Paula Goff says her family had moved to the small town the day before school started, but her son had no problem transitioning in the new school.
They have welcomed us like we've been here for 50 years," Goff said. "It's like we've all become a family."
After a bachelor's degree, two masters, half a dozen professions, and more than 30 years of teaching, Linda Banks credits the school with putting her on the right track.
"I got my foundation at this school right here," Banks said.
Both women say they're invested in the school's future.
"To close this school this year is like shooting themselves in the foot," Banks said.
"It's a big deal. It's a very big deal. I think our kids will be heartbroken," Goff added.
Redfield Mayor Tony Lawhon is also invested in the 75-year-old school. Working at his salon, Tony says the small town is on the verge of some big economic opportunities, but closing the school would have a chilling effect.
"We feel its the wrong time for Redfield, the wrong time for the students, and the wrong time for the district to make this decision," Lawhon said.
White Hall Superintendent Larry Smith says it's a tough call.
"No one wants to be involved on closing a school," Smith said.
But the school board may have to close the middle school to avoid fiscal distress. Smith says the unexpected cost of mandatory health care coverage will cost the district an additional $106,000 in 2014. The district will also be losing federal money for federally-mandated programs. Coupled with stagnant enrollment, Smith says failing to make the cuts could put the district in dire financial straits.
"You hate for education to ever be about dollars and cents, it's about kids," Smith said. "But at the same time, dollars and cents are the reality, so you have to look at that."
But the community is adamant that Redfield Middle School should stay open at any cost.
"We're asking the school board and leadership to take another look at the budget and see, is there another way?" Lawhon said.
"It makes me ill," Banks lamented. "I do not want to see our town dry up. I do not want to lose our rich culture."