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2006 Recipients



David Bailly is all about community involvement, whether it is clubs, arts, schools, civics, or church.

The 1968 graduate of Fargo South High School has been part of no fewer than 40 organizations, including more than a dozen charities. It came as no surprise to anyone when a group named David “Outstanding Young North Dakotan” for 1984. “Simply stated, wherever Dave is involved, he gives his all,” says Lee Massey, a longtime friend. “He sincerely cares about our community and offers his time and talent unselfishly.”

David was an attorney for 23 years, the last 15 as Senior Partner with Anderson and Bailly. He founded Bailly Enterprises in 1986 and Bailly Health Associates Incorporated in 1993. He is currently CEO of Bailly Holdings Americas Inc. and CEO of Bailly Holdings International Inc. “David's career has been eventful but stable,” says Brad Wimmer, a Fargo South alumnus.

David has been active in the Fargo-Moorhead YMCA, United Way, Elks Club, Jaycees, Red River Dance and Performing Company, State Bar Association of North Dakota, and the Alpha Tau Omega Foundation of the University of North Dakota.

He has held several leadership positions at the Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral in Fargo, singing in the choir for the last 30 years. He has served on the church Board of Trustees for three separate terms, currently as president.

David has not only been an active Bruins supporter, but also the chairman of the class of '69 reunion committee for the 10, 20, 25, and 30 year gatherings. Those events were successful financially and well attended. “Dave is a dedicated father and husband, a true friend and an ambassador for the Fargo-Moorhead area and for Fargo South High School,” Massey says. “I can't think of anyone who deserves the honor of induction into the Fargo South Hall of Fame more than David Bailly.”



Few people have achieved notoriety in one career, let alone two. Birch Burdick is that exception.

The 1973 Fargo South High School graduate has worked as an engineer for a major architectural engineering and construction firm that once built 40 percent of the nation's nuclear power plants. He made a career switch to law in the late 1980s, working his way up to his current elected position as Cass County State's Attorney.

“In my 34-year engineering career, I have never been associated with an engineer on the fast track to management that had the courage to give it all up for another calling and start a new career as did Birch,” says William Skelley who hired Birch for his first engineering job. “This earned my admiration forever.”

Birch graduated from Hamline law school in 1992 before going into private practice. He defeated South High classmate John Goff in the 1998 election, his first bid for public office. Even his famous father, the late Senator Quentin Burdick, lost his first run for Cass County State's Attorney.

“His leadership as the top law enforcement officer in Cass County has set a tone of firm but fair law enforcement that instills confidence in the people of our community,” says F. Snyder Gokey who has known Birch for 30 years.

Praise for Burdick comes from high places including U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of Fargo. Judge Erickson says Birch possesses a first rate intellect and the common sense required to see the “big picture.”

“His integrity is beyond question, his conduct of both his personal affairs and his professional affairs has always been exemplary,” Erickson says. “In short, he is a credit to our profession and a testament to the commitment to excellence that exists at Fargo South High School.”



Dr. Max Johnson has long been known as the only retina specialist between Minneapolis and Billings, Montana. However, he has been opening eyes most of his life.

The 1971 Fargo South High School graduate was a standout in both academics and athletics while on his way to becoming a renowned eye surgeon. He once donated his services to help a legally blind patient from Jamaica regain his vision.

“Dr. Johnson continues to be an innovator and is continuously looking for better ways to provide medical care,” says Julie Blehm, managing physician partner for MeritCare Health System. “He truly cares about the patients and is committed to delivering quality medical care to the people of North Dakota and northern Minnesota.”
Longtime Fargo resident Dennis “Izzy” Isrow was the head athletic trainer at North Dakota State University when Dr. Johnson played defensive back in football and ran hurdles in track. He also was an NDSU Student Body senator and president of his pharmacy class in sophomore and junior years.

“It is an exceptional accomplishment to participate in two varsity intercollegiate sports while majoring in pharmacy,” Isrow says.
Isrow says he is still able to stay active primarily because he is had both laser and open eye surgery performed on him by Dr. Johnson.

Max transferred to Fargo South from Sioux City, Iowa, for his junior year of high school. He eventually became a starting linebacker and offensive guard on the football team, making a game-saving tackle for the Bruins’ first-ever win over Moorhead. He made the honor roll every term and was selected to the National Honor Society.

“Max is truly a community-minded individual who does things for the right reasons and Fargo South High School and NDSU can be thankful that he decided to live and work here,” Isrow says.



If the paw is the law, then Bob Walton will forever reign supreme at Fargo South High School.

The longtime art, humanities, and social studies instructor has won many awards in his career, including Fargo Public Schools Teacher of the Year and Outstanding Teacher Award at Fargo South High on at least two occasions. He has been called earnest, resourceful, talented, and dynamic. Jan Adair, who worked with Bob at Agassiz Junior High, calls him a “gentle giant.” “In a group he did not speak up often but when he did, he had something very profound to say,” Adair says. “He could always find the good in every person he encountered.”

Bob also coached football for nearly three decades, leaving a positive impression on students and coaches near and far. Gary Mailloux, the activities director at Fargo North High School, says Walton was a strong influence in the classroom and on the field. “I always considered him to be a pied piper in his work with young people because his genuine interest in the students was always very evident,” Mailloux says.

Bob himself is a talented artist. He has painted banners in the Fargo South and North gymnasiums. His legacy likely will be the unique Bruin paw and bear logo that has adorned jerseys, sweatshirts, T-shirts and jackets for more than 35 years. “Our Bruin logo is tastefully unique, artistically simple, and distinctive enough to inspire pride in the many accomplishments that have been and are currently being achieved by our students and alumni,” says Dale Hertel, former South High football coach. “The truth is that Bob may have received a token thank you for designing this logo but really has never been given the credit for being a part of the impact of motivation provided by the distinctive design.”