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Students Excel at Humboldt-St.Vincent


Cindy Stewart
Kittson County Enterprise
Volume 116 Number 13
March 29, 2000

It wasn't the quantity, but the quality that people remembermost about the staff, the students, the patrons of the Humboldt-St.VincentSchool District.

"We were few, but we were just like a family,"librarian and elementary music teacher, Harriet Docken, remembers.

Docken, a teacher at the school from 1968 until its closingin 1991, remembers the small classes, but also remembers the love for musicand the "special" kids who made the classes seem larger than theyreally were.

"We put on a Christmas concert and spring concertevery year. We also competed in contests with solos, ensembles and choirs,"she said.

Docken remembers one year when Channel 12, a station inPembina, taped area schools performing their Christmas programs.

"one year we were fortunate to have a little groupof 4-6 graders, nine of them, who sang theree part harmony, acappella. Iremember the song, 'Lo How a Rose "'er Blooming.' That was just exceptional,"she remembers.

Docken also remembers the last Christmas concert, beforethe school closed. Not only was it sad because it was the last concert,it was also difficult because Don Maring, the high school band and choirinstructor, had fallen and broken his ribs.

"I had to do the concert alone, which was tough anywaybecause it was the last concert," she said.

In addition to teaching elementary music and accompanyinghigh school music programs, Docken was also the librarian at the school.

She said nothing was automated in the library. "Itwas still a good library. I was real impressed with all of the books wehad," Docken said.

She said they were able to get books and other materialsthrough the Northwest Regional Library and by placing phone orders to otherlibraries.

Docken's fondest memories, though, center mostly on thestudents and past staff members.

"The teachers did some excellent things in that schooland we had the students who excelled, as far as ability," Docken said.

She remembers Mrs. Roberts, the business and English teacher,who stressed writing. The students wrote essays for contests and for differentclasses.

They really got a lot of practice writing and the kidswon prizes too, for their writing," she said.

And Docken just can't forget how the kids loved to sing.

"I liked to be with the kids. They were all real specialto me. It really was a good place," she said.

ialto me. It really was a good place," she said.