2002 Hall of Fame Inductees
After graduating from Fargo North High School in 1971, Valerie Gebert attended Brown University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in music in 1975. Gebert began her professional career playing keyboards in the orchestra pits of Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters. During the last fifteen years, she has been Musical Director/Conductor for a number of touring Broadway productions, maintaining the musical standards of multi-million dollar shows as they traveled throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. She has rehearsed and conducted orchestras thirty-five strong as well as simple duos; prepared mixed-voice choruses of professionals as well as university students; coached soloists; trained children's choirs; re-orchestrated scores; and recorded professional cast albums. Recently, she learned to play the accordion and was seen by thousands as an on-stage musician in the national tour of the Tony Award winning revival of Kander and Ebb's Cabaret. Valerie has enjoyed the privilege of working with Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, authors of the longest-running off-Broadway musical, The Fantasticks; Tony Award winners Robert Goulet, Richard Kiley, Gary Beech and Karen Ziemba; recording stars Marie Osmond, Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, Debbie Harry and Sam Harris; theatre legends Nancy Dussault, Karen Morrow and Juliet Prowse; comedian Andy Kaufman; Bob Cuccioli, Susan Egan, Georgia Engel, Joely Fisher, David Garrison, Andrea McArdle, Nancy Ringham, Kate Shindle, Lea Thompson and Lara Teeter.
After a three year tour in the Navy-Marine Corp serving as a medical combat corpsman, Roger G. Gress returned to his hometown of Fargo, ND to pursue his education. Gress graduated in Commercial Art from Northwest Technical College, Moorhead, MN, in 1974. He continued his education at North Dakota State University graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1979.His first professional association with the Fargo Park District was in June, 1979, when Gress was hired as a Park Designer and Planner. His responsibilities included; designing, presentation drawings, planning construction and expansions.In February, 1980, Gress began a series of positions with architectural firms to expand his knowledge with in-depth opportunities in commercial, residential and landscape design, interior design, estimating, specification writing, construction documents, programming, site analysis, schematic design, building cost analysis, code research, design development, construction observation and administration, construction management, land acquisition and client relationships. Specifically, Gress held positions with Mutchler, Lynch and Associates; Norman Triebwasser and Associates; and Rogers, Perlenfein and Associates.Concurrent to the architectural positions, Gress ran and was elected for two 4-year terms as a Fargo Park Board Commissioner. His first term ran from 1980-1984 and after three years of his second term, he resigned his position in 1987. While in office he served as both vice-president and president of the Board. In 1987 when Gress resigned his elected Board position, he accepted a professional position with the Fargo Park District as Facilities Coordinator. As the responsibilities grew and became more administrative, Gress was promoted to Director of Facilities and Park Planner in 1991. Some responsibilities for the Director's position included; coordinating work with neighborhood associations and recreational clubs, designing and developing neighborhood parks, advising the Superintendent on matters relating to land acquisition, building design and construction, personnel, long-term planning and developing partnerships with the School District. Effective September 1, 1996, Gress was appointed Superintendent of Fargo Parks and Recreation. The Gress family includes Roger, his wife Nancy, sons Joey and Andy and daughter Sarah.
Lee Massey graduated from North High in 1968, having been active in the theater arts program along with vocal and instrumental music. He was also a member of the school's radio broadcast team, "Spartans on the Air". He attended Moorhead (MN) State University, and earned a B.S. Degree in Mass Communications in 1972. Lee's early working and professional career included (part-time) service as a floor manager and cameraman with WDAY, Inc. That position later became full-time working as Director, Director/Producer, and Production Manager with WDAY. In 1975, Lee founded Audio Media Corporation, where he served as President and Executive Producer until 2002. He is now CEO and Executive Director of Production and Event Services for H2M. Lee has also worked with national television programs, including The Real West, Hard Copy, Entertainment Tonight and the NBC, CBS and Fox News Networks. Lee is on the Board of Directors for the Plains Arts Museum, Red River Dance, United Way of Cass-Clay and the MSU Alumni Association.
r. d. olsen
A native of South Dakota, Richard graduated from Sisseton in 1947. He attended Huron (SD) College, studying History/Education; and later moved to Moorhead (MN) State Teachers College, where he received a B.S. Degree in Social Studies/Education in 1956. Following a year of teaching in Nevada, he attended the University of South Dakota, where he served as a Graduate Assistant, and earned an M.A. Degree in History in 1958.
"RD" joined the teaching staff at Fargo Central in the fall of 1958, where he remained until becoming a charter staff member at North High in the fall of 1965. His teaching field was U.S. and European History. During the 1968-1969 school term, Richard taught in England on a Fullbright exchange assignment, and then returned to North High.
He continued to teach U.S. and European History along with AP Classes until his retirement in 1988. The students at the high school recognized "RD" as "Teacher of the Year" in 1988. His "well-read" and "insightful" background in history led to a loyal and devoted following among many who had him for a teacher.
A graduate of North High in 1977, Mark was a letter winner in football, basketball and track; and participated in Legion Baseball. He was also a member of the Student Council, and served as a class officer during his senior year. Among the sports highlights during Mark's North High career was the State Class A Basketball Championship in 1977. Following graduation from high school, Mark attended NDSU, where he enjoyed a celebrated career as a quarterback from 1977-1980. he earned All-American honors as a result of his efforts; and was inducted into the NDSU Hall of Fame in 1998. In 1982, Mark completed his degree in Construction Management at NDSU. Mark's career has included work as a sales engineer for construction products; and during the past seventeen years, as a project manager for a local construction firm. He has continued his involvement with youth sports through work with community programs in soccer, football, basketball, and baseball.