Decorated alumni inducted into halls of fame

Brian Tolzmann reads the biography of 2003 graduate Krista Lange during the Academic Awards and Hall of Fame Ceremony June 2. Seven Forest Lake Area Schools alumni were inducted into the district’s halls of fame. (Photos by Clint Riese)

Brian Tolzmann reads the biography of 2003 graduate Krista Lange during the Academic Awards and Hall of Fame Ceremony June 2. Seven Forest Lake Area Schools alumni were inducted into the district’s halls of fame. (Photos by Clint Riese)

Seven former Rangers were inducted to the school district’s two halls of fame as part of the academic awards night ceremony June 2.

School District Hall of Fame

Dr. James Bullard
As chief executive officer of the Eighth District Federal Reserve Bank, Dr. James Bullard, a 1979 graduate of Forest Lake High School, is now one of the top officials in the U.S. Federal Reserve System, the entity responsible for conducting the nation’s monetary policy, and for supervising all U.S. banks.

Dr. Bullard has worked at the Federal Reserve, located in St. Louis, Mo., since 1990. He served as deputy director of research for monetary analysis before rising to the CEO position in 2008.

During his time at Forest Lake High School, Dr. Bullard participated in concert band, basketball, cross-country and tennis. He earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University, and he received his Ph.D. in economics from Indiana University.

He has written numerous scholarly papers published in professional journals, has lectured around the world on economics and is among the nation’s leading authorities on monetary policy. He also serves on the United Way Board of Trustees and is an adjunct faculty member and Ph.D. advisor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Clinton Fladland
A war hero, business leader and community volunteer, Clint Fladland helped the city and schools of Forest Lake grow and thrive during the 1960s and 1970s.

He was born on a farm south of Forest Lake. During his years in high school, he played four years of basketball, two years of football and performed in theatrical productions.

Fladland graduated from Forest Lake High School at age 16 in 1938, and earned his law degree from the University of Minnesota in 1943. He enlisted in the Marine Corps, and, during World War II, was a combat pilot in the South Pacific. His efforts in World War II and the Korean War earned him a Naval commendation.

Fladland and his family moved back to Forest Lake in the 1960s, and he worked in several businesses, including selling insurance and real estate.

His volunteer work in the community included helping found the Forest Lake Development Corporation, which developed the land that later became the Forest Lake Industrial Park. In addition, he was active on the Forest Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and advocated on behalf of the needs of the school district. Now a resident of St. Cloud, Fladland has worked to help create a new program that would pay the costs for World War II veterans to go to Washington, D.C., to visit the National World War II Museum.

He was chosen to be grand marshal of this year’s Forest Lake 4th of July parade.

Carol Rupar
Carol Rupar was one of the most popular and well-respected music teachers ever to work at Forest Lake Area Schools.

From 1972 until 2011, Carol taught at Central Junior High and the current Century Junior High School, and was known by many as the heart and soul of the school’s music program.

She was a talented teacher and strong faculty leader who led the charge in expanding the instrumental music program to sixth grade. She was runner-up as Forest Lake Teacher of the Year in 1979, and she served as assistant director during European tours that the high school organized in 1997 and 2000.

Rupar works as a substitute teacher throughout the school district and directs the Century Jazz Band. She has also shared her musical talents for many years with several contemporary church groups in the Forest Lake area.

Sorman

Sorman

Bob Sorman
A few years ago, Bob Sorman was volunteering at the Adult Basic Education program at the Forest Lake Community Education office when he learned that an adult student he was tutoring was sleeping on the floor of her house. Sorman made a few phone calls, and a box-spring and mattress were soon delivered to the student’s home.

This is typical behavior for a man who, at 89, seems to have limitless energy when it comes to helping others. Since 1989, Sorman has volunteered about five days per week. He has helped countless adult students prepare for their GED exams and work on their English language skills. 

In 2009, with about $10,000 in seed money, Sorman started a program that awards scholarships to graduates of the ABE program who are pursuing post-secondary education. 

He received the 2009 Minnesota Literacy Council’s Ledyard Award, and was recognized that same year by the Minnesota State Legislature. 

High School Arts and Athletics Hall of Fame

Krista Lange
Krista Lange set many individual records for the Forest Lake High School girls’ golf team before graduating in 2003.

Over a six-year period, Krista was an all-conference selection and an individual state tournament participant every year. She finished as the top girls’ golfer at the SEC Conference meet four straight years. She finished second at the state golf tournament in 2002.

Her talents earned a Division I golf scholarship at the University of Montana, where she continued to shine. Lange was a letter-winner at Montana from her freshman year through graduation, and twice earned all-conference first-team honors. She also helped lead her team to the Big Sky Conference championship and finished second, individually, in the tournament. She also earned the University of Montana’s President’s Award two times, and was named Academic All-America in 2006.

By the end of her college golf career, Lange ranked first all-time in career scoring average and had the lowest three-round total in school history.

She became a teacher after college. She worked at St. Croix Preparatory Academy and was head coach of the boys’ and girls’ varsity golf teams before returning to Forest Lake Area Schools. She currently teaches third grade at Wyoming Elementary School.  

Swanson-Novak

Swanson-Novak

Susan Swanson-Novak
Susan Swanson-Novak was a teacher, coach and integral part of one of the most dominant speech dynasties in the state during her 16-year career. Starting in 1982, Susan coached more than 200 speech competitors, including 23 state medalists, and she earned the National Forensic League’s prestigious Double-Diamond Award. She also worked as a theater director at Forest Lake High School from 1980-1998.

By the time she retired, Forest Lake held the state record for most all-time state champions, with 39 – six of whom Swanson-Novak coached.

After retirement, she continued to serve as a choir director and substitute teacher at the high school. She was also elected to the Forest Lake School Board, where she was a director from 1999–2003. She continues to serve as executive director of the Youth Performing Arts, an organization she founded in 1999.

Dorothy Sunne
Dorothy Sunne was Forest Lake’s debate coach from 1983-1995, and she returned to that position in 2003 to coach for two more seasons. Dorothy’s teams were section champions 10 times, and she led 31 of her teams to the state tournament.

Sunne

Sunne

Her teams placed in the top eight in the state 10 times. Perhaps her greatest year as coach was 1994, when Lincoln-Douglas debater Kelli Beard team reached the state semifinals and the entire speech and debate team placed fifth at the national tournament in Kansas City.

In 1990, Sunne received both the Minnesota Debate Teachers Association Coach of the Year Award and the Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota’s Outstanding Individual Award. In 1994 she received the James Graupner Distinguished Service Award. She was inducted into the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame in 1996. She has also been honored nationally by receiving the National Forensic League Double-Diamond Coach of Distinction Award.

One of her most noteworthy accomplishments was the Flake Stakes debate tournament, which she helped create in 1984. By 1994, the Flake Stakes had become the largest high school debate tournament in Minnesota.  

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