2007 Hall of Fame Recipients
bruce harmon - faculty
For nearly 30 years, Bruce Harmon has inspired Fargo South students in the fields of marketing, management and entrepreneurship. Simply put, he has developed many of today's business leaders.
Former Fargo South principal and Hall of Famer Richard Warner describes Mr. Harmon as one of the finest marketing teachers and DECA club advisers in the country. "More than anything, Bruce showed, both in word and deed that he cared about the students. If you ask the alumni who had a significant, positive impact on them while at South High, Bruce Harmon's name is one that is always mentioned,” Dr. Warner said.
Kevin Reisenauer, the state DECA adviser, says Mr. Harmon was instrumental in curriculum development, marketing standards, and the development of performance indicators for marketing education courses. Reisenauer says mentor is the one word that best describes Mr. Harmon. "Mr. Harmon was a role model and father for many students during his tenure at Fargo South," Reisenauer said. "He always saw the good in every student and worked to develop and instill a sense of leadership, hope and opportunity."
Among his many awards, Mr. Harmon has been recognized by North Dakota DECA with the Exemplary Adviser Award, the Adviser of the Year Award, and the Honorary Life Membership Award. Bruce remains active in church, service clubs and neighborhood associations.
Mr. Harmon retired from the Fargo Public Schools in 2004 and now serves as supervisor in education field experience at Minnesota State University Moorhead. "Fargo South was fortunate to have Mr. Harmon as a teacher for many years," Reisenauer says."
mark larson - class of 1974
If the Fargo South Hall of Fame truly measures its candidates by their success both in and out of high school, Mark Larson is the ideal inductee. Or as Hall of Famer Gelaine Orvik says, "Mark is a true Bruin."
Mark has been a certified public accountant for 26 years, currently working as one of five partners and shareholders in one of the largest firms in the area. He has been honored as the U.S. Small Business North Dakota Accountant Advocate of the Year, among other notable accomplishments.
"He has handled our professional relationship impeccably, demonstrating over and over his expertise in his chosen profession," said Jay Matthews, a longtime client of Mark's. "He has been a trusted counselor and confidant for our business, and he has exhibited the leadership skills necessary to help our business grow."
His business success comes as no surprise to Mr. Orvik, Mark's former English teacher and coach, who says his former student "has always been the epitome of an ordinary person accomplishing extraordinary tasks."
A 1974 graduate of Fargo South, Mark was a three-sport athlete. He was an all-conference lineman in football, a three-year letterman in wrestling, and team captain as a thrower in track.
"He was one of the hardest workers I remember in my 30 years of coaching," says Myron Wagner, also a Hall of Fame inductee. "He more than made the most of his abilities." There's also the "caring and supportive" side of Mark, says Mr. Wagner, who says his former athlete and student has helped him in his battle with cancer. Along with preparing taxes for his family, Mr. Wagner says Mark lifts their spirits with his sense of humor. "Who else would have come up with the good-natured comment, “Don't you have to have a brain to have a brain tumor?”"
dr. mark reinke - class of 1974
Dr. Mark Reinke is all about serving people. It's a theme that has guided his life as an elite pilot in the Air Force, as a surgeon who handles cases from simple ear infections to cancer, as a community leader who works tirelessly to support the arts and feed the hungry, and as a family man who's married with five children.
"I fully support his inclusion into your Hall of Fame as I could not imagine a more caring and industrious individual to receive such an honor," says Dr. Gary Leong, a friend and colleague.
A former commander in the Air Force, Mark is currently in private practice in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he has distinguished himself as an ear, nose and throat surgeon. He has undergraduate degrees from the University of North Dakota and Arizona State, and a medical degree from Rush University in Chicago.
"His first career was very difficult because to be a pilot in the Air Force demands many hours of education and training," says Fargo South Hall of Famer Rick Majerus, who has known Mark since high school. "Then to totally reverse the course and go back to school to become a doctor is totally amazing."
Says longtime friend Gene Allen: "Mark Reinke is a traditional, clean-cut family man; an exemplar of American heroism." Mark was working as an emergency medical technician with F-M Ambulance Service when he met Allen. It was at that time, even though Mark had yet to pursue his career as a pilot, that Allen knew Mark would become a doctor. "Dr. Reinke continues to distinguish himself as a surgeon. His passion for excellence remains," Allen says.
Mark graduated from Fargo South in 1974. He lettered in wrestling three years, and won the state title at 119 pounds his senior year. "With the long season, many bus trips and practices, you get to know someone very well," Majerus says. "Mark has always impressed me with his work ethic on the mat and in life."
kristin okerlund - class of 1981
Pianist Kristin Okerlund is known around the world for her musical mastery, both as a performer and teacher. The 1981 Fargo South graduate is a favorite coach and accompanist of many of today’s premier opera stars, including renowned soprano Nancy Gustafson. A brilliant soloist and chamber musician in her own right, Kristin has performed in the United States, throughout Europe, and in Japan and Nigeria.
She has recorded with soprano Heidi Brunner, conductor Bertrand de Billy and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared in a chamber music series with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. She has worked with many of the top conductors in the world.
Kristin has taught at the prestigious Vienna Conservatory of Music since 1993. Kristin studied at the St. Louis Conservatory of Music and the University of Illinois. Kristin won numerous regional and national competitions on her way to becoming a sought-after coach and pianist. She won first prize in the St. Louis Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Sigma Alpha Tota Scholarship Competition, the Music Teachers National Association auditions, the Boco Raton Music Guild Competition, the Esther Wilburn-Barnes Competition, and the Earl Lee Piano Competition among others.
Kristin Okerlund and Nancy Gustafson have teamed together on recitals around the world. "Kristin is not only a world-class pianist and vocal coach, but also a first class musician," Gustafson says. "She is admired and respected throughout the musical world." Kristin also is a "great human being.” “A mother of two glorious children, she is balancing a full-time musical career and motherhood with tremendous success," the singer says. "You should be very proud to have produced such a tremendous graduate."