Faces: Award winners, 4-H news and a donation

See who is doing what in the community.

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Duluth News Tribune / Getty Images

Service notes

Wisconsin Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Levi T. Parker. Contributed photo

  • Wisconsin Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Levi T. Parker received the Maj. Richard I. Bong Award at a “Breakfast with the Boss” event hosted by Wisconsin Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve in September. Parker, a survey team chief with the Guard’s 54th Civil Support Team, earned the award, named in honor of Bong, a Wisconsin native and the top American air “ace” of all wars having destroyed 40 enemy aircraft in aerial combat during World War II. Bong, born in Superior, was a fighter pilot in the Army Air Corps and a Medal of Honor recipient. The award in his honor is given annually by the Milwaukee Armed Services Committee to Wisconsin service members who have displayed outstanding traits of leadership and professionalism through their contributions to their Guard or Reserve military unit and to the community.
    His contributions to his unit include sponsoring the “Soldiers for the Best Warrior” competition, competing in the “Best Sapper” competition and more. Parker designed and created a mask accessory called an ear guard that acts as a mask-loop extension so that masks are supported by the back of the wearer’s head rather than their ears. A total of 6,500 of these were donated to first responders in Wisconsin, troops deployed to Italy and eight other states.

Community leaders

  • The YWCA Duluth’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women and girls, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Each year, the organization recognizes and celebrates people who make significant contributions to this mission in the Twin Ports area. The YWCA Board of Directors voted on the individuals who were nominated and selected Julia Cheng and Natasha Lancour as the 2021 People of Distinction and Khayman Goodsky and Sandra Gbeintor Oyinloye as the 2021 Emerging Leaders.

Education notes

  • Tadd Johnson was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native American Finance Officers Association in September. Through its work in growing tribal economies and strengthening tribal finance, NAFOA supports the advancement of independent and culturally vibrant American Indian and Alaska Native communities. NAFOA commends Tadd M. Johnson for his years of dedication and commitment to advocating on behalf of their communities and Indian Country by honoring him with a NAFOA Lifetime Achievement Award. The organization affirms that Johnson has paved the way for a brighter economic future for Native American people. As director of graduate studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth, he worked with tribes to create a Master of Tribal Administration and Governance degree and a Master of Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship degree. He helped establish a program with the state of Minnesota and the 11 tribes to educate state employees on the history of federal, state and tribal relations. To date, he has educated and trained over 3,700 state employees.

Learning notes

  • Sarah Jungbluth, of Hayward, graduated from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, with a master's degree of business administration in accounting emphasis in July.


Pictured are Hermantown Elementary staff member Mrs. Sue Kyllonen, left, and Exalted Ruler and chairperson of the dictionary program Cindy Lawrence. Contributed photo

  • The Duluth Elks sponsors a dictionary program every year supplying third graders with their own dictionary. This year, they gave out dictionaries at Hermantown Elementary School.

4-H happenings

Four 4-H youth from North St. Louis county participated in the Minnesota 4-H State Horse show Sept. 17-20. This year,591 youth from across the state participated in the annual event at the Minnesota State Fair. 4-H’ers demonstrate their skills and knowledge in hippology (showing knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry); horse judging (study of an animal, measuring it against an accepted ideal); horse training and achievement; speech; and demonstrations about interest in horses or the horse industry, showmanship and drill team skills.


Youth who participate in the Minnesota 4-H Horse Project learn about show, trail and endurance riding; test their horse knowledge at quiz bowls or on judging teams; and study horse science.

The following youth were members of the North St. Louis County delegation:

  • Macie Johnson, Nashwauk, seventh in Western Pleasure.

  • Ryan Nash, Hibbing, third in Showmanship.

  • Samantha Oles, Nashwauk, ninth in Poles.

  • Aryssa Sirjord, Hibbing, did not place in her events, but had great rides and represented north St. Louis County 4-H well.

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Ryan Nash, of Hibbing, placed third in Showmanship. Contributed / 4-H

FACES_Samantha Oles- Nashwauk- 9th place poles.jpg
Samantha Oles, of Nashwauk, placed ninth in Poles. Contributed / 4-H

Faces_Aryssa Sirjord- Hibbing.jpg
Aryssa Sirjord, of Hibbing, did not place in her events, but had great rides and represented north St. Louis County 4-H well. Contributed / 4-H

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