Volume 122, Number
Jerry Ahlbergs retire after teaching careers
BY CARRIE OPDAHL
The Herald Press Fessenden and Harvey, ND
The end of this school year was bittersweet for Jerry and Barb Ahlberg of Fessenden who have decided to retire after being a part of the education profession for a combined 54 years.
“We have spent most of our lives at school. We are ready to pursue other interests,” said the Ahlbergs. “But at the same time, we will miss the staff and students and want to thank them for many good years.”
To honor the couple, a retirement party was held May 11. The entire staff of Fessenden-Bowdon School was in attendance, including Ahlbergs’ daughter, Janine, and her children.
“The party was very nice. We were given a Wells County Bears bench made by fellow teacher Lane Moellenkamp, a gold-engraved plaque and golden passes for lifelong admittance to all sporting events,” the Ahlbergs said.
Barb started working for the Fessenden School District in the fall of 1980 and then in 1996, Jerry accepted the position as Fessenden’s High School principal.
Jerry graduated from Leeds High School in 1961 and from NDSU with a mathematics degree and a minor in physical education. Barb graduated from Concordia College with a degree in elementary education and physical education and health.
The couple’s first teaching positions were at the Finley School from 1966 to 1970. “This was a very positive experience because we had such great students,” said Barb.
While employed at the Finley School, Jerry obtained his master’s degree in secondary administration from NDSU. In the fall of 1970, he accepted the principal’s position at the Drake School.
Later, he became superintendent of the Minnewaukan School, holding that position until 1977.
Taking a break from teaching, Jerry decided to pursue a career in banking and insurance. Jerry was employed at First International Bank and Trust in Fessenden and Farmers Union Insurance until the principal position opened at the Fessenden School in 1996.
From 1970 to 1980, Barb stayed home to rear the couple’s three children and worked part-time as a kindergarten teacher in Drake and Minnewaukan.
In 1980, Barb was hired by the Fessenden School. In 1984 she received an English and library degree. She taught English classes and was the librarian at the school for 21 years.
Barb will be leaving after 25 years and Jerry after nine years of service to the Fessenden and Fessenden-Bowdon School.
“While we have seen many changes through the years, the most significant change in education has been the many technological advances in recent years. Keeping abreast has been a challenge and one that we have enjoyed and attempted to stay current with,” the Ahlbergs said.
Now that the couple is retired, they plan to travel and spend time with their family. “Some time will be spent in Montana with our son John and in Fargo with our daughter JoAnna, her husband Jason and their daughter, Elizabeth,” the Ahlbergs said.
“We are fortunate to have our daughter, Janine, her husband, Randy, and children Hayley, Gwynne, Stephen, Matthias and Joseph in Fessenden.”
The couple will continue to be active in the choir and various boards of their church, the Bowdon Church of God. Jerry said he would enjoy going on mission trips now.
“We plan on keeping busy with all the projects and other things that we have been planning to do ‘when we retire,’ ” said the Ahlbergs. “Retirement always seemed years away, and suddenly, here it is!”
Jerry and Barb Ahlberg
Wildcats take "Victory Lap"
Fans were invited to celebrate with the Benson County Wildcats Girls Track and Field Team as it took a “Victory Lap” around Benson County on June 9.
The team was on a roll, coming off a third place finish at the Region 3 Meet in Devils Lake and closing out the year as state champion of ND High School Girls Class B Track & Field in Grand Forks. Fans followed the bus in caravan fashion or met at the stops in Esmond, Maddock, Minnewaukan and Leeds for a reception. Standing, left to right, are co-head coach Bobby Hoffner, Sam Swanson, assistant coach Mike Callahan, Kendall Boyles (in front), Denage Braaten, Bobbi Grann, Jalissa Hovland, Brianna Yri, Krista Anderson, Nicole Stone, Lindsay Anderson, Kayla Bingham, Brenna Stone, Lacey King and co-head coach Jeff Manley. Kneeling are Jordan Callahan, Katrece Thompson, Erin Leier, Sharisa Yri, Ashley Manley and Hannah Anderson. Not pictured are co-head coach Larry Moser, assistant coach Charles Morganroth and tracksters Jessie Schwanke, Courtney Foss, Michelle Olson, Kaidi Kenner, Shannon Schloss, Kaia Pranke, Samantha Kaul, Suzie Treetop and Kara Kallenbach. The youthful Wildcats had only two seniors on their squad this year and no juniors. Next season promises to be another exciting one for the team, fans and their coaching staff.
