A sweet tradition: longtime Linton teacher, coach thanks seniors with coffee and rolls

Published: May. 15, 2023 at 3:49 PM CDT
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LINTON, N.D. (KFYR) - The end of the school year brings many traditions.

In Linton, one long-time teacher has created a sweet tradition just for the senior class.

And while it is a goodbye to the seniors, it’s also become something students and their teacher look forward to all year long.

This is a final exam of sorts. Linton High School teacher Dan Carr requires his senior government class to know all the words to the Star-Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance.

During this last week of school, he takes them outside to test them.

Then, to celebrate their hard work, he treats them to caramel rolls and coffee. His wife bakes the rolls. Mr. Carr makes the coffee.

“It’s way better than any coffee I’ve ever had,” said Linton senior Grant Bosch.

It’s a tradition he started years ago, to say thank you to his students. This year, it’s a little bittersweet. Mr. Carr is retiring at the end of the school year. He’s been teaching for 43 years; 41 of them at Linton High School.

“I just love teaching,” said Carr.

He’s displayed the highlights of the past four decades on a “wall of fame” in his classroom.

“Everything is a memory,” he said.

Memories of school trips, surgeries and losing bingo cards.

“The cheerleaders promised that was a winning bingo card,” he recalled. “All I got was the free space!”

“I know it means a lot to him. He enjoys our class a lot and we enjoy his class too. He’s very close to us,” said Linton senior Paige Hulm.

Carr coaches boys and girls golf and boys basketball for the Lions. This past season, he reached 801 career wins as a basketball coach. The most in North Dakota history.

“He just gives his all and when you have a coach like that you’re going to win games,” said Bosch.

Coaching was the reason he became a teacher.

“I was going to teach so I could coach, but that soon changed,” Carr recalled.

He credits the kids for that change.

“I could have retired 14 years ago and didn’t because we always have such great kids,” he said.

Now, it’s time to close this chapter of his story, in the sweetest way he knows.

Carr also requires his students to learn the words to the Linton school song. He says school pride is just as important as being a proud American.

He says he already regrets retiring but says he won’t be bored — he plans to hunt, fish, golf and attend sporting events.