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Prairie School Teacher

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Kathy Resler, of Monroe, Washington, never imagined she would feel at home at the Horse Creek School.   She now lives over a thousand miles from her family, starts every day by leading three students in a rendition of the Star Spangled banner, but couldn't be happier. 

"I love North Dakota, I really do, I love it out here," says teacher, Kathy Resler.

After she was laid off from her teaching job in Monroe, Kathy ended up at this little prairie school, by chance.

"A friend said if you're up for it I know a one-room school that's looking for a teacher, so they called me for an interview and here I am," says Resler. 

Kathy teaches Flint, Thayne and Arena Oyan, reading, writing and arithmetic. 

"It works for us," says student, Arena Oyan. 

Teaching in a school that has only a fraction of the students she had in metropolitan classrooms also works for Kathy.

"I feel like here I get to teach out there it was just managing students," says Resler. "You go through a lesson but you don't have time to sit down and teach a lesson."

When Kathy is finished with work, she also doesn't have an hour commute to get home, she lives in a small house exactly 49 steps from the school.  

"I like it at night when I can hear the coyotes and look out the window at dusk and see the deer," says Resler. 

A rancher's surveillance camera recently spotted a mountain lion about a mile away from the school so Kathy never wanders too far from the school yard without her dog Teddy.  The nearest town is 16 miles away, across the border in Montana.  Trips to see her family and husband are few and far between.

"He spends a week out here hunting, we see each other at Christmas, sometimes if we have a three day weekend I'll drive to Billings, he'll fly to Billings," says Resler. 

All of Kathy's children are now grown and her husband is originally from North Dakota.  She has no plans to give up her day job and go back to Washington State, and she and her husband might even retire some day to the wide open spaces of North Dakota.

 

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