by Superintendent Matt Grose
Standing On the
Shoulders of Giants
Last week I had the opportunity to meet Stafford and Julie King. Stafford is the great-grandson of Cyrus M. King, the Deer River community leader from the early 1900s who is the namesake of King Elementary School. Stafford and Julie shared a book with me detailing Cyrus’s life as well as the text of a speech given by Cyrus’s son, Stafford King, at the dedication of King Elementary School on August 20, 1957.
I was inspired by this speech and also the story of a man who understood the importance of community, and more specifically, the importance and interdependence of schools and roads to a community’s progress and success. A paragraph written in Stafford’s speech almost 60 years ago, at the beginning of the Civil Rights movement, still rings true today:
Let us hope that those who teach here may have the same God-given inspiration which strengthened Cyrus King in is life of helpfulness and leadership; let us hope that the pupils of this school may come to understand the fundamentals of education, and of their responsibilities to God, to home, to community, and to themselves, as Cyrus King would have taught them – without distinction of race, or class, or creed, but giving to every child, regardless of his national background, his color, or the social standing of his family, the freedom to secure the blessings of education.
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