Retired educator, Patty Milliken, was inducted into the Duluth Edison Charter Schools (DECS) Hall of Fame Aug 26. Mrs. Milliken, who taught art to DECS junior academy students for 18 years, has been chosen for this honor because of her dedicated service to the school. She retired from the school in 2016. As both an art and home base teacher, Mrs. Milliken helped shape the lives of hundreds of students and had a powerful influence on her colleagues as both a mentor and friend. She also served on the DPSA Board of Directors when the North Star Academy was built.
In her letter nominating Mrs. Milliken for this honor, former student, Tricia Correia wrote, “Through her compassion, Mrs. Milliken created a space in her classroom where students felt comfortable and protected from the typical difficulties of middle school life. She held her students accountable for treating each other with respect, creating a safe space where her students could develop and work on their art.” At her induction, a collection of other former students’ memories of Mrs. Milliken and art work they created were shared.
The Duluth Library Foundation hosted the fourth annual Olga Walker Memorial Award Ceremony on Aug. 14. The event recognized six individuals whose generous support has made a significant difference at the library.
The award is named after Olga Walker (1885-1964), a Duluthian about whom little is known but one fact: this generous lady designated the Duluth Public Library as the sole beneficiary of her will. Her gift became the seed money for the Duluth Library Foundation endowment, which each year bears fruit in support of the library.
Those being honored at this year’s event are:
Royal and Karen Alworth. Royal and Karen each loved books from their youth. After they married and moved to Annapolis, Maryland, they lived four blocks from the library, and the library became a part of their and their children's lives. When they relocated to Duluth, they began to support the Duluth Public Library through Duluth Library Foundation. They have supported it ever since.
Muriel Cowan. Muriel had a passion for friends, family, theater, travel, and literature, and she went to Cambridge to study at MIT in 1930. She gifted the library in her last years, supporting the services that benefited her beloved community.
Beverly and Louise Ellstrom. Beverly was an accountant for the Duluth News Tribune for 47 years. After more than a decade of modest gifts to the Library Foundation, she left a generous bequest in her and her mother’s names.
Esther Linden. In 1948, Esther moved to Duluth and found a job at the Duluth Public Library. One of the patrons later became her husband. She worked at the library for 37 years, then retired and moved with her husband to Las Vegas for twenty years, where she studied for a second career as a social worker. She returned to Duluth, the city she loves, and supports the work of the library through the Duluth Library Foundation.
Students in St. Louis County’s Youth in Action program participated in three days of service and outreach in the Twin Cities. This year’s group is the largest yet with 20 students in grades 9-12 from eight schools. The team worked together on a variety of service projects including preparing meals for families at the Ronald McDonald House, picking up trash in a public park, and helping with a landscaping project at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
This year’s students are from Hibbing, Virginia, Cherry, Proctor, Duluth East, Connections Academy, Northeast Range and Blue Sky schools. They were accompanied by Youth in Action staff Tyler Erickson, Taryn Burnett and Sarah Westerberg.
The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors. Lynn Williams, Patrick Mullen, and returning board member Carrie Heffernan were appointed to the DECC Board by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.
Lynn Williams is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at UMD. Williams was a recipient of The Duluth News Tribune’s 20 under 40 award in 2014. Patrick Mullen has been Chair of the Duluth Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee since 2005. He is currently retired after 29 years as Utility Executive with ALLETE/Minnesota Power and also serves on both the Miller Dwan Foundation Board and Monaco Air Foundation Board. Heffernan is a Global Internal Communications Lead with Accenture. She enjoys volunteering at Chester Bowl and Glen Avon Hockey Rink.
Williams, Mullen, and Heffernan will replace the seats of Greg Fox, Deb Messer, and Yvonne Prettner Solon. Fox served as Board Chair from 2004-2006. Messer served as Board Chair from 2011-2014. Thank you to all three for their service.
