The District Insider

Volume 6, Issue 1 | August 2018

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Four outstanding educators have been selected for induction into the 2018 Grand Forks Public Schools Teachers Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony and reception will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 14 at the Red River High School Theater, with a dessert reception to follow. The 2018 inductees will join a notable group of 71 former educators who have been inducted in the Teachers Hall of Fame.

Kerry Jaeger – English Teacher at Red River High School, 1978-2004. An inspirational leader both in athletics and academics, Mr. Jaeger is known for being a very important educator to many. "Mr. Jaeger was excited about his classes and it showed. His enthusiasm was contagious, and his exercises were fun. He really seemed to care about his students and their understanding of his class. He was a great teacher!" Congratulations to Mr. Jaeger as he is inducted into the Grand Forks Public Schools 2018 Teachers Hall of Fame.

Gary Mitchell – Grade 5 and 6 Teacher and Assistant Principal at Nathan Twining; Principal at Lewis and Clark, Roosevelt, and Century elementary schools, 1963-2004. An outstanding educator, leader, and friend to many, Mr. Mitchell is remembered for his service to students and colleagues alike. "He taught me a great deal on how to deal with kids, parents, and co-workers. How do be compassionate, a good listener, fair but still, have control of the situation. I have always had a lot of respect for Gary as my first principal and I am very happy to call him a great friend today."Congratulations to Mr. Mitchell as he is inducted into the Grand Forks Public Schools 2018 Teachers Hall of Fame.

Keith Ronkowski – Marketing Education at Red River High School, 1975-2016. For over four decades, Mr. Ronkowski instructed and inspired students and colleagues in the classroom, school store, and DECA competitions. "While I was only in the classroom with Mr. Ronkowski for three years out of his four decades of teaching, he tremendously impacted my life. I will always be very grateful for the knowledge I gained in his classes, the passion he instilled in me for business competitions, and the leadership development that occurred during my time as a DECA officer." Congratulations to Mr. Ronkowski as he is inducted into the Grand Forks Public Schools 2018 Teachers Hall of Fame.

Annella Winger – Music Teacher at Ben Franklin Elementary, 1981-2015. Mrs. Winger left a lasting impression on the students, families, and staff at Ben Franklin Elementary, where she served as the music teacher for over 30 years. "Not only am I lucky enough to have Annella Winger as a friend, I had her as a colleague. Everyone who was ever a colleague of Annella’s knew that she was the ultimate professional. She was the role model of what we all aspired to be. She is kind. I am sure she has never said an unkind word about another person in her life. She is the model of professionalism." Congratulations to Mrs. Winger as she is inducted into the Grand Forks Public Schools 2018 Teachers Hall of Fame.

About the Grand Forks Public Schools Teachers Hall of Fame:

The Teachers Hall of Fame was created in 1995 by the Grand Forks Foundation for Education and Alumni Network as a means to publicly thank and recognize outstanding and memorable retired educators who have made an impact on students. The Hall of Fame also is a means to honor the teaching profession as a whole for its vital role in shaping the future of individuals and society.

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

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

Nominations of retired educators are accepted from former students, colleagues, or the general public. You can submit a nomination at any time at our website:

For more information, please visit or contact Emilia Hodgson, Executive Director of the Grand Forks Foundation for Education, at (701) 787-4866, or

Central Students Recognized with Top Honors at FBLA National Leadership Conference

Two Grand Forks Central students received national recognition at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) National Leadership Conference, held June 28–July 1 in Baltimore.

Participants from across the United States and abroad attended the conference to enhance their business skills, expand their networks, and participate in more than 70 business and business-related competitive events.

Gabriel Randall and Brandon Schnack from competed in the Digital Video Production event and finished in 10th place. Digital Video Production required the students to create a video designed to persuade the school board to have an FBLA chapter in their school.

“It was great to see these students succeed in something they are so passionate about. They worked hard and put a lot of time and effort into their project. I look forward to seeing what these young men will do with their futures,” said Trevor Lennon, FBLA advisor.

The award was part of a comprehensive national competitive events program sponsored by FBLA-PBL that recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. In addition to competitions, students immersed themselves in interactive workshops, visited an information-packed exhibit hall, and heard from motivational speakers on a broad range of business topics.

Over 9,600 students competed for the opportunity to win more than $175,000 in cash awards.

Grand Forks Public Schools Announce Administrative Assignment

Grand Forks Public Schools has announced an administrative assignment for the 2018-2019 school year.

Tony Bina, currently the activities director at Grand Forks Central High School, has been named an associate principal at Red River High School.

Bina has worked as an educator in a public school setting for 16 years, including five years as the activities director at Grand Forks Central and eight years as a technology education instructor at Red River. Bina was also the head hockey coach at Grand Forks Central for eight years.

Bina holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in technology education, both from the University of North Dakota. He also has a secondary principal credential.

The assignment is due to the resignation of Dr. Kelly Peters.

The administrative assignment was approved by the Grand Forks School Board on July 16.

Grand Forks Public Schools to Transition to Online Streaming Format

Grand Forks Public Schools began live streaming Grand Forks School Board meetings on the district’s YouTube channel on July 16.

As guided by the Grand Forks Public Schools’ Strategic Plan, enhancing school district communications has been a priority area for Grand Forks Public Schools for several years.

In an effort to emphasize the utilization of technology in communications, the school system began to archive Grand Forks School Board meetings on YouTube beginning in August 2016.

With this transition, Grand Forks Public Schools’ has discontinued the use of TV15, or Midco cable channel 15.

“We appreciate the many years Midco provided a platform for Grand Forks Public Schools’ to share news and information,” said Joel Schleicher, Executive Director of Technology. “With the YouTube format, we will be able to share this content with a wider audience using an on-demand format with less equipment and increased accessibility, including closed captioning capabilities. In the future, we will also be able to live stream events and activities our stakeholders are asking for.”

Members of the Grand Forks community can visit the YouTube page at, or at the bottom toolbar on any of the school system’s websites.

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    • A list of the 2017-2018 Examples of Excellence can be found on our website here.

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