My Range alma mater now has just 24 graduating seniors, and other tales of woe

Some statistics from a recent regional high school graduation story in the Hibbing Daily Tribune:

Cherry School: 24 seniors
Nashwauk-Keewatin High School: 52 seniors
Chisholm High School: 44 seniors
Hibbing High School: 146 seniors

The headline for the story was “Graduates abound” and these stats were included with information such as class colors, motto and song. For instance, Nashwauk-Keewatin’s senior class song is “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey. I don’t think “abound” is the right word for these numbers, do you? If my feeling that I am holding on to is right, these reflect about 40-50 percent drops since the 1980s. We’re going to need to crank that Journey and turn things around.


  1. Considering I had about 200 that graduated in my class two years ago, I agree.

  2. PaulVirginia says

    Remember the graduates now are those born in 1992, or ten years after the collapse. They are generally the children of late boomers or xer’s; we are finally seeing the early boomers retire. One problem was the early boomers holding on to jobs with their teeth, and it is the xer’s and yer’s that are the truly empty age classes. On the eastern range, it will get worse; we are now almost ten years from LTV’s closure. The rural areas proximate to the range will drop more with timber’s shrinkage. The central range is slightly more stable with four still operating plants and government operations adding stability. One question to answer is how many boomer retirements will be filled by truly younger family age people, or those already here who have been merely waiting around for a better opportunity. This is important; if a job is filled by someone in their late 30’s they most likely are well into their children’s lifespans. I assume the curve will eventually be horizontal, but it will be heading downward for a while.

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