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Little Flower Catholic School begins 75th year

By Staff | Sep 2, 2016

Beth Schmaltz (left) gets a photo with Little Flower Principal Jorgen Knutson on the first day of school.

The children came, nervous, excited, and eager for the new school year on August 24, 2016, as they did 75 years ago when Little Flower Catholic School in Rugby, opened its doors for the first time on September 14, 1942. Though the enrollment seventy-five years ago 156 students and a faculty of four sisters from the Franciscan Convent at Hankinson, North Dakota, is not quite the same, there is similarity in the excellent education offered at this private school.

Many, many pastors, parishioners, alumni and other area families have supported Little Flower over the years to enable the school to provide an outstanding educational experience. The family atmosphere at the school has helped many a child to develop and thrive once they move on to the excellent public school system in Rugby. Small class sizes are beneficial to many students, as well. Presently operating with combined classrooms taught by very capable teachers, a robust music curriculum, plenty of modern technology and a well-balanced library, the school is thriving.

Many excellent teachers have served Little Flower over the years. Whether they taught one semester or many years they all left their mark and contributed to the task of forming well-rounded citizens, parents, artists, scientists and writers. When it comes to volunteers and the parent-teacher organization, Little Flower has the best there is!

At the core of the curriculum is forming disciples, teaching virtue, and providing the opportunity for prayer in the school day. Many Little Flower alumni are successful in the world today, happy and well-adjusted.

Recently Fr. Tom Graner, led the school board, faculty, staff, community members and parents in the initial steps of a strategic planning process for the future of Little Flower School. With the lower number of students in the past few years there is always speculation about the school. Sister Carolyn Althoff, former upper-grade teacher and principal, laughingly said in her later years, that she never worried about Little Flower. “They were concerned about it in the 70’s when I was teaching there”. And here is the school today, continuing as well as ever. It has survived Sr. Carolyn, who finished her earthly sojourn last year, just weeks before her 99th birthday!

Principal Knutson and all at Little Flower welcome visitors to the school. New families are invited to check out the offerings of Little Flower School, a Pre-K 6thgrade educational experience in Rugby, North Dakota.

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