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Archive for Sunday, May 18, 2008

Montana school has one graduate

May 18, 2008

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— Jeff Greenwood is in a class by himself.

The Opheim High School senior was the only student to graduate from the school Friday. But the small event drew a big name. Gov. Brian Schweitzer gave the commencement address.

Greenwood, who plans to attend Dickinson State University in North Dakota, said the high school is the "hub of activity" in rural Opheim, a town about 10 miles south of the Canadian border.

"The student-to-teacher ratio is pretty good," said Greenwood, who is the student body president and, of course, the senior class president.

Greenwood had a few classmates before high school, but his last remaining classmate moved to Utah during freshman year. He took some classes alone and enrolled in several with the juniors during his senior year.

"You get to know everybody and you're friends with everybody," Greenwood said. "At the same time, you can't get away with anything."

Principal LeRoy Nelson, who has also been school superintendent, said he thought this was the first time the school graduated just one student. Six students graduated last year and 12 are on track to graduate in 2009.

Nelson said he thinks single-member classes will become more common as enrollment drops at rural schools. Last year, a high school in a rural part of the state also had one graduate.

Schweitzer spoke at that graduation as well.

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