Chasing Time: Last of the Active One-Room Schools in Montana

Format: Paperback
9.5" x 8" (hortizontal)
ISBN: 978-1-60639-104-4
Text: Keith Graham
Photographers: Keith Graham and Neil Chaput de Saintonge
Pages: 276

$32.95

Chasing Time:
Last of the Active One-Room Schools in Montana

Text by Keith Graham
Photography by Keith Graham and Neil Chaput de Saintonge

In the 2013-2014 school year, Montana had 68 active one-room schools, the most of any state. That year, University of Montana professor Keith Graham and Missoula photographer Neil Chaput de Saintonge visited 26 of these far-flung outposts of public education. Traveling more than 12,000 miles in all seasons, they encountered dedicated teachers and eager students, and they discovered that Montana’s one-room schools fostered creative teaching, in-depth learning, and close bonds between teachers and students. Whether the school had one student or a dozen, the schools also served as important focal points for isolated communities. With 240 vibrant color photographs and engaging writing, their book, Chasing Time: Last of the Active One-Room Schools in Montana, is an unforgettable portrait of these important cultural icons and their place in the modern world.

Press Release

Montana’s one-room schools are beautifully portrayed in new book

Montana has more than 60 one-room schools, the most in the United States. Intrigued by these far-flung outposts of public education, University of Montana professor Keith Graham and Missoula photographer Neil Chaput de Saintonge visited 26 one-room schools during the 2013-2014 school year, documenting how these schools worked.

Their ambitious project spanned the state and has become a lavish new book, “Chasing Time: Last of the Active One-room Schools in Montana,” with more than 240 color photographs and numerous interviews with teachers, students, and parents.

“I wish we had made it to all of the schools,” Graham said. “It was a pleasure visiting those we did. These schools not only serve as learning centers, but as gathering places in these rural areas.”

The schools welcomed their interest, allowing Graham and Chaput de Saintonge to observe and photograph candid moments during the school day, from flag-raising to reading lessons to recess. Graham said they witnessed dedicated teachers and eager students, and they discovered that Montana’s one-room schools foster creative teaching, in-depth learning, and strong teacher-student bonds.

“I admire everyone who keeps these schools open, active, and engaged,” Graham said. “My hope is that they don’t vanish altogether but remain a strong, viable presence. I cannot imagine Montana’s landscape without them. “Chasing Time” is published by Riverbend Publishing of Helena. It sells for $33.

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About the Authors

Born in Mississippi, Keith Graham received an undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University in English and history and a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Missouri. He worked for 22 years as a photojournalist, editor, and designer at the Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury News and the Roanoke Times, as a freelancer for the New York Times and Washington Post and as a contract photographer for Black Star, Picture Group, and Corbis. Since 1998 he has been a professor at the University of Montana School of Journalism where he leads the photojournalism and multimedia program. He also teaches documentary, design, marketing/business, and capstone classes Native News Honors Project and Montana Journalism Review. He and his family live in Missoula, Montana.

Neil Chaput de Saintonge has been teaching photography for more than 40 years. Growing up in Syracuse, New York, Neil spent his early years making black and white prints in the family darkroom. In 1973 he had the privilege of studying in Yosemite National Park with the great landscape photographer Ansel Adams. Neil opened his first photography school in the late 1970s. As a young child, he had dreamed of living in Montana, and in 1989 he made the move with his wife Jeanne. Together, they opened Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula. Now approaching its 30-year anniversary, RMSP has taught thousands of students the art and business of photography. Neil and his family live in Missoula, Montana.

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