Volume 123, Number
Maddock native retires after 41 years teaching
BY ALLAN TINKER McLean County Journal Turtle Lake, ND
Few people get to have as much satisfaction out of their life’s chosen work as Carol (Solheim) Ravnaas received. From the age of five, when she told her mother she wanted to be either a movie star or a teacher, she knew what she wanted to do. With her mother Myrtle discouraging her from the movie star idea, Carol started her lifelong involvement with teaching small children how to become good citizens, as well as good students.
An only child of Myrtle and Carl Solheim, Carol grew up in Maddock, graduating from high school (Benson County Agricultural Training School, AKA the Bobcats) there. Her parents ran the Gambles store in that community.
After high school, Carol attended Concordia College, then went to Minot State Teachers College (now University), as she was told it was a good place to obtain her "standard" certificate for teaching. After receiving her two-year teaching certificate, she taught first grade in Great Falls, Mont. and second grade in Minot at the Bel Air School. She continued with summer school at MSU and received her degree in elementary education from May-ville State Teachers College.
She married Lui in 1961 and they taught three years together in the Westhope School, he in science and she in first and second grades. The couple had met in the Lutheran Student Association at MSU when they were both students.
Her husband continued his education, earning a master’s degree in chemistry and administration from NDSU and UND, after they were married. In 1965 they moved to Turtle Lake where she has taught for 36 years, receiving her recognition plaque from the school this year, after deciding to retire. She has taught a total of 41 years.
The couple has two children, Debra (Rob) Forward, a fifth grade teacher in Bismarck, and Jon, a credit analyst with Starion Financial in Bismarck.
For their leisure time now, they relax by going for a drive, or watching a romantic comedy or perhaps some mystery on television. Music is part of their lives also, with Carol a pianist for high school events at her home school, as well as a former saxophonist with the Concordia Concert band. They belong to Trinity Lutheran Church and Carol is also a member of the local study club.
She reads "real stuff," many magazines, cooks, cleans, arranges flowers and is interested in new teaching ideas and techniques, even in retirement.
Carol enjoys visiting with people. "I like to find out what other people think and what they are doing," linking their friends with people she knows through these personal explorations. She started her long and sustaining relationship with the Turtle Lake teaching and school staff when she taught kindergarten in the spring and third grade, then second grade when Carol Sundby went to England. When Mary Love retired from third grade, Carol permanently took over that position. Lui also was at the local school as the Turtle Lake High School principal.
School children haven’t changed, although the numbers in the classes have. From her early years with 32 children in her first grade class in Great Falls ("I don’t know how I did it, but you are young and inexperienced and you just do what you have to do") to the much smaller classes of today with declining North Dakota rural school populations, the children have stayed the same. "Perhaps they are not as shy as several years back," she smiles. Carol adds, "I really feel blessed to have been a teacher. I baby sat a lot and just enjoy being around kids. It has never been like some who are in professions they don’t like; I am so appreciative of a life I really, really enjoyed.
"I heard a health professional tell us at a seminar that too many workers can’t change what they do and end up with health problems from the stress. It is part of what we need to do, to help the kids get to know what is out there to choose from."
"It is fun to see kids in the fall come in and to see how they change through the year with me, with their parents’ help and the child’s own enthusiasm. Some chapters in the subjects are not as interesting to some students as others, but they all try to learn, they never groan when they get a lot of work. They work alone or with a partner, and they never say ‘why so much to do?’ They like partnering.
"One time, when it was so very, very hot, a little guy in social studies class raised his hand. ‘Why can’t we do art?’ Not now, I told him.
Then he asked again, and I thought, ‘Why not? It is so very hot.’ So, we had art." Carol laughed at the memory.
There were no bad subjects but reading and creative writing subjects were Carol’s favorites.
"There are several parts in the reading process, but the one I particularly enjoy is discussing the story and asking questions about the story and author to get the children to think before they answer. This helps the child to learn to think and express him or herself, which is what education is all about. It is also important to ask children their opinions on different subjects so they know we value what they think. When a teacher approaches each subject with enthusiasm and lets the student know you are interested in what will be discussed, they will catch your attitude," added Carol.
Carol hopes that parents will continue to be involved in their child’s school life, with homework and in just helping them achieve in school. "Most parents do take this role seriously and they are to be commended for doing so."
For her retirement, Carol has made no plans. "I like to clean so I have plenty to do. It will just be month by month. I broke my ankle last fall and decided I should quit while I was still feeling good. I just decided I had a good career, but it was hard to do. I will miss the camaraderie of the teachers; it has been my whole adult life, the classroom. Everyone here has been supportive and good. I will miss the whole staff, and especially, the children.
