Berthold alumni to celebrate 100 years of education

BERTHOLD Hundreds of alumni are expected back in Berthold this summer to reunite with former classmates while celebrating a century of educational achievement.

The 100th anniversary all-school reunion of Berthold Public School will be held July 4-6.

Three students were members of the first graduating class in 1913. Class records show the reunion could draw graduates from classes that go back as far as 1928. Gen Hall, one of the organizers of the reunion, said two graduates of the Class of 1928 are on the committee’s mailing list, including a 103-year-old woman in Minot. The other graduate lives in Ohio.

The last all-school reunion in 2000 drew about 500 people.

Reunion events on July 4 will be combined with the community’s Fourth of July celebration, starting with a parade at 10:30 a.m. Hall said classes are being encouraged to decorate and enter floats, and some already have indicated that they will be participating.

Other events on that day include races and games, a pie-eating contest and an ice cream social. A golf tournament will take place in the afternoon, and fireworks that evening.

Registration runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 5 in the school gym. The reunion committee is arranging for bus tours that will enable people who have lived away from the community to see how it has changed in recent years. Hall said the oil development has led to many changes that people will be curious about, but most people aren’t going to know where to go and may not understand what they are seeing if they encounter new development. The tour will both guide them to the sites and answer their questions.

A catered meal and entertainment is scheduled for July 5 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the park. A street dance follows at 9 p.m. The golf course also will be open during the day. The Tumbleweed Cafe will be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will be souvenir T-shirts and caps for sale. Registrants will receive a booklet that lists graduates, school history and a few pictures. If unable to attend, people can request a booklet and have it mailed for $5.

Booklet requests or any other requests for information can be sent to Hall at Box 127, Berthold, N.D. 58718 or by email at ghall@srt.com. People also can call 453-3158 or 240-0674.

The earliest students in Berthold were educated in a brick school house, built with just four rooms in 1905-06 at a cost of $6,000, according to a school history. The school was located west of Main Street. In 1909-10, an addition was built, adding more rooms.

In 1926-27, the gymnasium and assembly were added, along with remodeling of the upstairs for more classrooms. Additional construction occurred in 1949-50 and 1954-55.

In 1963, classes were held in a new building on property purchased from W.J. Roberts on the northeast corner of town. The new school had both elementary and high school wings, an auditorium, lunch room, offices and a library. The new building cost $537,000.

During the 1970s, the emphasis was on energy efficiency in the building and expansion of extracurricular opportunities for students. Technology arrived in 1980 with the purchase of the first computers. In the 1990s, the Berthold School gained additional students with the closure of the Carpio school, and construction began on a new addition with a music classroom, media center and teacher work room. Currently, the high school, with 99 students enrolled last fall, offers courses over an interactive video network and transports students to Minot for certain vocational courses.

Recently, a $2.3 million construction project started on four new elementary classrooms with restrooms, hallways, entries, new electrical and intercom systems and boilers. The new addition will enable the preschool program to move back to the school from a local church.

The school district envisions additional construction in the future to update facilities and address crowding due to the number of students and programs offered.