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Five educators to be inducted into Grand Forks Public Schools’ Teachers Hall of Fame

The induction ceremony begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Red River High School Theater, with a dessert reception to follow.

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The Mark Sanford Education Center, headquarters of Grand Forks Public Schools. (Grand Forks Herald photo)
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GRAND FORKS – Five outstanding educators have been selected for induction into the 2022 Grand Forks Public Schools Teachers Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Red River High School Theater, with a dessert reception to follow.

The teachers who will be honored as the newest inductees are: Ron Bergh, Jerome Gunderson, Audrey Kasprowicz, Gwen Lappegaard and Connie Sherwood.

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Ron Bergh
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Ron Bergh, who began teaching in Grand Forks in 1972, after service in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He taught biology — his first year at South Middle School and the remainder of his career at Grand Forks Central High School.

“Ron made a huge impact on many students over those 34 years” before retirement in 2016, according to a letter of nomination. “He was both patient and caring; he was a student favorite!”

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Jerome Gunderson
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Jerome Gunderson, a long-time educator in career and technical education (CTE) fields, taught at Elroy Schroeder Middle School and Grand Forks Central and Red River high schools. As a former CTE director for the school district, he was honored for several “firsts,” including the first building trades house project in the school system.

“He leads by example and is still a great resource for help and advice today,” according to a nomination letter from an information technology teacher. “He really mentored me and taught me many lessons about teaching, learning and just how to be a good person and friend.”

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Audrey Kasprowicz
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Audrey Kasprowicz, a long-time resource education teacher at Grand Forks Central High School, was chosen in 2019 by the North Dakota Association for Career and Technical Education to receive its Lifetime Achievement Award.

“(She) was patient, compassionate, genuine, and an advocate for our at-risk youth,” a letter of nomination read. “Her passion for helping students find their career paths, along with mentoring and guiding teachers, really has made a difference in the lives of hundreds.”

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Gwen Lappegaard
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Gwen Lappegaard taught at Nathan Twining Elementary and Middle School at Grand Forks Air Force Base before accepting a position as an English teacher at South Middle School. According to a nomination letter, “she always went above and beyond for her students. She truly is the best teacher I’ve ever had. I had a lot of excellent teachers in Grand Forks, but she made the biggest impact on my life. I will never forget her.”

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Connie Sherwood
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Connie Sherwood, who grew up in Grand Forks and participated in band, choir and theater in school, followed in the footsteps of her brother, father and grandfather, all music educators in Grand Forks public schools. She taught music at Lake Agassiz Elementary and South Middle schools.

“You would be hard-pressed to find a high school theater production in the past 30 (years) that wasn’t positively influenced by Sherwood’s talents,” according to a news release from the school district. “(She) had an amazing eye for identifying and developing the innate musical and artistic talents in her students. With her creative direction and encouraging support, each student believed they were the star performer by giving their personal best.”

The GFPS Teachers Hall of Fame was created in 1995 by the Grand Forks Foundation for Education and Alumni Network to publicly thank and recognize outstanding and memorable retired educators who have made an impact on students.

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The Hall of Fame is also a means to honor the teaching profession as a whole for its vital role in shaping the future of individuals and society, according to a statement from the school district.

To be eligible for the Teachers Hall of Fame, teachers must have retired from Grand Forks Public Schools at least one year ago. They may be retired elementary or secondary classroom teachers, administrators, counselors or librarians.

Inductees are selected every other year by the Alumni Network Advisory Committee.

Nominations are accepted from former students, colleagues, and members of the general public. Nominations may be submitted at any time at the website https://bit.ly/GFPSTeachersHallofFameForm .

For more information, visit https://www.gfschools.org/Page/126 or contact Emilia Hodgson, executive director of the Grand Forks Foundation for Education, at (701) 787-4866 or ehodgson290@mygfschools.org .

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Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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