Goodrich public school to close its doors for good

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 9:06 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Rural education is becoming increasingly difficult to access as more North Dakotans move to larger cities and towns. In Goodrich, the school will close its doors for good because of declining classroom populations.

Goodrich’s twelve students performed in the school’s final spring concert Tuesday night.

“We don’t have any businesses left in town, the school, basically, is the hub. We’re financially sound, it’s not a financial problem that’s why we’re closing. It’s an enrollment situation,” said Rodney Scherbenske, school administrator of Goodrich Public School.

Handprints from generations of students that came before them line the walls of Julie Bender’s classroom.

“You know, there’s nurses and doctors and vets and so many cool kids that came out of this school,” said Julie Bender, teacher at Goodrich Public School.

One of those kids? Our very own Andrew Anderson, who works as a Technical Media Producer for KFYR-TV and KMOT-TV. He’s grateful for the lessons he learned at Goodrich.

“Growing with the lessons of being nice to everyone, just being humbling and being kind, and, again, to know your neighbor and community as well, was a nice thing to learn,” said Anderson.

As for Bender, the school closing has her reflecting on her more than 40 years as a teacher and student in this building.

“I feel really blessed to have had this experience, to have been here this many years,” said Bender.

For the last twenty years, the handprints on Julie’s walls have belonged to the sixth-grade class. This year, she’s considering including all the students in the school, grades Kindergarten through six.

Rodney Scherbenske says the kids currently at the school plan to attend McClusky this fall, which is about 20 miles west of Goodrich.

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