Class of 2016

Jennie Buegler has joined the staff at Bank Forward in Bemidji as a personal banker …
Chanel Gangestad of Brainerd is teaching second grade at Nisswa Elementary School …
Carole Holm teaches fourth grade in the Ulen-Hitterdal school system. A resident of Ulen, she also coaches the C-squad volleyball team at the high school …
Ryan Pietruszewski is a sports writer covering area high schools and other sporting events at the Echo Press in Alexandria, where he now resides …
Carolyn Sem has been hired as an administrative assistant at Dominium, an apartment development and management company based in Plymouth …
Carol (Thompson) Vik is Indian education coordinator for the Bagley School District. Vik, who previously held positions for the White Earth and Red Lake tribal councils, has three children, two stepchildren and three foster children. She and her husband, Gary, live in Mahnomen …
Jacob Winter of Albert Lea has joined the staff of the Wells Mirror newspaper as a general reporter …

Courtney Johnson was hired as a preschool teacher at St. Timothy’s Catholic School in Maple Lake … Jack Myers of Brainerd joined Baratto Brothers Construction as a residential project manager … Missy Mickelson is teaching second grade at St. Henry’s Area School in Perham. She lives in Frazee with her husband, Alex, and three children, ages 10 to 13 … Tom Tessier is a project engineer in the Bemidji office of Kraus-Anderson Construction … Erica Trafas commutes from Brainerd to teach second grade at Nisswa Elementary School.

Class of 2015

Allison (Kluver) Beach is teaching kindergarten at the elementary school in Parkers Prairie, where she lives with her husband, Matthew, and two young children.
Megan Bergeson has joined the West Central Tribune in Willmar as a marketing consultant. She previously worked as a graphic designer and advertising consultant at Clara City and Raymond newspapers …
Katrina Hess is a new employee of the Warren-Alvarado-Oslo School District, where she has a fifth-grade classroom while also teaching science and math for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders. She makes her home in Warren …

Jacklin Hedtke is teaching sixth grade at Fairfax Middle School in the Gibson-Fairfax-Winthrop School District. She previously served as a kindergarten teacher in Willmar … Anne Jo Voorhees is a preschool instructor at Kingsland Elementary School in Spring Valley. She lives in Chatfield with her husband, Jordan …

Class of 2014

Charlie Stier is teaching band and choir at Browerville High School, where he also works with the district’s 5-12 Band, 7-12 choir, drama department, pep band, jazz band and pop singers. He and his wife, Laura, live in Eagle Bend …
Chloe Streeper of Mandan, N.D., will spend two weeks this summer as a volunteer physical therapist in Guatemala, where she will fit patients for wheelchairs, canes and crutches; help build a school; and work with disabled children. Streeper is a doctoral student in the physical therapy program at the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D.  She is engaged to former BSU student Nathan Sandberg, who works as an environmental and operations support technician for a road construction company. They are planning an October wedding …
Jill (Pribyl) Wittrock is the new oncology care coordinator at the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center. Working at the clinic in Crosby, she assesses patients’ needs, makes referrals and helps coordinate care. She and her husband, Dennis, live in Ironton …


Jordan Oien has moved from preclinical to clinical studies at Northwestern Health Science University, where he is studying chiropractic. He lives in Bloomington and plans to graduate in one year … Cal Oldenburg has earned water treatment plant and wastewater treatment operator certifications from the state of North Dakota. He lives in Watford City and works for the city of New Town. Both communities are in North Dakota … Veronica (Schmidt) Soine of Paynesville is a special education teacher in the Eden Valley-Watkins School District … Shannon (Thompson) Walters teaches K-4 physical education and seventh-grade health in the Litchfield school system. She also coached the girls’ basketball team last season to an 18-10 record. She and her husband, Mason, live in St. Augusta. He works in dental sales for Henry Schein, a worldwide distributor of medical, dental and veterinary supplies.

Class of 2013

Rebecca Graves is executive director of the Leech Lake Area Boys and Girls Club, which conducts programs in Cass Lake, Walker and Deer River. Graves, who lives in Cass Lake, had served the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in different capacities for 23 years. She has two children … Justin Edmundson is the school resource officer for Grand Rapids police at Robert J. Elkington Middle School. An officer for three years, Edmundson also serves as the resource officer at the district’s elementary schools. He lives in Grand Rapids.