The annual Named Endowment Recognition Event was held Feb. 17 at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake. The event is sponsored by the Community College Foundation, which supports Lake Region State College.
This year’s recipient of the Valence Pascal Scholarship is Craig Dunbar. He is the son of Clyde and Valerie Dunbar of Greenburg, Ky. and a 1993 graduate of Green County High School. A US Air Force veteran, he and his wife, Corene, live in Pekin with their children where he is employed as a deputy with the Nelson County Sheriff’s Department. The Lake Region Law Enforcement Center, the Benson County community and the Pascal family established the Valence Pascal Scholarship. Pascal was a graduate of the Lake Region State College Peace Officer Training Program. He died of a gunshot wound in August of 1993 while working as a deputy sheriff in Benson County. He was the son of Darcie and Robert Pascal of Williston.
“Don’t Hug Me” at DPRCA
The Dakota Prairie Regional Center for the Arts in New Rockford will open its summer season June 22 at 8 p.m. with “Don’t Hug Me,” a musical comedy by Phil Olson.
“Don’t Hug Me” is a musical comedy that takes place in colorful, rustic north woods Bunyan Bay, Minn. It’s the coldest, most bone-chilling day of the year and cantankerous bar owner, Gunn Johnson (Rock Rindy) is ready to sell the business and move to sunny Florida. Clara (Lynnae Lies), his wife and former Winter Carnival Bunyan Queen, is perfectly content staying right where she is. Bernice Lundstrom (Samantha Bennefeld), the pretty waitress, wants to pursue a singing career. Her fianc?, Kanute Gunderson (Ben Allmaras), wants her to stay home. It’s a battle of wills that tests their relationships until a fast-talking salesman, Aarvid Gisselsen (Kelan Moser), promises to bring romance into their lives through the magic of karaoke.
The show runs 20 performances on various nights in June and July. Exact dates are listed at www.dprca.com or in an advertisement in this newspaper.
Reservations can be made by calling 701-947-2174.
Maddock FFA does well at state convention
Sixteen members of the A.S. Gibbens FFA Chapter of Maddock and chapter advisor Gary Wald attended the 76th annual State FFA Convention at the NDSU campus in Fargo June 6-10.
Elisa Buehler, Cody Lunde, Kayla Thumb and Jeff Wald received the State FFA Degree.
Members selected to play in the State FFA Band were Elisa Buehler, Courtney Foss, Levi Griffin, Kassandra Griffin, Brian Grondahl, Michelle Olson and Kimberly Randle. Erin Markestad and Heidi Simon were selected to the State FFA Choir.
Jordan Backstrom, Brian Johnson and Paul Rice participated in the State Ag Mechanics Contest with Jordan receiving a gold award and Brian receiving a silver award.
Members of the quiz team which received a gold award and second high team in the state were Brian Grondahl, Cody Lunde, John T. Rice and Jeff Wald.
Jeff was the high individual in the quiz contest, receiving a gold award.
John, Cody, and Brian also received gold awards.
Receiving a gold award and seventh high team in the State Food Science Contest were Elisa Buehler, Kassandra Griffin, Cody Lunde and Heidi Simon.
Elisa received a gold award while Kassandra, Cody and Heidi received silver awards.
Courtney Foss, Michelle Olson, Kimberly Randle and Paul Rice participated in the State Dairy Foods Contest with Kimberly receiving a gold award and Michelle and Courtney receiving silver awards.
Elisa Buehler was selected one of four finalists in the State Star Agriscience selection while Jeff Wald was selected one of four finalists in the State Star Agribusiness selection. Jeff was selected as the Star State Agribusiness winner.
Brian Grondahl was selected as having the top agriscience project, which will be sent on to the National FFA Association for judging.
Cody Lunde was a candidate for Northeast Region Vice President of the North Dakota State FFA Association.
