The Duluth East High School Hall of Fame was established in 2012 as a joint effort between the East High School activities office and the newly established Duluth East High School Foundation. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize the outstanding achievements made by community leaders, athletes, coaches, advisers and teachers from East High School.
The following people were named to the Hall of Fame for 2015.
Thomas "Dukes" Knutson, a Birchen Award winner from the Class of 1969, Knutson was a teacher and coach at East from 1984 to 2003. Dukes coached baseball and hockey and taught physical education, health and journalism. He established a chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Students Against Drunk Driving at East. Knutson created The Association and advised it for seven years. Dukes was a volunteer for University of Minnesota Duluth athletics for 37 years. Dukes continues his work with the FCA and Baseball Chapel. He now serves as a StatsCrew operator for the University of South Florida's basketball teams, press box coordinator for the Tampa Bay Rays (Twins in 2012), and is active in prison ministry in Sarasota County.
Kristi (Duncan) Plante, a member of the class of 1991, class officer and homecoming queen, earned 14 letters in volleyball, basketball and softball. She was All-Conference in all three sports and All-State in softball and volleyball. Kristi was Top Senior Athlete in 1991. Following her high school career, she became a star athlete at UMD where she was named Outstanding Female Senior Athlete and Top Scholar Athlete in 1999. She was the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference RBI Champion in 1994. In 1995 Kristi was selected to the All-
Conference Softball team and was the 1995 NSIC Regular Season Champion in softball.
Glenn L. Rolle began his career at East in 1951, teaching physical education and health. During his 14 years as head hockey coach, Rolle made four state tournament appearances and led East to its first state hockey championship in 1960. Glenn retired from coaching in 1967 and became East's athletic director. He was instrumental in opening the door to equality in girls' athletics. Rolle won numerous honors including: the Minneapolis Tribune's Outstanding Coaching Award, the Cliff Thompson Award, 7AA Athletic Director of the Year, and in 1991 he was inducted into the Minnesota High School Coaches Association Hockey Hall of Fame.
Judy Smith, a teacher of anatomy and physiology at East High School from 1976-99, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a degree in biology and chemistry. Smith is a certified medical technologist through St. Luke's School of Medical Technology and is known as an inspirational teacher who began the training of more than 100 doctors and numerous others in the medical field. She attended 10 Nobel Conferences during her teaching career and in 1999 was the recipient of the Greg Irons Award for inspirational teaching and commitment to her subject.
Phil J. Verchota, a member of the class of 1975, won All-State Honors in hockey and football. He was a winner of two National Collegiate Athletic Association National Hockey Champion titles while at the University of Minnesota. Verchota twice won the John Mayasich Award for outstanding athletic scholarship while at the University of Minnesota. He was a member of the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Hockey teams and won the Gold Medal for Ice Hockey in the famous "Miracle on Ice" game in the 1980 Winter Olympics. He is currently northern market president for Deerwood Bank.
The Duluth East Foundation Hall of Fame dinner begins at 6 p.m. Saturday in the East High School Atrium. Tickets are $50 and include the Friday Hall of Fame football fame. Contact Shawn Roed, East activities director, at (218) 336-8845.