Class of 2012

Dr. Krista Blomdahl is serving as a chiropractor at the Minser Chiropractic Clinic in St. Cloud. Blomdahl, who lives in Sartell, is certified in performing the Webster Technique when working with pregnant women …


Tyler Bradseth is teaching general biology, seventh-grade life science, anatomy and physiology in the Lac Qui Parle Valley school system. Deborah, his wife, operates an online business specializing in designing covers for books, tugboatdesign.net. They live in Madison … In December, professional outdoor photographer Benjamin Olson ’12 had an image of a yawning fox selected as the winner in the wildlife category of the Windland Smith Rice International Awards competition conducted by Nature’s Best Photography magazine. Taken on the Gunflint Trail, the photo was among 82 selected for an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington. The magazine annually receives 20,000 to 25,000 submissions for the competition from around the world … Bryce Tesdahl teaches physical education at New Prague High School. He also guided the boys’ basketball team to an 18-4 record during his inaugural year as head coach. He lives in New Prague.

Chelsea Froemke of Duluth was part of a four-woman crew that raised $109,000 to help rebuild the Wilderness Canoe Base, which lost half of its building to a forest fire. The quartet earned the money from pledges given for each mile they canoed from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area to Hudson Bay. Froemke is a part-time youth minister at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and a full-time volunteer working with the homeless at the Loaves and Fishes Community.

Class of 2011

Ryan Johnson has joined Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor at the firm’s wealth management office in Duluth. He has nearly five years of experience in the financial field with Edward Jones. His wife, AlexAndra (Ehlert, ‘14), is an executive leader at the Target store in Duluth. The couple resides in Hermantown and has a young child.

Class of 2010

Tyler Lehrke was inducted into the Park Rapids Athletic Hall of Fame this spring. Lehrke lettered for the Panthers four years in hockey and three years in basketball. He continued playing hockey at Bemidji State, helping the Beavers win two conference championships and advance to the NCAA Frozen Four tournament in Washington. He lives in his hometown with his wife, Nicol, and works as a carpenter with Tretbar Construction in Osage … Jena Rosemore is the Gifted and Talented Education teacher at Heart of the Lakes Elementary School in Perham. She lives in Ottertail with her husband, William.

Class of 2009

  Hannah Anderson recently opened a home and gift boutique with a north country theme called Compass Rose in Bemidji, where she lives. She continues running her firm, Younique Marketing, which works with clients in branding, marketing, social media management and other services …
  Chris Citowicki has joined the coaching staff at the University of North Dakota, where he will be assistant head coach of the women’s soccer team. Citowicki previously served as head coach at St. Catherine University for six years as well as assistant coach at both Augsburg College and Bemidji State. His wife, Aryn (Sillman ’06), oversees the training program for the Emily Program, a national leader in the treatment of eating disorders. The couple resides in Grand Forks …
Apryl (Klaphake) Fischer is teaching eighth-grade art, and her husband, Jacob, teaches industrial technology at Sauk Centre Secondary School. Both also have duties in the district’s agricultural classroom. The couple recently moved from Wyoming to Sauk Centre with their two young children …
  Nic Johnson has been promoted to internal auditor and compliance officer at Security Bank USA in Bemidji, where he has worked since 2015. He is married to Emily (Justin ’11), a library media specialist at Red Lake Middle School. They live in Bemidji with one young child …
  Angela Liedke is now serving as director of member engagement at the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce. She previously worked at the chamber as special events coordinator and will now focus on member retention, the Young Professionals Network, volunteers and the Chamber Ambassadors. She lives in Bemidji …
  Zach Stich has been named managing editor of the Fergus Falls Daily Journal. He had worked for the newspaper as sports editor since 2012 and also coached football at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls. He is married to Claire, and they live in Fergus Falls with two young children …

Rob and Rosemary Gamache

Jesse Bullock is teaching social studies in the Sebeka school system, where he also will serve as an assistant coach for girls’ softball. He previously taught social studies for four years at Stephen-Argyle Central School … Rob Gamache was recognized as a Top Teacher by Fox 9 News in the Twin Cities. Nominated by a parent of a student, Gamache teaches English language arts at Lincoln Elementary School for the Arts in Anoka. He also teaches an after-school literacy program called Neighborhood Bridges. His wife, Rosemary (Hanggi), works at General Mills as a social media engagement supervisor. The couple lives in Champlin … G. Bradley Nelson of Guthrie authored the book “A Conversant Existence,” which presents an argument for the determination that God is real. He is married with three children.

