- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2015

CORWITH, Iowa (AP) - Students and teachers are bidding farewell to a small northern Iowa school district after voters approved its closure last year following declining enrollment.

The Corwith-Wesley school district, which only had 91 students this year, will cease to exist July 1, the Globe Gazette (https://bit.ly/1bZXK5z) reported.

Superintendent Jon Hueser will continue to oversee the LuVerne school district, which is absorbing the majority of Corwith-Wesley’s students.

Pre-kindergarten to sixth-grade students will attend school in LuVerne, while grades 7-12 will go to the Algona school district.

Half of the Corwith-Wesley district’s 14 teachers are retiring while others have found other jobs or are still looking.

“I’ve spent two-thirds of my life here, so it’s hard to see the district close and the building empty,” said Merle Sohl, who has taught industrial tech for 38 years. He plans to pursue full-time carpentry work through his business but isn’t ruling out teaching in the future.

Teacher Eloise Shipman, better known as “Eller” by her art students, said that ever since her first year at the school district, she had heard whispers the end was near. Teachers took pay freezes and doubled up on duties, doing anything they could to save the school, Shipman said.

She plans to leave her teaching career behind and pursue community theater or wedding planning.

Danielle Young, who is one of 13 graduating students, said knowing that she won’t be able to come back to visit her favorite teachers who she considers like family is difficult.

“I’ve already cried about it, but I’m honored to have ‘CWL grad’ behind my name,” she said.

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Information from: Globe Gazette, https://www.globegazette.com/

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