Six schools represented at Chase area school reunion

CHASE — A group of people came together at the pavilion of the Chase Township Public Library on Sunday to celebrate something they have in common - attendance at country schools in the Chase area.

Six former schools were represented at the reunion, including Spears School, on Saddler Road in Pinora Township; Rosenberg School, on Deer Lake Road in Pinora Township; Oliver School, on Deer Lake Road in Chase Township; North Nirvana School, on Kings Highway in Cherry Valley Township; Huntsinger School, on Bonney Road in Chase Township; and the three-room schoolhouse in Chase, which now serves as the library.

Roger Elkins, who coordinated the reunion this year, spoke of the importance of the small community schools.

“I have a book, ‘All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.’ I would like to rephrase it, ‘All I needed to know I learned in a country school,” he said, explaining he began his education at the Rosenberg School and the Chase School.

Elkins introduced the program with 93-year-old Ralph Grinnell, the oldest person in attendance, leading the pledge of allegiance. Elkins led everyone in a blessing and the Lord’s Prayer prior to the potluck meal.

Lois Bregg, lifelong Chase resident, said this is the 35th Chase area school reunion.

Elkins said attendance rolls with names of students and teachers, school records, yearbooks and pictures are archived in the library, including the Chase School, and rural schools in Chase, Pinora, Cherry Valley and Yates townships.

He told the group to share their experiences growing up in the country schools.

“I encourage you to tell people about your school experiences,” he said. “There are a lot of people who would like to hear your story. The country schools have dissapeared, but we can still learn about the important functions they served for education and as community centers.”

Marylin Kisser, who drove from downstate to attend the reunion, said in the early 1940s she helped plant the pine trees on the Chase School grounds, which loom tall today.

Sid Woods attended elementary at Chase School before it closed in 1969 to consolidate with Reed City Public Schools. He has fond memories of his time at Chase School.

“I learned to square dance at the Chase School,” he said, adding he still loves attending square dances in the local area.