Class of 2008

Christopher Lian is teaching third grade at Newfolden Elementary School. He also serves as the assistant baseball coach in the district. He and his wife, Kayla, live in Thief River Falls with their three young children.

 

Class of 2007

Brenda Fritz ’07 of Plymouth is playing for the Minnesota Vixen, a professional women’s football team. Now in their 19th season, the Vixen play in the 15-team Independent Women’s Football League, a full-contact, tackle circuit with a schedule that runs from April through June. A cornerback and wide receiver for the squad, Fritz is an assistant manager of Three Stars Sportscards …


Denae (Fisher) Alamano was named executive director of the United Way of the Bemidji Area after serving as the senior community manager in northern Minnesota for the American Cancer Society since 2012. She is married to Orlando (’09), who works at Security Insurance USA in Bemidji, where the couple lives with their two toddlers.

Class of 2006

Katie (LaPorte) Heisserer has been promoted to director of Bridges of Hope, a faith-based, nonprofit connecting families in crisis with assets to strengthen, stabilize and support their needs. She has served the organization in several capacities since 2004, most recently as the development manager. Her husband, Nick (‘04), is enrollment services director for Central Lakes College. The couple has two elementary-age children and makes their home in Pillager …

Brandon Boyd of Warroad has changed law enforcement jobs, ending a nine-year career with the Warroad Police Department and becoming a deputy with the Roseau County Sheriff’s Department, where he had also worked part-time for three years. He and his wife, Kristen, have three young children … Mychal Stittsworth received a $10,000 prize from the IDEA competition to develop a new business plan for his company. Stittsworth, who operates Stittsworth Meats in Bemidji, will use the funding to buy a USDA-inspected mobile slaughtering unit, which will allow his company to go directly to the farmer to process meat. Stittsworth lives in Bemidji with his wife, Danielle, and two grade-school aged children.

Class of 2005

Jason Groth is a reporter who now covers sports for the Wadena Pioneer Journal and the Perham Focus. Groth spent 10 years in Grand Rapids covering sports for newspapers and radio in Grand Rapids before moving to Perham …
Sally (Ohman) Heier teaches first grade in Little Falls, where her husband, Matt, was recently named postmaster. The couple resides in Little Falls with their four children, all under 10.

Class of 2004

Rick Looker was inducted into the Northland Community and Technical College Athletic Hall of Fame. Now enrolled in a graduate program at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, Looker completed a prestigious career of officiating hockey that included games in the World Championships, German Elite League and tournaments in Asia and Europe …

Mandie Aalto is executive director of Advocates for Family Peace, which supports victims of domestic abuse in Itasca County and part of St. Louis County in northeast Minnesota. Aalto had served the organization in a variety of capacities, most recently as business manager. She and her husband, Daniel, live in Grand Rapids with their four young children … Tyler Burke has been promoted to sergeant in the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office. Burke, who lives in Cross Lake, has been with the department 10 years, including stints as a dispatcher and a deputy. He also is a part-time officer for the Shore Lake Police Department … Blake Johnson teaches ninth-grade physical science and seventh-grade STEM classes at South Ridge School in Culver. He spends his summers traveling as a wildland firefighter for the DNR. He lives in Duluth with his wife, Stephanie, and their children.

Class of 2003

Steven Kovacic was nominated by students to be considered for the Professional Excellence in Service Award from Minnesota State. A law enforcement teacher at Hibbing Community College, he was one of 31 nominated from the state universities, community colleges and technical colleges in Minnesota. He and his wife, Kym, live in Bemidji …

James Jotter of Hibbing is the principal of Mountain Iron-Buhl High School. He previously was principal at the Mesabi Academy.

