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MARE Celebrates Twenty Years

Of Service to Rural School Districts

On November 18, 1986, a group of administrators met at the Lakeland School District, adopted a resolution, and elected a committee to proceed with the organizational details of an association of rural educators in Missouri. The Charter Resolution adopted read:


  • Whereas the functions, needs, and difficulties of the schools in rural Missouri differ distinctly in many instances from those in urban and suburban Missouri.

  • And whereas the pursuit of greater excellence in education and imposes unique applications, problems, and subsequent solutions in rural and small schools.

  • And whereas there is a prominent need for a cooperative, associated effort to discuss and address these factors.

  • And whereas Missouri rural educators need more - and more effective - input into the decision-making processes at state, regional and national levels - input which emphasizes the distinct advantages and special needs inherent in ruralness and smallness in the educational scene of Missouri and America.

  • And whereas urban and suburban schools have their effective proponents at all political levels, and rural/small schools comparatively few.

  • And whereas unity would greatly enable and enhance the effective efforts of rural Missouri educators, school districts, and cooperatives statewide in communicating the value and needs of rural education, in the sharing of ideas and resources, in the planning and development of joint efforts and in the sounding of a concerted voice.

  • We, the undersigned, therefore resolve to join together, combining skills, resources and efforts as we deem appropriate, to properly and effectively address the aforementioned conditions. And at and be this resolve we here form and join into an association to be known as the Missouri Association of Rural Education.


Norman Long, Superintendent of the Lakeland School District chaired the meeting. Following a welcome and introductions of all present, and an explanation of how the meeting had come about. It was the decision of those gathered to set in motion plans and actions which ultimately, and as soon as possible, form an association of all of those philosophically and actively concerned with the preservation and improvement of schools in rural Missouri. A final part of the meeting was spent in reviewing goals and purposes, and in discussing and amending the proposed charter. A committee was selected to organize a charter meeting, the location for this meeting to be at Central Missouri State University on January 28, 1987.


The Charter meeting was called to order by Dr. William Peter, Coordinator for forming the association. The meeting was described as enjoyable, informative and profitable. The primary purpose of the convention - to establish an operational framework for MARE - was achieved, and more. The future of the association, and no doubt the future of rural education in Missouri, were made by the 117 persons in attendance. During the Assembly of Delegates meeting, the following were selected as the newly elected officers and members of the executive board: Norman Long - President; Dan Kercher - Vice President; Robert Hoffman - Secretary/Treasurer; Randal Kristofferson - Hillsboro; Robert Couldry - DeKalb, Warren Denny - Bernard; Philip Dorth - Concordia; Russell Hunt - Bradleyville; Don Loveland - Creighton; Ralph Powell - Hallsville; William Ray - Canton; Eugene Oakley - Myrtle, and Mike Johnson - Oak Ridge. The enthusiasm was contagious, the entire convention was fast-paced, and the business session was no exception to this. In all, it was indeed a remarkable day in which no doubt what is to be one of the important education organizations in Missouri was duly and effectively launched.


(Reprinted from highlights of the January and February, 1987 MARE Newsletter)

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