelly School, Mrs. T insisted on having the older children.  I agreed realizing I would be taking on a critical responsibility, that of helping five, six, and seven year olds get off to a sold start as they began an eduction that would mean so much in living a wonderful life.  We soon found out that having a tiny two room school meant we were on duty every minute  the only exception being when special teachers came each once a week for art, music, and PE classes with each of our rooms.  The fall weather was great with no rain to make the dirt playground a sea of mud.  Soon the children had the dirt packed solid with all he games we enjoyed.  Come December there was enough snow to start building our ice rink.  I used my truck to roll over the snow trying to pack it down before applying the water.  A garden hose and my sorrel boots made it possible for me to saturate the snow, stomp with my boots one step at a time.  It took about three hours to cover the dirt with wet snow.  The next day I had a hard surface of rough porous ice  After 32 hours of work, most of it after supper each night and a weekend, the ice rink was ready for its first skaters.  Every noon hour the children pulled on her skates and headed for the ice.  They gained  skills quickly and soon many could even skate backwards.  Christmas time was celebrated with a wonderful program the children put on for their parents and grandparents.  Mrs. T’s desks were stacked high against the east wall of her room.  Folding chairs were set up.  What a wonderful night it was.   Applause was most enthusiastic.  Every child’s family was there including many grandparents.  The Kelly School spirit was for real.  The new year, 1980, would hold its own surprises for us.  Check back for the next chapter in our Kelly School saga.

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