Class of 2002

David Hanson has been appointed to serve as the Clearwater County Attorney. Hanson, who was an assistant attorney in the office prior to being elevated to the top post, brings several years in private practice as well as four years of county experience to the job. He and his wife, Julie, have three preschool children and live in Bemidji …
Aron Levandowski and his wife, Jena, have started the Levandowski Pottery studio in Dassel, where they live. A potter, Jena gave Aron a gift membership at a studio in Minneapolis to learn the art. The couple started creating functional pieces, and in 2003 sold their first works. Now they go through four to five tons of clay each year to keep up with demand. Aron also works in graphic design and marketing at American Time and Signal Company in Dassel. They have two young children …
Stephanie (Graham) Winjum returned to her hometown to work as the business manager of the Frazee-Vergas School District, where she oversees finances and budgets. Winjum previously held the same position at Pelican Rapids. She and her husband, Mike, live in Perham with their two young children …
Scott Wolla is a senior economic education specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Mo. A former teacher of history and economics at Hibbing High School, Wolla now develops personal finance curricula and gives presentations on topics related to social studies, economics and personal finance education. He and his wife, Dawn, live in St. Louis and raised two children.

 

Class of 2000

Marty Costello has been named offensive line coach for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers professional football team. Costello moved to Winnipeg after two years as an assistant coach at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and three years as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Valley City State College in North Dakota …
Nick Hudson is co-owner of Success Fitness in Maplewood. Hudson and the staff are developing a television program, tentatively called “Give Me Strength,” to showcase interaction between trainees and trainers. He lives in White Bear Lake …

Gail Larson retired following a 28-year career with North Valley Public Health, a primary-care facility consisting of a critical-care hospital and clinic in Warren. Larson performed a variety of duties, retiring as its public health director. She lives in Warren with her husband, Don. They raised three children … Jon Passer is a commercial loan officer at Security State Bank in Aitkin. He is a former City Council member in McGregor, where he lives with his wife, Sara, and their three children.

Class of 1999

  Dan Jones gave a presentation in March on Ojibwe spiritual practices and how history has affected them during a program at the Grand Rapids Area Library. He teaches Ojibwe at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, where he lives with his wife, Gail. The couple has four adult children.

Class of 1998

Jeremy Leffelman was a finalist in the IDEA competition, a program that helps entrepreneurs in northwest Minnesota achieve innovative approaches to their business plan. He received a $1,000 prize to develop Raptor Rack, a universal system allowing users to mount specifically designed attachments to any ATV, UTV or vehicle. Leffelman is director of the 360 Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence, based at BSU. He and his wife, Michelle (2000), live in Bemidji with their four children …

Travis Hensch is teaching high school English at Parkers Prairie High School after spending time in the classroom and administrative offices at New York Mills, Wadena-Deer Creek and Northome. His wife, Shana (Pazdernik), teaches science at Sebeka High School. They and their family of three children live in Henning … Cameron Koenen is teaching band at Bertha-Hewitt school after having taught various subjects in Boulder, Colo., and Leeds, N.D.

Class of 1997

Norma Thorstad Knapp has authored two books in retirement. “Missing My Best Friend” is a book for children experiencing loss and grief. Her second, “Scoria Roads: Twenty Houses in Twenty-One Years,” is a memoir and comparative studies contrasting growing up in western North Dakota in the 1940s-60s with the recent oil boom. It earned the Heritage Education Commission’s annual Beverly Paulson Family History Award. Knapp retired following work as a registered nurse, educator and crisis counselor. A resident of Alexandria, she has two grown children …
Tim Longie, a social studies teacher at Hutchinson High School for 20 years, has begun his second stint as head coach of the Hutchinson boys’ golf team. Now that his three children are older, he returned to the links. He and his wife, Laura, live in Hutchinson ….

