Nodaway-Holt sixth grader Ruel Jefferies researched the history of his school.

He compiled his findings into a historical document to preserve the school’s history. It began as part of a class assignment for Stacey Calfee’s gifted student program. The students were researching the school’s use of energy, which sparked the interest for Ruel. He spent nights and weekends working on his project.

“He usually takes all of our learning and adds to it. He is an auto-didactic learner, meaning he is self-taught. He is just very motivated in things that pique his interest,” Calfee stated.

On the last day of school, May 16, Ruel rang the school bell to commemorate the 100th year of school at the Maitland building.

“It got me interested in the school history and I think that’s something that would interest other people other than just me. I plan to keep researching,” Ruel stated.

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Nodaway-Holt’s history prepared by student

By Ruell Jefferies

Nodaway-Holt. It’s the excellent school district that I have been going to for the past seven years.

Recently, I have been looking into the history of Nodaway-Holt and I find it quite interesting. So, for those wondering, here is the history of Nodaway-Holt.

The district dates back to the 1840s, but we definitely are not going to go back that far. Let’s go back 100 years to 1917. A new school building was constructed on the north side of Maitland. The building replaced a different school building from 1884. The building served as a high school.

Maitland High School, 1923

On the third floor, there was a bell that the custodian rang at 9 am and 1 pm every day. The bell is currently standing at the front of the school.

In 1929, a new school in a neighboring town was built. A new school building in Skidmore was born. Nine years later, in 1938, a new Graham school was built. Today, out of the original three buildings, the Graham building is the only one still standing.

Skidmore School, 1951 – Graham School, 2014

In 1952, needing an addition to the school building in Graham, a new part was built on the north side. A few years later in 1956, a bond barely passed for an addition to the Maitland building for new classrooms and a new gym. It was completed in 1958.

In 1964, the three schools grouped together to form a new school district, Nodaway-Holt. Grades K-3 were in Skidmore, 4-8 in Maitland and 9-12 in Graham.

Not much happened with the district buildings until 2000 when new additions were built for the Maitland and Graham buildings. Maitland’s addition cost $1.2 million.

In the same year, it was announced that plans were being made to raze the Maitland and Skidmore historical buildings. It was suggested that the bell from the Maitland building be saved and mounted in a bell tower in memory of the old building.

Then, in the spring of 2001, the Skidmore building was demolished. A few years later, in 2007, the 1917 Maitland building was demolished and the bell was mounted in a bell tower, which currently stands in front of the school.

  Now the question stands, what will we do when we demolish the 1938 Graham building? Will a new part be built in Graham? Will we build a new Skidmore building?

I surveyed the sixth-grade Horizons class and most people think we will build a new part in Graham. However, teacher Stacey Calfee thinks we will build a new building to have K-12 in one building.

Well, what’s going to happen? The future of Nodaway-Holt awaits!