Skip To Main Content

Toggle Close Container

Mobile Main Nav

Mobile District Link

Mobile District Accordions

Header Holder

Header Top

Search Slide Menu

District Slide Menu

Header Bottom

Header Bottom Right

District Home Link


Toggle District Container


2001 Recipients


Mike Barge

For 16 years Mike Barge has been the head teaching professional at Hazeltine National Golf Club, where members tend to be judicious about the quality of instructors.  "Obviously to just be here that long he's got to be extremely well-liked among the members," said Mike Schultz, head pro at the Chaska, Minn., club.  Barge has been annually voted by golf publications to be among the top 100 teaching professionals in the country. He maintains a national reputation for both his playing and teaching skills. 

It was a competitive career that took off in 1970, his sophomore year of high school, when he won the first of three straight Fargo-Moorhead Junior All-City titles. A standout on South's team, he was the North Dakota individual champion in 1972.  Barge went on to become a junior college All-American and then played at Southern Methodist University on a team that included the late great pro Payne Stewart. In that time, he also qualified three times for the U.S. Amateur.

Although he spends much of his time helping others on the driving range, Barge has continued to excel as a player. He is a five-time winner of the Minnesota PGA Assistants Championship and three-time titlist of the Minnesota PGA Section championship.  He was the Minnesota PGA Player of the Year in 1986.

"There are a couple of things that make Mike a great teacher," Schultz said.  "One is the knowledge of the swing, and the other is his own ability. He is an excellent player."  In addition to guiding Hazeltine members of all ages and handicaps, Barge has also worked with many top amateurs and pros who have sought out his advice.

Barge spends the winters as a teaching professional in Jupiter, Fla.  "Mike is easy to get along with and has a great sense of humor," Schultz said. "Above all else he has patience and enjoys people. That combination makes him a great instructor and great person."


Julie Gilbertson

Julie Gilbertson is a 1983 graduate of Fargo South High School who has received acclaim for excellence in not one, but two areas of endeavor.  Throughout her school years, Gilbertson was honored for high achievements in academics. In high school she was a member of the National Honor Society and a class valedictorian with a 4.0 grade point average.

Academic excellence followed Gilbertson into higher education at Concordia College. She was inducted into two honor societies (Alpha Honor Society and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society). She received her Bachelor of Arts degree as a Summa Cum Laude graduate.

Gilbertson was the recipient of numerous academic awards during her years in medical school as well. One of the most prestigious honors she received was the Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Award, given to a female student who graduated first in her medical school class at the University of North Dakota.  Gilbertson was the first recipient.  Gilbertson's academic record is even more impressive when it is coupled with her achievements outside the classroom, most notably on the tennis court.

In addition to being the North Dakota girls state singles tennis champion two years running (1982 and 1983) Gilbertson was ranked as one of the top players in the region. From 1979 to 1983, the United States Tennis Association consistently tagged her as a top three player in the Northwest Region.  Gilbertson eventually proved herself in college winning the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference No. 1 singles championship from 1984 to 1987.

Concordia women's tennis coach Bernice Pavek remembers Gilbertson's achievements both on and off the court: "From early on, Julie made a commitment to academics and winning her tennis matches. In her four years at South she lived up to both of those commitments remarkably well." Pavek said Gilbertson was an inspiration to others. "In her efforts she motivated others on the team to excel and achieve what they could. She was pretty amazing."

In 1997 Gilbertson was inducted into the Concordia College Hall of Fame. Since 1999 she has been a Senior Associate Consultant in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.


Eugene Gullingsrud

Eugene Gullingsrud might be the classic overachiever. Throughout his life, the 1983 Fargo South High School graduate has excelled not only in academics, but in extracurricular activities and service to his community. "Gene is without a doubt one of the finest young men I have ever had the opportunity to meet," said Roger Hoffman, Gullingsrud's former teacher and employer.

Gullingsrud received numerous national, state,and local awards for academics. He was named a National Merit Scholar, North Dakota's Most Valuable Student and 1983 class valedictorian, garnering a 4.0 cumulative grade point average since junior high school. However, Gullingsrud did not spend his high school years with his nose buried in a book. He served four years on the student council, capping off his service as senior class president. He was also a musician and athlete at Fargo South High, participating in wind ensemble, orchestra, pep band, Dixieland jazz band, track and field, basketball, and football.

