Friday’s highlight at the summer meeting of the National Federation of State High School Associations was a luncheon at which several individuals from around the nation were honored.
Among the honorees was John Fogarty from Cannon Falls High School. John received a National Federation citation for his years of service in speech, debate and theater.
John inherited the Cannon Falls speech program in 1969 after graduating from St. John’s University. He slowly built the program into one of the finest in the state as well as the nation. His team currently consists of 75 students; the school’s graduating classes have fewer than 100 students. He has coached seven state champions, more than 50 state finalists and hundreds of state tournament competitors.
He teaches classes in speech, theater, debate, AP composition and interdisciplinary humanities as well as directing school plays. He has coached policy, Lincoln-Douglas and public-forum debate teams for 38 years.
Among the other honorees was Breckenridge native Dave Carlsrud, who is retiring this year after 22 years as assistant to the executive secretary of the North Dakota High School Activities Association. The citation for coaching went to Ed Thomas, the football coach at Aplington-Parkersburg High School in Iowa who was murdered by a former player last year.
The National High School Spirit of Sport Award went to Tori Clark of Roselle. Illinois. After learning that the mother of a volleyball player at a rival high school was diagnosed with a form of pre-leukemia, Tori organized fundraising efforts to help the family.
The awards luncheon, held in San Diego, had a definite Minnesota flavor. Three video screens were suspended above the stage in the hotel ballroom, with videos of high school activities from around the nation playing on the screens throughout the luncheon. The attendees were treated to videos from Minnesota state tournaments in football, basketball, hockey and other events, as well as post-championship-game scenes of players receiving medals.
Even in the midst of summer, with high school activities taking a break, it was a great day for Minnesota.
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