by Howard Applegate
On June 8, the Class of 2008 will be walking up the aisle to receive their diplomas – all forty-three of them. Not only is this the largest graduating class in Old Paiute High School history, but it is also the highest percentage of freshman to stick out the entire four years. That’s right. One hundred percent of the students who started their freshman year at Old Paiute, and who still live in Wilbur County, are graduating this year.
Student population has boomed in the county these past few years, to about 650 in 2008. That may not seem like a lot, but growth means a host of problems for students, teachers and administrators, including stretched budgets and overcrowded classrooms. The consensus among all concerned seems to be one of relief that the school year is coming to a close.
Benjamin McCarrigle, who is graduating this year, was ecstatic. “I thought I might explode if I had to take one more exam.”
McCarrigle though, said that he will probably attend college over in Bend next year.
Fourth grader, Martine LaPlante, said she too was happy to see summer on its way, “although I’ll miss seeing my friends every day.”
Teachers and administrators agree. Agriculture teacher Ed Plum, who heads the teachers union, said, “I hope the administration comes up with a plan this summer to alleviate some of this pressure. Its not so bad at the High School, but one-through-eight is a mess. If they don’t act, you’re going to have a lot of unhappy teachers next year. This is nuts.”
Asked if he thought the teachers might strike, Plum only repeated, “you’re going to have a bunch of unhappy teachers.”