In the spring of his senior year, Gullingsrud made North Dakota history. He created, produced, and hosted On the Scene, the first high school television program in North Dakota history. Not surprisingly, the class of '83 voted Eugene Gullingsrud "most likely to succeed." In the subsequent years, he's earned that title.

In June of 1987, Gullingsrud graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Biology from Stanford University. As a student, his research in neurobiology attracted attention from numerous organizations. As a result, he was awarded more grants than any Stanford undergraduate in history. Gullingsrud's excellence continued into medical school at the University of Minnesota where he graduated in the top 10% of his class.

Gullingsrud is currently the Chief of Ophthalmology at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, Minnesota. He has taken his expertise back to the classroom as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School.  "Gene Gullingsrud will always be a leader, both in medicine and in the community," said former professor Dr. Jay Krachmer. But perhaps Hoffman said it best: "Gene has that 'little something extra' that sets him apart from all others." 



When one of Bob Hendricks' journalism students learned she had earned a full scholarship to college, the longtime South teacher waltzed in the hall with his happy pupil.  For his students, who worked hard and played hard, there was always time to dance. Only after the deadline, of course.

Hendricks was the adviser for 41 yearbooks and 34 years of the Sudhian newspaper. His students annually claimed top honors in journalism. Many went on to become professional reporters.  Hendricks demanded the best for his students, from expert training to state-of-the-art equipment. His publications always set the pace, whether it was with full color photography or crisp writing.

Among his numerous individual accomplishments include National Scholastic Press Association Adviser of the Year four times; Dow Jones Distinguished Adviser in 1997, one of only four in the nation that year; and the Pioneer Award, the highest honor of the Northern Interscholastic Press Association.

He also worked in the real world. In the early 1980s Hendricks came knocking on the door of The Forum, Fargo's daily newspaper, and asked to be considered for a summer internship. He wanted to be a reporter so he could refresh his skills, pump new blood into his veins and pass the experience on to young journalists at South High.  "Hendricks turned out to be a whirling dervish who ran circles around journalists 20 years younger," the Forum wrote in a tribute to Hendricks when he retired. "He demanded editing, wanted to learn and, like a sponge, soaked up all he could."

The final Sudhian with Hendricks' name in the masthead was filled with tributes from former and current students, including recent graduate Kristin Palm. "Mostly, Hendricks is a friend to all his students," Palm wrote. "He tells stories and the truth. He has been a phenomenal teacher, but more importantly, a phenomenal man."


Phil Johnson

A former coach calls Phil Johnson, “One of the most talented athletes to walk into South High as a 9th grader.”

Johnson was a multi-sport athlete.  He was both a quarterback and wide receiver for the Bruin football team and a goalie for the hockey team, but it was in track and field where Johnson’s talents really shone.  His awards are numerous.  In addition to being a state champion high hurdler he was named North Dakota’s prep track and field athlete of the year and the most valuable player and outstanding athlete at the All-Cassell relays.

Before graduation in 1976, he won more athletic letters than any other student at South high, but Coach Gelaine Orvik says Johnson was far more than just a good athlete.  He was an outstanding student and leader.  Orvik says Johnson was always confident in his abilities, but never flashy.  His confidence proved inspiring to teammates.  “He was always so reassuring to the other athletes.  He was always taking care of everyone,” says Orvik.

Given Johnson’s ability in taking care of others, it is not surprising he chose to pursue medicine as a career.  Following graduation from the University of North Dakota, where he continued his athletic career playing football, Johnson received his degree from the University of North Dakota Medical School.

His training in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine has enabled him to further involvement in athletics.  He currently serves as the team physician for Concordia College, the Fargo Public Schools, Fargo-Moorhead Beez, Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks, and the West Fargo Public Schools.

The continued safety of high school athletes is foremost in Johnson’s mind.  He is helping develop a medical advisory committee for the North Dakota High School Activities Association.  Its goal is to provide recommendations and advice about protective equipment and gear for athletes involved in all high school sports.


Gelaine Orvik

Gelaine Orvik built Fargo South's boys track program to elite status by roaming the halls to recruit athletes, showing the boundless energy that would rub off on his Bruins.  In 30 years as head coach, he never met a runner, jumper and thrower he didn't like.  "He has done a great job of recruiting and getting numbers," long-time assistant track coach Dale Hertel said when Orvik retired. "He's a strong leader."

