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Teen-2-Teen: June 2017

Rural schools have advantages

by Hannah Newman

Hannah Newman teen writer North Dakota Living
Hannah Newman

I’ve lived in rural North Dakota my whole life. I’m able to admire the beautiful North Dakota sunsets every night, I can witness the first steps of a newborn calf, and I have come to love the closeness of rural communities. These are just some of the many advantages of living in a rural area. As North Dakotans, we are blessed with many opportunities that people in other areas of the country do not experience. One aspect of rural living is education. Though some view a rural education as a disadvantage, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

My education has been extremely influenced by my rural, small school. From a young age, my class sizes have been small and intimate. The small class size created a more personal learning environment, and I received a lot of one-on-one help from my educators. When faced with learning difficulties, I was able to turn to my teachers and get immediate help. Rural students and teachers form a bond similar to a family.

When talking about rural schools, many point out the potential lack of course options, and I have faced this problem. But with modern technology, this is no longer a problem.

We now have online courses and ITV (interactive TV) classes attainable to us. The class options available through ITV and online are unlimited. For example, I was able to take a dual-credit sign language class last year through ITV, which provided me with a foreign language credit along with college experience. Online and interactive TV classes provide us with a variety of classes, ranging from advanced language courses to intermediate English classes. In the coming school year, my school will be offering a health and medical careers class, a sports injury and prevention class, along with college-level algebra and speech.

Rural education may be seen as something negative, but that is not the case. When you take a step back, there are many positive aspects that influence our education. I wouldn’t change a single thing about my upbringing.


Hannah Newman, 17, is a junior at South Prairie High School, where she is involved in the newspaper and yearbook committee. She enjoys reading a good book, being with friends and family, and participating in church events. She loves movie theater popcorn and long walks on the beach, but who doesn’t? Hannah is the daughter of Jay and Marcie Newman, who are members of Verendrye Electric Cooperative and SRT Communications Inc.