Band gets funds
The Devils Lake Area Foundation recently awarded grants to several area non-profit organizations. The Leeds High School band was the recipient of one of those grants. The funds will be used to help purchase a timpani set. Pictured are Devils Lake Area Foundation committee member Rodger Haugen, left, with Lucia Jacobson, Leeds High School band director.
Class holds 50-year reunion
The BCATS Class of 1956 held a reunion July 2 at Maddock. Class members and teachers present were, left to right, back row, Clem Leier, Neil Knatterud, Gary Olson, Lawrence Walker, Dennis Wold, Fred Bingham, Daniel Vetter and David Holje. Third row: Julin Hagen, Gary Gilbertson, Norma (Stadum) Schmidt, Alva (Nelson) Stoa, Darla (Guskjolen) Hagen, Yvonne (Christianson) Finley, Wayne Liudahl and teacher Gerald Wagner. Second row: Allen Lysne, George Howard (Lysne), Claudine (Woyen) Knatterud, teacher Allen Rudel, Dale Halvorson and teacher Clarence Unruh. Front row: Jean (Lerwick) Camp, Phyllis (Olson) Carrigan, Allen Norheim, Diane (Lynner) Smith and Betty (Engebretson) Nottestad. Not pictured but attending were Gyneth (Grondahl) Sheets, Norma (Bergrud) Kolstad and teacher Bill Raaen. The class had a float in the parade, an open house in the afternoon and a banquet and program in the evening. Participating in the program were Neil Knatterud, David Holje, Julin Hagen, Gary Olson, Gary Gilbertson, Jean (Lerwick) Camp, Allen Norheim, Bill Raaen, Gerald Wagner, Clarence Unruh, Allen Rudel, Alva (Nelson) Stoa and Claudine (Woyen) Knatterud. The meal was catered by Maddock Caf? & Lanes. There were 35 graduates in the Class of 1956 and two have died. Twenty-six students and four teachers attended.
Grand Marshal Firemann Legreid of Bismarck was chauffeured by his son-in-law, Jim Bukelic at the parade in Maddock on July 2. Firemann was a plumber in Maddock for many years. Due to an oversight, this photo was not included with the Maddock Independence Day parade photos, which were published in the Farmers Press on July 5.
Crop tour held
Dean Markestad and AgriPro Wheat sponsored a research plot tour south of Maddock on July 17. Approximately 50 farmers and agribusinessmen attended. Left to right are Leo Sayler of Farm Credit Services in Devils Lake, Dan Birkeland of Sheyenne, Lane Jacobson of Esmond and Sam Ongstad of Harvey.
Finding out about the best varieties from AgriPro are, left to right, Ed Schmid of Minnewaukan, Leo Sayler and Pat Feist of Feist Soil Testing in Minnewaukan.
Team takes third
The Maddock Babe Ruth team took third place at the Quad County Babe Ruth Tournament in Harvey July 19-22. The team defeated Carrington No. One 8-4, lost to Dakota Prairie 14-4, defeated Carrington No. Two 18-12, defeated Carrington No. One 10-6 and lost to New Rockford/Sheyenne 12-1. Caleb Backstrom is the coach. Assistant coaches are Clark Slater, Jordan Backstrom and Paul Rice. Priscilla Backstrom is team manager. The City of Maddock and the Active Women of Maddock provided financial support. Left to right, back row, are Ben Backstrom, Andy Backstrom, John Sears, Brennan Eyl, Jordan Smith and Coach Caleb Backstrom. Middle row: Justin Streifel, Jason Smith, Noah Engels and JD Schmid. Front row: Levi Slater and Beau Buehler.
Pranke takes first in golf tourney
Andrew Pranke, 12, of Maddock earned first place in the Dakota Junior Golf Association’s (DJGA) Lewis & Clark Tournament held in Washburn July 18. His score was 48. The DJGA consists of boys and girls in western North Dakota. Andrew is a member of the Harvey Country Club and the Harvey Golf Club Junior Program. Golf professionals from Bismarck Parks and Recreation give lessons in Harvey during the summer. He is the son of Kent and Laurie Pranke.
Benson County 4-H Achievement Days held at Maddock
Two rowdy fans, Daryl Olson and Curtis Hvinden of Maddock look on as Ed Ripplinger and Scott Knoke perform a death-defying stunt of popping a wheelie at the 4-H Achievement Days Premium Sale. This stunt was auctioned off to John Rice for $100, which has been donated to the Benson County 4-H.
The Farm and Home Improvement 4-H Club received grand champion honors for its pen of three lambs. Members are, left to right, Noah Engels, Janna Rice, Jordan Backstrom, Andy Backstrom, Katie Rice, Jaden Kallenbach, Levi Slater, Kimberly Randle, Ben Backstrom, Jessica Johnson, Zachary Johnson (in back) and Megan Wald.