Like the English students he liked to tutor, Orvik could turn the most novice athlete into Shakespeare. He would show as much excitement for the distance runner who set a personal best as he would the pole vaulter who set a school record.  "I think he really enjoys the thrill of watching kids try their hardest every day," said Marc Steckler, who set a school record in the pole vault in 2000. "Even when you're not having a good day, his enthusiasm picks you up and makes you want to work harder."

Orvik led the Bruins to six Class A state outdoor championships and three indoor titles. In most seasons his teams were labeled as contenders, both for conference and state crowns.

He was inducted into the North Dakota High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1993.

"I consider him a living legend," said Ed Lockwood, South athletic director. 

Orvik also earned legendary status outside of North Dakota, speaking as an officer and clinician at many national coaches conventions. He was inducted into the National High School Athletics Coaches Hall of Fame in 1997.  Orvik was named national track and field coach of the year in 1995.

South opened a new track and field facility next to the school in 2001, which for all intents and purposes serves as a fitting tribute to the longtime coach.

"That was a dream probably as much as anything," Orvik said. "I always wanted to walk out the door and start coaching."


Dale Sandstrom

Dale Sandstrom was a member of Fargo South High School's first graduating class in 1968. Since high school, Sandstrom has distinguished himself as an attorney, a Supreme Court Justice, and a leader in scouting and the community.   

In his high school years, Sandstrom was active in debate and speech activities, activities that would serve him well in the coming years.  Following graduation from South and North Dakota State University, Sandstrom attended and was graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law.   

Following work in the United States Senate under Sen. Milton Young, Sandstrom served six years as an Assistant North Dakota Attorney General, heading the Consumer Fraud and Antitrust Division. Later, Sandstrom spent two years in Gov. Allen Olson's cabinet as State Securities Commissioner.  He has served on the Public Service Commission for ten years. In 1992 he was elected to the North Dakota Supreme Court.  In that time, Sandstrom has become both a proponent and expert in the effective use of technology in the judicial system, creating and implementing the Supreme Court's website. The website has won acclaim on a national and international level.    

In addition to his accomplishments in the world of law, Sandstrom has been recognized for his contributions to scouting. He is an Eagle Scout (with Gold Palm) and earned his church Scouting award. He has served as a scoutmaster, district training chairman, Northern Lights Council camping chairman, and district chairman.  He presently serves on the executive board of the Northern Lights Council.  In 1997, Sandstrom was named a Distinguished Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts of America and the National Eagle Scout Association. Sandstrom has contributed to two other organizations on a national level.

He is a one-time Grand Master of the International Supreme Council of the order of DeMolay and recently completed eight years of service on a national council for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


John Torgerson

John Torgerson was known as a dedicated teacher and coach whose ability to inspire and influence students was exceeded only by his patience and

pleasant demeanor.  Most didn't know was that he was an artist in every sense of the word, whether he was painting, drawing, drafting, carving, writing, or shooting a basketball.

The Hancock, Minn., native began his teaching career at Fargo Central High in 1955 after graduating from Moorhead State College. He was a four-year basketball star for the Dragons, leaving as the school's all-time leading scorer.

Torgerson was recognized numerous times for his work in the classroom. He received the Fargo Public Schools Celebration of Excellence Award, the Fargo South Golden Apple Award, and the North Dakota Trade, Technical and Health Associates Outstanding Service Award.

"He was the most dedicated education professional I've ever met in my life," said Robert Hanson, a business teacher at South.  He became chairman of the drafting and industrial arts department at South when the school opened in 1966.  He also coached basketball for 15 years, including five as the head varsity boys coach.

"No matter what came up, he was there to help out," said Les Pierce, a drafting teacher at South. "He was always in a good mood, and he had a good

sense of humor."

Torgerson was a master with his hands. He once made 100 hurdles for the Moorhead State track team. He won first place in a hobby show for carving duck decoys. He was a handy man who built fireplaces and shingled roofs. He also enjoyed working with his five registered quarter horses, hitching them to cutters, buggies and other horse drawn vehicles he restored himself.

Torgerson died of a heart attack in 1992, leaving behind many teachers, students, alumni, friends, and family who were touched by his spirit and dedication.