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John H. Dobrovolny
2218 West Eleventh
Hastings, Nebraska 68901-3626
jdobrovolny@cccneb.edu

RHS Faculty, 1960-1967

Even before I arrived in Rolfe in the fall of 1960 to join the high-school faculty, I had heard that the schools in Rolfe had a certain tradition of excellence. While, at first glance, the community and its schools looked similar to many others throughout Iowa, I came to believe that there was a perceivable difference of which the citizens of Rolfe should be proud. I still believe that. Certainly, Miss Edna Marcum, with her reputation as teacher and principal, contributed to that tradition. Having two Rhodes Scholars -- Virgil Hancher, who became a president of the University of Iowa, and Gordon Siefkin, an attorney -- among the alumni was another source of pride. With such role models, the people of Rolfe, adults and students alike, found it easier to believe in themselves, and thus they became part of the tradition.

Admittedly, since the Sixties, Rolfe has suffered some economic and population losses, but I am impressed with the obvious efforts to improve the looks of the town by replacing homes and buildings where needed and by not allowing existing buildings to fall into disuse and decay. Those who now live in Rolfe may not have paused to recognize what an attractive appearance the town has. A recent opportunity to drive the streets and tour the well-kept school building was a most pleasant experience. There are still reasons to be proud of Rolfe.

There are many former students whom I remember well and in whom I still take pride. Among them are a few with whom I maintain some contact. Others I hear about only sporadically. I identify none of them here, since I could not mention them all. In addition to former faculty members, I enjoy recalling many other residents who escaped being students of mine for reasons of age. Several years ago, my wife Mary Ann and I took a quick circle tour of Iowa, coming close to the borders on every side and stopping to see friends all along the way. It was only after we had returned to Nebraska that I realized that every friend we visited had at some time lived in Rolfe.

Rolfe is where Mary Ann and I had our first home. It is where we lived when two of our three children were born. When I step inside St. Margaretís Church, I still feel as if I belong there. I am proud of my forty-plus years in education, and I look back fondly on the seven of those years which were spent in Rolfe.

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