Hazard Public School

Above photo taken Sept. 14, 2001 during Hazard school's "Tepee Talks" program where students had opportunity to learn and gain appreciation for Native American heritage. The community was invited to an evening program that was enlightening to all. Students and residents alike learned first hand about Native American cooking, hide tanning, fur identification, putting up tepees, making corn husk dolls and much more. In addition, an extensive collection of Native American items were on display; folks participated in Native American games; and Native American dances were performed. Students enjoyed the day's events, as well as the opportunity to spend the night camping out in the tepees. The program was provided by Mr. and Mrs. James Gaster of Indianola, Nebraska.

History: Records indicate the Hazard School District came into existence on October 14, 1882. The first District #32 school meeting was held in the home of Mr. H.C. Hobert. The school's original sod building, located east of town, was eventually replaced with a one story building around the turn of the century. In the early 1920s (during the era of Hazard's heightened population), most of the area's country schools offered K-8th grade education and the need for a high school was realized. In 1924 an addition was built and the first class of Hazard High School graduates received their diplomas in 1925. The fires that destroyed businesses, the economic depression, and the extensive drought that accompanied the first half of the century contributed to a shrinking population and the eventual closing of the high school. The building was eventually torn down in 1965.*

Today, the school continues its vital role for our youth in grades K - 6, and is the only Class I rural school in the county. Individual attention, solid values, and learning opportunities both in and outside the classroom mark the educational dynamics within our school.

*Taken from the book "Wheels of Time: A Centennial History of Hazard, Nebraska" -Ola Criffield, editor


Reprinted from The Ravenna News, 5-5-99

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A Time for Learning...

By Imelda Gressley
  
It was Thursday morning April 29. The students at Hazard School were busy practicing their lines to a rap play to be presented the next day, Friday, April 30. The stage was set. The background stated the theme: "Our Work Is Nothing But the "Berry Best!" A desk, computer, globe, and bookcase completed the schoolroom setting. The rap play was entitled "Education Rocks! A Celebration of Learning."
   Mrs. Sandra Kelley of Litchfield, a dedicated music teacher for 30 years at Hazard, was prompting the students and rapping out the beat to the recitations. The students, sixth grader Colt Rager, third grader Matthew Long, second graders Candace Long and Evan Wilson, and kindergarten pupil Jana Wilson, recited the messages in rap of "education is cool, I like school, knowledge is power, in the world in which we live today." A puppet play on "surfing the net" was presented along with the rap play. This tied in with the latest learning techniques in education today. Evan Wilson was the student at the computer, Jana Wilson was the guitar player, and the other three students controlled the puppets from behind the stage. Individual performances and duets were performed by the students on the piano, flutophones, and the cornet. The play finale ended with a rap stating "Never stop learning. We're the best we can be!
   The next night after the performances, Mrs. Bernadine Bauer, a sixteen year teacher at Hazard School, presented certificates to sixth grader Colt Rager to be promoted to the seventh grade next year and to kindergarten pupil Jana Wilson promoted to the first grade. Awards in reading were given to Candace Long and to Matthew Long in math. Evan Wilson received the "Student Ambassador" award. Mrs. Bauer said "Whenever we needed something, Evan always would see to it that we got it."
   Over the past fifteen years, Hazard School has participated in Book-It awards. These were also given out to the qualifying students. Sponsoring these awards are the "Pizza Hut for Commitment to Education." Their goal is to develop a positive, enthusiastic attitude toward reading. The students set their own goals each month and then report the number of books read and a summary to the teacher.
   While visiting with the students, I found that they were excited and looking forward to having their moms and dads coming to the program and then viewing the rooms to show them what they've accomplished during the school year. Artwork was displayed on the walls of the school for parents to view. Sandy Martin of Pleasanton is the part-time art teacher.
   A Christmas program was presented in December with the theme of the play "Grampa's Trunk of Christmas Treasures." Mrs. Kelley supplied the antique trunk. The children pulled out treasures from Grandpa's past. Music tied in to this theme. Another recent activity presented at the Hazard School was the fifth and sixth grade class from Litchfield School. The Litchfield students provided the presentation: "How Wet is Our Planet." Teacher Jo Russell directed the class presentation which was also given at the Children's Groundwater Festival on March 23rd. The Hazard students enjoyed the activity.
   Hazard School is now the only Class I rural school in Sherman County. They are primarily affiliated with Ravenna Schools and also with Litchfield School. Hazard School might be small in number but it is big on education.


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