Delegates to the State FFA Convention were Brian Grondahl, Cody Lunde and Jeff Wald. Jeff received a gold award and was fifth high individual in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking Contest.
Members of the A.S. Gibbens FFA Chapter of Maddock who attended the North Dakota State FFA Convention held recently at North Dakota State University in Fargo are, left to right, kneeling: Brian Johnson, Paul Rice, John T.
Rice, Jordan Backstrom and Kimberly Randle. Middle row: Erin Markestad, Heidi Simon, Kassandra Griffin, Elisa Buehler, Levi Griffin, Courtney Foss and Michelle Olson. Back row: Brian Grondahl, Jeff Wald and Cody Lunde.
FFA Degree recipients were, left to right, Kayla Thumb, Elisa Buehler, Cody Lunde and Jeff Wald.
Festival planned at Sullys Hill June 16-19
Bird and nature enthusiasts are invited to attend the annual Birding and Nature Festival June 16-19 at Sullys Hill National Game Preserve. Entry to the preserve will be through the new entrance off ND 57.
Birding, wildlife and nature are all featured in a variety of free workshops and seminars including nature landscaping, wildflower identification, bird watching, birding by ear, nest and egg identification, and global positioning systems. Hands-on activities for youngsters are scheduled Saturday, June 18.
A tour of Kellys Slough National Wildlife Reserve will be conducted June 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. Waterfowl banding and nest dragging will be conducted.
Activities June 17 include a bird walk from 6:30 to 9 a.m., waterfowl identification from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., wildflower identification from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, lunch break (concessions available), birding by ear from 1 to 2 p.m., tour of Fort Totten Historic Site from 1 to 2:30 p.m., hawk eyes from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., birds from 4 to 5 p.m., supper break (concessions), and a program from 7 to 8:30 at Sullys Hill Amphitheater featuring NDSU historian Tom Isern. The evening will be capped off with a hayride tour from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Activities June 18 include a birding tour from 6 to 10:30 a.m. at Lake Alice Wildlife Refuge, birding basics from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., tour of Fort Totten Historic Site from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., digital cameras and spotting scopes from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, hayride tours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., lunch break (concessions) from 12 noon to 1 p.m., kids’ activity booths for ages 4 through 14 (track casting, owl pellet dissection, tree climbing, face painting, rock art, kite building, cone feeders, mask making, camo-detectives, feather fun, seed art, walleye spinners and suncatchers from 12 noon to 5 p.m., a live eagle and owl presentation from
1 to 2 p.m. at the Sullys Hill Amphitheater, nest and egg identification from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.; birds from 4 to 5 p.m.; supper break (concessions) from 5 to 6:30 p.m., “Fantasy Fiddlers” at the Sullys Hill Amphitheater from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. hayride tours and bird walks.
Events June 19 include a prairie and wetland bird walk from 6 to 10 a.m., global positioning system workshop from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., landscaping for wildlife in rural North Dakota from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. presented by Ardon and Audrey Herman of Brinsmade and birds from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.
presented by Bill and Elsa Thompson, of Marietta, Ohio, founding publishers of Bird Watcher’s Digest.
All festival events and tours are free and open to the public. For more information and to pre-register for classes, tours and workshops contact Sullys Hill Wildlife Refuge Society, PO Box 286, Fort Totten, ND 58335; 701-766-4272; www.sullyshillbirdfest.com.
Sullys Hill National Game Preserve is located southwest of Devils Lake near Fort Totten. It has long been recognized as one of state’s natural treasures, having been set aside as a national park by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904, and continuing in that capacity until 1931 when it was transferred to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Features include a 4.5 mile auto tour through a big game enclosure and a 1.5 mile self-guided nature trail through the woods.
The Fantasy Fiddlers will give a free performance at Sullys Hill Saturday, June 18 at 7 p.m. Each fiddler began classical violin lessons at Brandon University in Manitoba at age five. With high school graduation scattering their ranks, the Sullys Hill performance will be their last. It will feature a mix of old-time folk tunes, traditional and newer fiddle tunes, classical, gospel, bluegrass and country. The fiddlers range in age from 15 to 21 and most have mastered more than one instrument and participate in vocal groups, dance, and theatrical productions.