New board members join incumbent board members include: Karen Pionk, Board Chair;
Don Ness, Vice Chair; Crystal Pelkey, Board Secretary; David Ross; Mary Finnegan-Ongaro; Roger Reinert; Bill Nelson; and Roz Randorf.
The DECC is an authority created by state statute with a Board made up of four members appointed by the Governor of Minnesota and seven members appointed by the Mayor of the City of Duluth. The Board Members are charged with fiduciary oversight and governance.
The Italian American Club of Duluth announced this year’s 2019 scholarship winners: Alexis Kaspari, of East High School, who is attending UW at Madison; Kyle Friedman, of Hermantown High School, who is attending Lake Superior College; Sarah Donofrio who is attending Bethel University in St. Paul and Alexis Cieluch who is attending University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Each received $1,500 scholarships to continue their education.
Jan Keene from Eagles Auxiliary no. 80 presented a $300 check from their scholarship fund to Katlyn Altobell of Superior.
The 2019 American Association of University Women Scholarship recipients are Anitra Saddler, Kristi Gordon, Sara Socha, Cole Fisher and Kelly Mullan. Each student received $1000 for Post Baccalaureate study at the AAUW Summer Social on Aug. 19. Winners shared inspirational stories and goals with the group. The fundraiser, “Created Here: Meet the Artists” slated for Nov. 7, 2019, at Northland, makes these scholarships possible.
The 28th annual District 5580 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Camp was held on the University of Minnesota Crookston campus July 14-20. Each student is awarded sponsorship by their local Rotary club. A total of 125 campers attended this year, and were sponsored by 55 Rotary International Clubs across District 5580 in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada. The following attended Camp RYLA, a youth leadership camp that gives high school students hands-on learning experiences and sessions to build upon their own leadership skills: Brendan Pfahl, Alex D’Allaird, Frankie Olson, Angelina Nguyen, Leah Halvorson, Haley Kelly-Sample,Sarah Swanson, Kat Halos, Macy Salfer, Madalyn Glockle, Electra Wilhelm, Joey McCormick, Anna Huber, Scott Cordova, Ava Monte, and Will Smith. All were sponsored by the local Duluth Rotary Club. The Camp RYLA staff, including Abby Lonne and Holly McGinn, is comprised of both former campers and District 5580 Rotarians who dedicate a week of their summer to ensure campers have a positive and fulfilling learning experience.
Carolyn Marie Olson, of Aurora, graduated from Clemson University (Clemson, S.C.) with a Master of Science in biological sciences.
I did it!
The 38th annual Minnesota State Old Time Fiddle Championships, held Aug. 3 in Mountain Iron, brought fiddlers young and old out to compete for cash and prizes. Since the contest is certified by the National Old Time Fiddler’s Association, our Minnesota State Champion fiddler qualifies to participate in the National Old Time Fiddle Championships in Weiser, Idaho next June.
Congratulations to these local winners: Championship Division first place, Olivia Skaja of Deer River; second place Sheila Wilcox of Mountain Iron; third place Aaron Wilcox of Duluth; Junior-Junior Division second place Daniel Pospisil of Duluth; Junior Division first place Martine Redshaw of Hovland; Intermediate Division first place Tim Tilberg of Duluth; Non-Fiddle Division first place Olivia Skaja (Mandolin) of Deer River; third place Ellie Norvitch (viola) of Virginia; Twin Fiddling first place Ellie Norvitch and Sheila Wilcox; second place Aaron Wilcox and Sawyer Corcoran.
Representative Jennifer Schultz lead about 20 Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps tutors in an AmeriCorps pledge ceremony at the Discovery Center of the Great Lake Aquarium in Duluth on Aug. 5. The ceremony officially kicked off the 2019-2020 Duluth school year. Minnesota Reading Corps and Math Corps are still in need tutors for the new school year in the Duluth area, St. Louis County and Carlton County. Go to https://minnesotareadingcorps.org/ for details.