Supt. Ness: We’ve lost two huge Otter fans

Over the past couple of weeks, the Otter family lost two of its Hall of Famers.  First, Wally Pearson passed away on March 17; and on March 30, Greg “Fuzz” Noren died.  Mr. Noren’s funeral will be held at First Lutheran Church at 3 pm, Tuesday, April 10.

Wally Pearson entered our Hall of Fame for Distinguished Service in 2012. He graduated in 1961 from Concordia College, earning degrees in chemistry and math.  He began a 29-year career as a math teacher in Fergus Falls in 1966; and in 1975 he was named Teacher of the Year. Pearson was a founder of the Backcourt Club in 1978 and the Otter Basketball Camp in 1968, directing the camp until 1986.

A student of Mr. Pearson, wrote a very moving and honoring post on Facebook.  He credited Mr. Pearson’s compassion, his kindness, and humbleness for being the best teacher he ever had. He expressed his gratitude for a second chance in his geometry class and never forgot how Mr. Pearson sought him out during his senior year to tell him that he was a hard worker, smart, and believed he would do good things.  Mr. Pearson’s decision to give him another chance had much greater and far-reaching effect than he likely would have predicted – because he became a teacher, too.

Greg “Fuzz” Noren graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1967 and continued his athletic career at Fergus Falls Community College, where he participated in baseball, track and field, and basketball. He attended Moorhead State College for two years, and then in 1975 joined the staff of the Fergus Falls School District. He worked for the School District until 2010 as a custodian and groundskeeper and was the District’s certified pool operator. For 16 years he served as assistant track and field coach. In 2002, his contributions were recognized when he was named Section 8AA Assistant Track & Field Coach of the Year.

Wally and Fuzz both truly loved the Otters!! Rest in peace.

Middle School Drive

This spring, our 7th and 8th grade elective class taught by Mrs. Erickson and Mrs. Sikkink spent some time exploring the concept of “paying it forward.” Students developed projects surrounding the ideas of volunteering, organizing, assessing community needs, and giving. One of the student driven projects that emerged from this exercise was the idea of partnering with a community business to complete a hygiene item drive.

The concept here is much like a food drive, except students look beyond food as the only necessity families might need. Our students have partnered with Shopko in order to provide the community with an opportunity to donate essential hygiene items to families in need throughout our community. If you would like to participate in this hygiene drive, Middle School students will be at the Fergus Falls Shopko on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday of this week from 4 to 8 p.m. and again on Monday, April 9 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Thanks in advance for supporting our students as they look to develop community-minded leadership skills.