4th Graders Raise Hundreds to Help Teacher 19 Apr 17

Some times the biggest lessons in life come from the smallest teachers.

That may be the case in the Greenbush Middle River School District, where Ms. Rustad’s 4th Grade Class has come together in support of a beloved teacher.

When the students learned that budget cuts and classroom relocation meant their teacher would not be rehired next year, the nine classmates from both Middle River and Greenbush came together in a Dog Walking / Letter Writing campaign to save her job. To date, they’ve raised $300 dollars, but of course the example they’ve set is much more important than the money they’ve raised.

Parents and community members say it has been heart-warming to watch the efforts of the children, but Monday night, the Greenbush Middle River Board of Education went ahead and terminated the teaching contract of Molly Rustad, along with two other teachers and one principal, as they prepare to abandon their Middle School Model in Middle River; moving 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Classes to Greenbush next year, leaving only 60 students in a school built for more than 300.

Meanwhile, parents from the southern part of the district appeared before the GMR School Board this week.  Disenfranchised and under-represented on the GMR School Board – families told board members they will begin to move their children, more than 100 students, to surrounding school districts as early as next fall, if their concerns are not addressed.

But the take-away today is the example set by Ms. Rustad’s 4th Grade Class, that there is strength when voices come together and there is really no such thing as an under-dog, if you have a heartfelt cause to rally.