Then there was Tyler, diagnosed at age 2 as severely learning disabled, and enrolled almost exclusively in special schools until he began fourth grade in Tylerton.
Tyler would certainly be a different kind of student for the school; but individual differences there were accepted and even expected.
A particularly difficult student, the teacher would say, might seem peculiar, but not so peculiar if you knew his family for several generations back, as they mostly did there.
And in fact, our own peculiar little boy flourished. The rest of his class -- two island kids -- were assigned to help him keep organized; and if he got frustrated with homework, he would just go chat with the teachers at night.
Tyler now attends a large public high school in Salisbury where he is consistently on the honor roll and has every prospect of attending college.
Everett Landon told the school board that his wife "still keeps her teachers from the Tylerton School in her prayers." If Tyler doesn't, he ought to.
A few things ought to happen now. The county should keep the JTC school open two more years, until the "big" class of three kids finishes eighth grade.
Meanwhile, the town must attract more children. Efforts are under way to look into the prospects for bringing in orphans or foster kids.
Finally, the state, which built the 22-year-old school, should try to utilize its unique location for special summer and weekend courses, to ease the county's financial burden.
It's far more than a school decision about to be made here. It's nothing less than the future of one of the state's unique and most irreplaceable cultures.