The second class of Faribault High School Distinguished Alumni Award recipients will be inducted Saturday during a reception at the Faribault America Legion.  The award recognizes graduates of Faribault High School who have gone on to make distinctive contributions to benefit others through humanitarian activities or extraordinary personal and professional accomplishments.  Alumni Award Steering Committee Chairperson Jill Fagerlund and member Cheryl Freund will be guests on Friday's KDHL AM Minnesota program.

They will give us more details about the seven selections made this year.  The first class consisted of 11 alumni last year.  In addition to Fagerlund and Freund Steering Committee members also include Ellen Bisping, Sue Feyereisn and Barb Wertish.  Alumni Award Selection Committee members are Reverend Craig Breimhorst, Jan Riach, Cassie Gerbig, Dr. Mary Jane Tetzloff, Gary Bonde and Janel Klein.  A permanent display is located in the lobby of Faribault high School containing framed photos and an engraved plaque recognizing each of the selections.  In addition, individual etched metal plates with each recipient photo and biography is featured in the Alumni Hallway near the Counseling Office at the high school.

This year's selections include:

  • Donald "Buck" Burkhartzmeyer, Class of 1942, Local Business Owner and Community Ambassador.  His favorite saying is, "A smile never costs you anything."  Bucks smile is not only seen at the shoe store downtown but also the Faribault nursing homes he frequently visits to brighten the lives of many residents.  Buck has received a number of professional awards and been recognized numerous times for his contributions to the Faribault community through numerous service clubs including United Way, Faribault Exchange Club, Junior Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman of the Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds.
  • Larry Charbonneau, Ph.d, Class of 1957, Chemist and Co-Author of over 40 Patents.  His most notable patent was for Vectra, found in most computers and cell phones today.  Charbonneau credits a few of this Faribault High School teachers with nurturing and encouraging him.  A two-week seminar at St. Olaf College in Northfield between his junior and senior year of high school inspired him to change his career choice from mechanical engineering to chemistry.  Larry attended St. Thomas University and received his bachelor's degree from Mankato State University.  He then worked at 3M Corporation in St. Paul as a chemical engineer.  With the encouragement of a supervisor Larry went back to school to get his MS in chemistry in 1969 and Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1972, both at the University of Illinois.
  • Dr. Alan W. Markman, Class of 1971, Orthopedic Surgeon and Businessman.  Dr. Markman was offered a scholarship to attend Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts but turned it down to stay in Faribault and help care for his ailing mother.  He was valedictorian of the class of 1971 and excelled in football, basketball and track.  He was the MVP of the 1970 Faribault Falcon football team and went to Ivy League school Dartmouth College.  Al received a number of football awards and received a B.A. in biology.  He delivered the graduation address to the Dartmouth College class of 1975.  Al then went to the University of Michigan Medical School where he played rugby.  He then spent five years at the University of Minnesota hospitals learning orthopedic surgery technique.  He interned in Eugene, Oregon and then opened the Minneapolis Sports Medicine Center.  Dr. Markman was a founding partner of the TRIA Orthopedic Center in Bloomington, Mn. Al has worked with many professional athletes over the years.
  • Ann Michels, Class of 1988, Performer in Theater and Music.  Ann has worked with over 25 Twin Cities theaters including The Guthrie, Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Ordway, Old Log and Children's Theater.  Often playing lead roles like Mary Poppins where she starred and danced despite having a broken bone in her foot.  She began teaching 7th grade English and Theater Arts and coaching gymnastics in Morris.  Her voice coach encouraged her to move to the Twin Cities and pursue a career in theater.  Ann also excelled in softball and gymnastics in high school and played softball at the University of Minnesota- Morris where she has been honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award.
  • Martha Schultz, Class of 2002, Community Organizer and Advocate.  Martha majored in nutrition science at the University of Minnesota and upon graduation served as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow creating tutoring programs for at-risk Latino youth in the Northfield area.  She obtained MA degrees in both non-profit management and English as a Second Language education.  Martha is passionate about working with the Faribault Somali community and worked for several years with Faribault Community Education.
  • Carol Luecke Thomas, Class of 1966, Air Force Brigadier General.  Carol graduated with honors from Faribault Senior High School and then went to Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. where she graduated cum laude with a B.S. in nursing.  She joined the Air Force after graduating.  Her father and an uncle and cousins served in the military.  Carol's original goal was to become a flight nurse.  She was commissioned as a second lieutenant and went to Texas for basic orientation for medical officers.  Eventually she did become a flight nurse on C-141s out of Charleston, SC where she met her husband.  Her two pregnancies ended her flying career.  The family moved to Reno, Nevada where Carol joined the Air National Guard and rose through the ranks.  Eventually received the rank of Brigadier General becoming the first female general in the state.

Another impressive class of inductees to Faribault High School Distinguished Alumni.  Social hour begins 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Faribault American Legion and the program starts at 6:15 p.m.

AM Minnesota is 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. every Monday through Friday on KDHL 920 AM.

Faribault American Legion site of Faribault "High Flyers" Distinguished Alumni Banquet-photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Faribault American Legion site of Faribault "High Flyers" Distinguished Alumni Banquet-photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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