Goodrich Public Schools closes middle and high school; last senior class receives diplomas

Published: May. 24, 2020 at 3:01 AM CDT
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Schools across the country are celebrating the Class of 2020. But one graduation in Sheridan County is bitter-sweet for the community. Four generations of graduates honored the place where they received their education.

This is the final chord for Goodrich Public School, as a piano teacher plays for incoming graduates.

For 101 years, students filled this building. Graduates from the Class of 2020 will be the last students to receive a high school diploma from Goodrich High.

"It's really fulfilling to see the teachers again and the community members and seeing us all gather together for one last time, it's really memorable," said Steichen.

Maria Steichen, the class valedictorian, is one of only three students, along with her sister, in her graduating class. Her mother, grandmother and Great-grandmother all walked the same steps before. Her great-grandmother, in the Class of 1940, delivered a special recorded message to the graduates during the ceremony.

"And I was always have been a part of purple and gold. I feel full honor say I have two great granddaughters for the final, last graduates of good 'ole Goodrich High," said Steichen's great-grandmother.

But through the tears, a new chapter for next year's high school students begins, they will continue their education at McClusky High School or another nearby school.

"It will be sad but in a way it's just new memories for other kids going to a different school so hopefully it ends on a positive note," said Steichen.

An upbeat note and the memories of Goodrich High, will be passed on to future generations.

Goodrich Public Schools superintendent, Rodney Scherdenske said the school board decided to close the middle and high school after hearing input from parents for more than 20 years. Kindergarten through fifth grade will continue learning in the same building.