Cathy (Paslawski) Osterman is interim executive director of the Northfield Historical Society, where she developed exhibits, catalogued the city of Northfield collection and managed educational programs for five years. Her husband, Brian (’97), works in sales for Minnesota Pipe & Equipment. They live in Dundas … Todd Williams, an outdoor and action photographer based in Venice Beach, Calif., and Jackson Hole, Wyo., was nominated in the 2017 Daytime Emmy Awards’ Outstanding Special Class — Short Format Daytime Program category for “The American Dream Project” on Netflix.

Class of 1996

Jason Carlson is the new administrator at CentraCare Health in Paynesville. A licensed LPN and nursing home administrator, he previously served as CEO of Lutheran Sunset Home in Grafton, N.D. After returning to Grafton on weekends, he, his wife Renee, and two young children will be relocating to Paynesville over the summer ….
Derek Hanson was slotted into a prime broadcast niche when KFGO radio in Grand Forks created the “Afternoons Live with Derek Hanson” show that airs daily from 2-5 p.m. Hanson will discuss current local and national topics, politics and sports. KFGO is the top AM station in the Fargo-Moorhead market. Hanson also broadcasts an occasional evening radio program titled “Couch Potato” and writes a weekly “Couch Potato” column for the newspaper in Barnesville, where he lives. …
Marta Underthun received the Exceptional Educator Award from the Western Bank for her work in the Cass Lake-Bena school system. Underthun has worked 21 years in the district, with the past 18 spent teaching first grade.

Class of 1995

Josh Bettcher was inducted into the Bulldog Hall of Fame at Lester Prairie High School for winning 13 letters in five sports. Among his honors were twice captaining the football team, being named conference MVP three years in basketball, and participating in the state track meet. He now teaches biology in Detroit Lakes schools and is an assistant coach in football, as well as the junior high basketball coach. His wife, Kimberly (Algoe ’96), is marketing director at the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center. They have three school-aged children and live in Frazee.

Class of 1994

Lisa (Kavanaugh) Barnett joined MicroNet as its chief operating officer after serving Atomic Learning in a similar management position. Located in Nisswa, MicroNet is a leading developer of management software allowing chambers of commerce and other organizations to run their associations effectively. Lisa and her husband, Ryan, reside in Brainerd with one teenager …


Mike Bauck was named Teacher of the Year for Bertha-Hewitt School. During his 17-year tenure in the business classroom, he taught personal finance, careers, desktop publications, accounting, technology and even gaming. During that time he also coached football and basketball, earning two Girls’ Basketball Park Region Conference Coach of the Year Awards. His wife, Teri (Hanson), teaches second grade in New York Mills, where they live with their three children.

Class of 1992

Nancy (Marcotte) Williams of Owatonna received the Community Change Award presented by the Steele County Safe and Drug Free Coalition. Williams is the Owatonna High School social worker and also serves as the advisor for the organization, Students Helping Others Choose. She was selected to receive the award for her dedication to the wellness of youth and promotion of a safe community.  She and her husband, Jeff, have two teenage children.

Class of 1990

Mark Franta of Winnebago was selected Teacher of the Year in the Blue Earth School District. Franta is in his 36th year of teaching physical science, physics and ecology, mostly in Blue Earth. He and his wife, Mary, have six
adult children.

Class of 1986

Brenda (Blomberg) Dahl was named Roseau Teacher of the Year. A third-grade teacher at Roseau Elementary School, she has taught in the district for 27 years. Dahl and her husband, Mike, live in Roseau and raised three children, including Machaela, who is attending BSU and majoring in education …
John Damjanovich is vice president and commercial real estate loan officer for Northrim Bank in Anchorage, Alaska. He has more than 27 years of experience in the financial sector with banks and companies in Minnesota. He lives in Eagle River, Alaska, with his wife Karen. They have a blended family of four adult children.

Class of 1985

Randy Tabatt was named Employee of the Month by the Little Falls Chamber of Commerce. Tabatt has spent 32 years teaching social studies, psychology, sociology and ethics at the city’s high school. He and his wife, Lynn, have two adult children and live in Little Falls.

