And No OneTook A Knee

Feb 1, 2024
Written by: Rodney Wilson

It was one of those days…running a bit behind but headed to the base to cover a Star Student assembly/celebration at North Plains Elementary School.

The Northern Sentry had been contacted by several North Plains teachers asking if we could cover their monthly celebrations, and it certainly seemed like something that we should cover with a reporter/photographer, that being me.

When I arrived, it was apparent that the Star Student assembly was a big deal both to the students and the parents. The North Plains gym would be the location for the assembly. The young lady who showed be the way to the gym pulled out a chair and invited me to take a seat next to the stage.

Gazing across the gym I took inventory of the many cones, one for each classroom, placed in order on the gym floor. I guessed that the students would arrive soon. Behind the cones were some rows of chairs for parents, grandparents, and friends, and of course there were the steps leading down to the gym floor that served as convenient seating.

One by one each classroom would arrive and took their position in neat rows near their perspective cones.
Last year I was a Junior Achievement instructor at North Plains for Mrs. White’s class, and as fate would have it, I was seated right next to them. Of course, different year-different class, but it was nice to see Mrs. White again. We confirmed that I would again be visiting their classroom this spring teaching Junior Achievement classes.
And then it started….

First with clapping, and then music on the speakers and then singing. At first the clapping seemed a bit disjointed, but soon the entire gym was clapping in rhythm and singing a song about friends (words were displayed on a screen, but a white board blocked my view).

As with any assembly, there were announcements with older teachers and students (assuming they were 6th graders) serving as EMCEE’s.

They energy in the gym was amazing. There was certainly a purpose for this assembly, and we were working our way toward the start of the awards. Cool! Oh, did I forget, there was an award for the classroom that showed their North Plains colors most prominently. Pretty much every class would have been in the running…it was North Plains everywhere!

If you’ve been reading along in this article, you are probably wondering why I am spending so much time on a Star Student assembly? The next 10 minutes would define the whole assembly for me.

I need to start by saying that I am true, very true, red, white & blue. When the students and visitors were asked to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, I was right there with them…hand over my heart, in a powerful and sure voice. But then so was every other person in the gym.

Had the Pledge been the end of the opening ceremonies, I would not have been disappointed. But following the Pledge was the National Anthem. As a writer I am supposed to find words that describe events. How about tears…I cried as the whole gym sang the National Anthem. In front of me were several uniformed service members standing at attention. To my right was a class of first graders singing with intensity and clarity. No mumbling here, each word pronounced to perfection. What a perfect way to start my day.

Best Kept Secrets
Todd Berning, owner of the “M” building attended the Magic City Lions meeting the day after the brand new “M” was installed on top of the building.
According to Gene Neal, who at one time had a pharmacy in the building, the original “M” was installed in 1976 at a cost of $27,000.00. “That would seem reasonable” replied Todd “but it was certainly a lot more than that this time.” The original “M” was donated to Minot High and is on the NW corner of the football field. And the “M” that was just removed is going to be donated to Minot Public Schools for the new Minot North Athletic complex. Hopefully the 2024 “M” will be at home on top of the M building for a long time.

Today’s Chuckle
What’s wrong with feeling sorry for yourself? If you don’t, who else will?

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