I remember my first day of school in 1963 almost as if it were yesterday instead of over 50 years ago. My parents and I drove in from our farm north of Traer. It was the last year for the Traer-Clutier Community School District. There was a large green lawn both on the Sixth Street (north) side of the school as well as on the Walnut Street (west) side. I always entered the school via the big door on the north side even though the main door was on Walnut Street. That was also the last school year when the official address 605 Walnut Street was truly correct. Many a visitor including prospective teachers for the next half century were to wonder why the school in Traer located at 605 Walnut Street did not have even one door on the Walnut Street side of the building.
In the morning, the kindergarten farm kids rode the school bus like everyone else into Traer for a morning session. We rode the same school bus back home before lunch. The kindergarten kids from town came in the afternoon. They had to walk to school just like all of the other town kids. They also had only a half day session.
My kindergarten class witnessed one of the biggest changes ever to our school. It occurred right before our eyes. A modern elementary school was built right outside our window and Mrs. Ash periodically took us outside to watch the bulldozers and construction workers. We knew that the following year (1964-65) our classroom would be in the new school. I do not recall if we realized that the school would have a new name too North Tama County Community School District.
This photo of the Traer Public School was taken from the scrapbook of Mayme Chalupnik, Traer High School Class of 1936. It shows the expansive lawn to the west of the building. The elementary school addition constructed during the 1963-64 school year forever changed this view.
This means that North Tama has reached the half century mark. This milestone is a chance to reflect on an academic institution that has shaped the lives of hundreds of young people from our communities Buckingham, Clutier, Dinsdale and Traer. There are also farm kids with Dysart, Elberon, Reinbeck, and Toledo addresses that must be included in our school's history too.
Additionally through open enrollment, students with a Hudson address have added to our school's greatness. I do not know of any families with a Gladbrook mailing address that have attended North Tama. However, one family in the North Tama district with a Traer address had a Gladbrook phone number at one time. Another family with a Traer address currently lives in the Gladbrook-Reinbeck district but open enrolls their kids to North Tama.
Many foreign exchange students have attended our high school over these past 50 years. Their contributions help make a North Tama education a world class experience.
Do you have a fond memory of North Tama that you would like to share? A group of volunteers is looking to celebrate our school's accomplishments and history. Robert Young who is a current school board member has volunteered to help coordinate these efforts. We want to hear from you!
Robert Young's email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org