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ONCE AGAIN 1-ROOM SCHOOL IN IDAHO NEEDS NEW BOARD

For the second time in less than a year, the one-room school at Three Creek needs a new school board.

Located in the southeastern corner of Owyhee County near Nevada, the eight-student school has been torn by legal disputes, in-fighting and clashes with the parent-teacher organization.Citing frustration, two of three board members resigned and walked out of the March 8 meeting. Owyhee County commissioners were to on Monday will try to replace Mel Walker and Randall Brewer.

Idaho has 16 schools with just one classroom. But Three Creek Elementary School is a district unto itself.

After serving just eight months, Walker wrote in his resignation letter he thought he could restore respect to the community, which he said had been "plunged into turmoil" by the previous board.

Voters recalled board member Kim Brackett last spring after the board suspended the only teacher with pay following parents' threats to withdraw their children from school.

Another board member, Bethene Brewer, resigned last spring.

The teacher was replaced. Walker and Randall Brewer - Bethene Brewer's husband - filled the two board positions. Noy Brackett held onto the third seat.

The suspended teacher, Cathy Starr, filed a $100,000 tort claim against the district. The board has spent more than $10,000 on attorney's fees.

Randall Brewer said he resigned because he did not want to put up with constant questioning of the board's actions.

"I just felt we were at a total standstill," he said. "Whenever we were trying to go forward, it was bringing up little nit-picky things like mileage driving checks . . . I just decided I don't need all that."

John Barus, principal of Jackpot Combined School, reviewed the district in February and commended it for its current teacher, building and computer lab. But he also asked board members to reconcile for the sake of the children.