Nightly Reflections – “The Little School That Could”

The View From My Room – Year Five – #3

            Maybe about six years ago, on a Homecoming Friday at school, I was preparing to emcee the Homecoming Pep Fest/Coronation that afternoon in the gym. I must have been in a real “homecoming” mood, complete with rah-rah and sis-boom-bah spirit. I wanted to do something different and special. Since I was always the voice of all the pep fests as well as the man in charge of the Homecoming week, it gave me certain liberties that I exercised with this school gathering.

To cut to the chase, I wrote a little story to read in front of the entire student body. On a Friday afternoon. Of Homecoming Week. Not sure what made me think I could pull that off? The kids never disappointed me any of the times we gathered in that gym over all the years I had been doing pep fests; I hoped they wouldn’t disappoint me as I read the story to them. And they came through as always. The story was about our role in District 196. The story explained how we came first. Then came Apple Valley, followed by Eagan and ultimately Eastview. The story was seemingly quick but apparently effective; one adult wrote me later to tell me my story made him cry. I thought to myself, What would his reaction have been if I had taken time to write a really good and thorough story about how we came to be?

I don’t remember how long I’ve had this desire, but I’ve had it for some years. It probably surfaced after Eastview opened. I wanted to tell the story of Rosemount High School. I arrived six years after Apple Valley High School opened, and the split into two schools was still a painfully raw topic for the folks in my new school where I’d live out my career. I was surprised by their emotions and had no comprehension as to how one school splitting in two could leave such emotional scars. However, I was there for both the Eagan and Eastview splits, and suddenly, I understood what my older colleagues had been feeling after AVHS opened.

Purely and simply, we have a story to tell. With the 100th graduation coming to RHS this June of 2017, I felt like this was a great time to do so. With Andre heading toward graduation himself from the UM, I was aware it was probably now or never. I tossed the idea to him, and he was totally on board!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s our pleasure to share with you our news about which we are so dad-blamed excited! Beginning on November 1st, we will be selling our third book in the “…in Rosemount” trilogy. This one is not connected to a holiday. It’s connected to the graduation anniversary. We call this one, The Little School That Could: Celebrating One Hundred Years of Students…in Rosemount! We have had so much fun collaborating on this book, as with the other two, I can’t begin to articulate it. Andre is a brilliant artist. He demonstrates this brilliance in his work with watercolor. He thinks outside the box. Our third adventure has been my favorite. We’ve had fun not just working on producing a book we believe the Rosemount community will fall in love with, but we have so enjoyed learning about our school’s history as well.

The story takes the shape of the children’s tale, The Little Engine That Could. Our narrator is Rosie; she is the essence of what RHS has been, even before it was RHS. Did you know that in 1918, Rosemount graduated its first four graduates? The next year, two more graduated. They did so from a house on Hy. 3, somewhere in the vicinity of where Kwik Trip is now. Then they taught from a building we now know as the old middle school. That was called Rosemount School. Finally, the school in the valley was born. We believe there’s a story to be told, and we have told it in our third and newest book.

Rosemount Floral will begin selling these Tuesday, November 1st. We wanted to wait for Halloween to end before kicking off our sales. The first two books will be available there as well. There will be signings around town but at the time of this column, those haven’t been nailed down. Stay tuned. The fun’s just beginning. We sure hope you enjoy it as much as we did writing and illustrating it for all 100 years of graduates and their kinfolk. We think it’s going to be something special. We think it will make a great keepsake of the celebration that’s beginning to build.

Stay tuned. I’ll have more news in the weeks ahead. As they say, “…to be continued.”

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2 thoughts on “Nightly Reflections – “The Little School That Could”

  1. I’m so excited for ‘my’ Andre with this next book and all that he has learned in doing this. I’d like to be at a ‘signing’, but as I live two hours away, I’ll play it by ear. Grandma Pat

    • There is no doubt about it. He has grown in the three books. He’s attacking challenges I don’t think he felt he ever could when he was still a junior in high school. It’s been such a fun collaboration. We missed not working with each other last year, but this spring, summer and now fall, it’s been a ton of fun again. And this ride is only just beginning! I hope you LOVE the book as much as we do!

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