NDSU Recognizes Area Educators For Supporting Access To Higher Education

2013 NDSU Distinguished Education Professionals, (from left) Orville Drosdal, Connie Pearson, Dave Schill, Joyce Bergstedt, Terri Court, Jill Vollmers and Rose Krumwiede.

Seven North Dakota and Minnesota high school educators are the first to receive the Distinguished Education Professional award from North Dakota State University.

The new honor recognizes area educators who are advocates for access to higher education and who work effectively with the NDSU Office of Admission.

“These educators play an incredibly important role in supporting access to higher education, which is at the heart of NDSU’s land-grant mission,” said NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani. “Their knowledge of programs and resources at colleges and universities helps students see what is possible. We want to recognize them for the outstanding support they give their students and representatives from NDSU who work with their schools.”

The recipients were nominated by Office of Admission staff based on leadership, commitment and excellence in supporting access to higher education and support of NDSU’s recruiting efforts.

The Distinguished Education Professionals were honored at an award ceremony at NDSU on April 19. During their two-day campus visit, they each chose a student from their high school to receive an NDSU textbook scholarship.

2013 Distinguished Education Professionals are:

Joyce Bergstedt, Esko Public Schools, Esko, Minn.

Bergstedt, program facilitator and career center/volunteer coordinator at Esko Public Schools, has created an environment where students are well prepared for the college search process and for visits from college representatives.

“Consider all your options,” she advises students. “Find a school and career that is a fit for you. This may take some time, and that’s OK. Be prepared to take responsibility for your post-secondary education or career. “

Bergstedt has worked in education for 15 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business education.

Terri Court, Fargo North High School, Fargo, N.D.

Court, career resource specialist at Fargo North, collaborates with community leaders, employers, colleges and universities to create effective processes and programs that benefit Fargo North students.

“I strongly recommend students actually set foot on campus,” she said. “They need to have a tour to get a feel for the school environment, to meet with faculty and students in the department of the training program they are hoping to enter and to ask those important questions: How does your program prepare students to meet the demands of this field? Does this program help students find internships? What is your job placement rate? Where are your graduates getting jobs?”

Court has worked in education for eight years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial psychology from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from St. Cloud State University. She also has done school counseling graduate work at the University of North Dakota.

Orville Drosdal, New Town High School, New Town, N.D.

Drosdal, guidance counselor at New Town High School, demonstrates unwavering commitment to student success, his community and higher education.

As students explore higher education options, Drosdal has two pieces of advice: “Don’t be afraid to set your goals high,” he said. “And don’t be afraid to fail. I ask students to name one person who hasn’t failed at something. Hopefully, we can learn and grow from our mistakes and become a stronger and better person.”

Drosdal has worked in education for 18 years. He is a graduate of the North Dakota State School of Science, Minot State University and Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D.

Rose Krumwiede, Fargo South High School, Fargo, N.D.

Krumwiede, counselor at Fargo South, is known for her ability to make students feel good about themselves and realize their potential.

She, in turn, is inspired by students’ energy and enthusiasm for the future. “They want to be successful and value making positive contributions, professionally and personally,” she said. “They’ve grown up in a world without borders, possessing native technical skills and a readiness for creating and adjusting to change. They thrive on possibilities and they teach me something new every day.”

Krumwiede has worked in education for 38 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics education and a master’s degree in school counseling from NDSU.

Connie Pearson, Maple Grove Senior High School, Maple Grove, Minn.

As college and career technical tutor, one of Pearson’s great strengths is her ability to build relationships with students and representatives from colleges and universities. Through these relationships, she helps students find the right schools and have a smooth application process.

“Know yourself” is her advice to students. “Know what works for you and what doesn’t and make decisions based on that. And never underestimate your potential.”

Pearson has worked in education for 17 years. She holds an associate in arts degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a technical tutor license from the Minnesota Department of Education.

Dave Schill, Hillsboro High School, Hillsboro, N.D.

Schill, counselor at Hillsboro High School, was an early-adopter of technology to support access to higher education. His counseling website continues to be a good resource where students can sign up for the ACT and research scholarships and student loans.

“One of the things that I always try to communicate with my students is that higher education is the ultimate equalizer,” he said. “Regardless of a student’s socioeconomic background, post-secondary training helps put all students on an equal playing field.”

Schill has worked in education for 24 years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in technology education from Valley City State University and a master’s degree in counseling education from NDSU.

Jill Vollmers, Wing High School, Wing, N.D.

Vollmers, school counselor and business/office technology educator at Wing High School, has been known to take juniors and seniors on a weeklong trip to visit all of North Dakota’s colleges and universities. The tour gives students the opportunity to see the different types of schools, sizes and locations their state has to offer.

“They cannot choose their higher education options because their parents went there, their friends are going there or because someone told them to,” Vollmers said. “They really need to find a place that fits them and offers programs and aspects that appeal to them. Taking the time to explore those places is an important facet of finding the right fit for them.”

Vollmers has worked in education for eight years.