Nestled among Eastern Washington’s rolling wheat fields and towering silos are the heartbeats of farm towns – small rural school districts. Bleachers swell during high school sporting events and multi-purpose rooms fill up for plays and musical performances when parents and grandparents are joined by farmers, civic leaders and local residents. Schools have become the community centers for small towns like Harrington.
Kathy Hoob, right, owner of Harrington Foods, shares a laugh with her customer Bud McPeak, March 12, 2015, in downtown Harrington, Wash. Hoob, a member of the Harrington Chamber of Commerce, along with Harrington school students produced holiday gift baskets for local elderly residents, including McPeak. “I just finished eating the ham,” joked McPeak.
Dan Fromm, left, along with Terry and Lorne Howe, watch the world go by from the Howe’s restored garage on Third Street in Harrington, Wash. Terry, a city council person, and Lorne support and often attend school-related events
Harrington 1st-grader Macrae Larmer wrote a personal message to a classmate named Jayden, March 12, 2015. The note says “Congratulation Jayden you finaly have a baby sister. I am so Happy! Love Macrae.”
Harrington High School sophomore James Mann places books in his locker after classes, March 12, 2015. Photos of graduating students from the late ‘30s and early ‘40s hang on the wall above. Mann’s grandmother, father and uncles are among the faces on the walls.
Special-needs student Alex Beattie rides his tricycle through Harrington’s historic gym, March 12, 2015, in Harrington, Wash. It was named one of the state’s top 20 gyms by the Seattle Times. State banners ring the walls around the gym honoring the school’s athletic accomplishments when they were the Falcons, Hurricanes and now the Titans.
Harrington School District Superintendent Mike Perry discusses with office manager Kathy Countryman the school’s 1959 yearbook opened on a page that recorded a basketball game when Harrington played Wilson Creek. A call came to the office earlier in the day by a local man requesting the information because of a bet between brothers over the game’s outcome, March 12, 2015.
Harrington School volunteer Linda Colbert makes an evening check of chicken eggs in an incubator, March 12, 2015, in the school’s 1st and 2nd grade classroom. Colbert makes sure every student will have their own hatching to attend to, even if some of the eggs do not hatch.
Harrington School principal Justin Bradford slices Fuji apples and school bus driver, volunteer and classroom para-professional Linda Colbert gathers Rice Krispies Treats for snack-time offerings to students participating in the The Little Mermaid production at the school, March 12, 2015.