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Carol Perkins: Old School Ways

Previous Column: Where are they now?

By Carol Perkins

Each year as schools open, I think about my years as a student and a teacher. Over fifty years of my life were spent attending school or teaching. All my school days were spent in Metcalfe County, and all but one year when I taught in Barren County was here, too.

Small schools offer a chance for the small population to be involved and recognized from an early age. By high school, many wanted to fly under the radar, but we teachers tried to pull out their talents. That's why if I had the power to make changes in the national educational system, I would push for small schools with small classes.

When I was growing up, Center, Sulphur Well, and Summer Shade had their own elementary schools, and many one-room schools were scattered throughout the county.

In the "town" schools, teachers seldom changed except for retirement or death. They were local and knew the families. Even though the one-room schools were larger in numbers, older kids worked with younger ones, and if a student got "out of line" the parents backed the teacher. One disadvantage was that country school students were not able to play on the regular school teams until high school.

The other county elementary schools were huge sports rivals with the Bluejays of Edmonton Elementary (the town school), and we met other kids with whom we would be attending high school at sporting events. At one of those games was when I first spotted Guy Perkins, Jr. as he played for the Zebras. Other community schools like Hiseville, Sparksville, Breeding, Marrowbone, Park City, Austin Tracy, and the list goes on gave students a sense of belonging. Even today, those who went to the small elementary schools can recall their teachers and their classmates.

Another highlight of going to a small school was knowing all my classmates through the eighth grade. We were in programs together, played on the dirt playground together, and shared classroom activities. By the luck of the draw, my end of the alphabet had one teacher all year. I can visualize each classroom and each teacher.

School memories are lasting and in many ways shaped us. I hope my grandchildren will look back with fond memories and have stories to tell the way my classmates and I do.

Carol's most recent book, based on a true story, The Case of the Missing Ring, is available through Amazon, both paperback and ebook. You can contact her at

This story was posted on 2021-08-06 08:59:35
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