Class of 1981

Dr. Jane Harmon is serving as interim chancellor of the Yosemite Community College District, which is based in Modesto, Calif., and includes two institutions. Harmon began her career with stops in Minnesota and New York before relocating to California in 2001, where she has held administrative positions at several colleges, including Gavilan, Kern and Contra Costa. She and her husband, Roger Kemp, live in Los Angeles …

Ken Hauan of Greenwood, Ind., will retire from teaching at the end of the current school year. Hauan has spent the past 26 years as choir director and vocal music teacher at Columbus East High School. His choir won one state choral title and was selected to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Class of 1979

Ruth (Runyan) Hayden was inducted into the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Hayden, who teaches physical education and health in the Ada-Borup school system, stepped down this year after coaching volleyball for 36 years and track and field for 37 years. She was named the region track and field Coach of the Year eight times, and her volleyball accomplishments included eight trips to the state tournament and an overall record of 730-248. She and her husband, Dan, live in Ada, where they raised two children.

Class of 1978

Jerry Cleveland was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Minnesota chapter of the National Wrestling Coaches. A longtime mat mentor at Cass Lake-Bena schools who also led programs at Elbow Lake and Cambridge, he coached 38 state entrants and 14 place winners in Minnesota tournaments as well as nine entrants with three place winners during one year in Onida, S.D. He lives in Bena.

Class of 1977

Ric Dressen is retiring as superintendent of the Edina School District after serving in that post for 11 years. Dressen’s career started in the elementary classroom 40 years ago and included stops as superintendent in Alexandria and Waconia. His public service included running the statewide Minnesota Education Finance Reform Task Force under former Governor Tim Pawlenty; leading the Superintendency Institute to provide ongoing training for administrators; and serving as director of the University of St. Thomas Board of Engineering. He and his wife, Kerry, live in Edina and have two grown children.

Class of 1976

Tom Westberg of Spring Lake Park had an exhibit of his art displayed at the Atrium Gallery of the Bloomington Center for the Arts. His paintings utilize the qualities of both negative and positive space found in newsprint. His previous showings included the Tweed Museum in Duluth and the Minnesota State Fair.

Class of 1972

Beryl (Paul) Wernberg retired as 911 communications supervisor in Beltrami County. Through more than 42 years in law enforcement, she handled calls to the Bemidji Fire Department, Bemidji Police Department and Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office. She and her husband, Myron, live in Bemidji and have a blended family of two adult children.

Class of 1970

Rich Glas became the 95th head men’s basketball coach in NCAA history to record 600 wins when his Concordia Cobbers beat St. Olaf last December. Glas, who retired this spring with a career 608 wins, has coached for 47 years, 37 of those as a head coach at Minnesota Morris, Willamette (Ore.) University, the University of North Dakota and Concordia College. At Bemidji State, he was a member of the first team in history to notch an unbeaten conference season during the 1966-67 campaign. He and his wife, Sandy, are planning to move this summer from their home in Moorhead to their lake cabin in Nevis and spend winters on the West Coast near the family of one of their two adult children.

Class of 1969

Duane Carlson has been inducted into the Centennial Hall of Fame for 38 years of distinguished service as a teacher in the district that serves Blaine, Centerville and Circle Pines. He taught middle-school math for seven years before finished his career at the high school level. He and his wife, Denise, reside in Circle Pines and have three grown children.

Class of 1967

Margaret Kern was featured in a newspaper article that chronicled nearly 48 years she spent educating students in the Wadena, Bluegrass and Sebeka areas. Kern began teaching at age 16 in a country school before earning a degree from BSU that allowed her to take a position in Sebeka, which she held until retiring after the 1986 school year. Her only break from the classroom was two years in the mid-1950s when she was recuperating from a stroke. A widow, she and her husband raised seven children from their farm in Bluegrass.

Class of 1962

Bob Brunfelt was inducted into the Mountain Iron-Buhl Football Hall of Fame. A former educator and real estate broker, he competed in three sports for Mountain Iron and earned four letters in football, where he twice earned all-conference honors. He and his wife, Carol, live in Scandia and have four adult children.

Other Alumni

John Buckanaga, youth services coordinator for Bemidji Area Schools, has been chosen as the Regional Community Educator of Excellence by the Minnesota Community Education Association. A 20-year employee in Bemidji Community Education, he has secured more than $5 million in grants for the district. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Bemidji.