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Within were 16 townships, each, according to according to Sanborn County Clerk of Courts Susan Johannsen, with at least four schools, if not five. Many teachers walked, carrying lesson plans and lunch.

Sanborn Journal | Archive for November

Students did the same, although some rode ponies or horses. A few teachers drove cars. Someone has said that nothing is as certain as change. I continue with how some of that change occurred in Sanborn County.

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In or , our county school board began the arduous task of holding patron meetings throughout the county. I recall that we began in Ravenna and Diana townships. As we proceeded we tried to discern into which town independent district various landowners wanted their land, and therefore their students to go. Landowners pay taxes; taxes operate local schools, thus receiving primary attention of the county board. To many, the closeness of neighborhood relationships was being violated. Some could not readily accept that times were changing.

The county board was often looked upon with aggrieved suspicion, even though we were neighbors and friends to people throughout the county. He came charging up the aisle, fists ready, to openly challenge a neighbor with whom he seriously disagreed over where the boundary line should be drawn.

One group was highly incensed when a school superintendent, just a hired employee in his district and paying no property taxes, openly championed closing rural schools.

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Sometimes hostilities arose over desired boundary lines simply because of long-standing disagreements between landowners. Some thought their taxes would increase if they were forced into a larger town school district.

Carroll County Chapter of Maryland Ornithological Society

Others were more comfortable with that which they had always known. But in all our decisions, we were careful to consider where the citizens wanted their land and their children to go. However, that kind of neighborly consideration led to our drawing amazingly angular district lines between the four independent districts. For that, we were criticized. However, when we were taken to court two or three times by aggrieved taxpayers over boundary lines, we were repeatedly exonerated by court decisions.

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Even the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled in our favor. We did what we had to do — carry out the law. I remember them all; the voters had chosen wisely: Each was steady, dependable and supportive of public education. After some 12 or 14 years, all the Sanborn County rural schools were incorporated into the independent districts and shortly were closed. Senate Bill 6 met its legal phasing out. Diminutive Edna Titus, once my Floyd 3 fifth and sixth grade teacher, was our constant, capable, efficient secretary. I have wondered about her unspoken feelings. The many rural schools to which she had given years of oversight as county superintendent of schools were now being eliminated right before her eyes.

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She knew the law. States Attorney Gerry Bollinger, always giving deference to the will of the county board, was a stalwart and dependable legal advisor. So, the older name was confusing. Still, almost any name would be better than some of the vernacular ones used. So, Green Heron it is.

This species is relatively common in Carroll County, even though it leaves us in the Fall when temperatures begin to drop. Some ornithologists claim that it is the most widely distributed American Heron. The birds who headed south in the Fall return here in late Winter and early Spring. They will often travel in flocks. Usually this takes place under the cover of darkness. Most arrive on breeding grounds in April. Pairing may begin during migration.

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Couples are only seasonally monogamous, but may return to previously used sites. By this time, bills of the adult birds have changed to a glossy black. Their legs are bright orange compared to the greenish-yellow they sported earlier. Not to be left out of the process completely though, the male may continue to gather nest material and bring it to the female.

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Even so, some Green Heron nests are nothing to get excited about. They can be either very solidly constructed or so flimsy that you can see the eggs through the bottom. The birds prefer trees with dense foliage and build between 10 and 20 feet from the ground. Nesting is often solitary, however, Green Herons may also nest in rookeries with other herons. Common Grackles also appear to be regular nesting associates. Perhaps the grackles act like a security alarm, making a racket when danger approaches.

Three to five greenish-blue eggs are laid. Both sexes take turns incubating these until they hatch in about three weeks.

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Feeding is also by both parents.