Hall of Fame

The Board of Directors of the Battle Lake 542 Education Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of the “Hall of Fame” to honor outstanding alumni or staff who have earned distinction or achievement in their chosen field. ANYONE may submit a nomination for a graduate of Battle Lake Public School (who has graduated at least 20 years ago) OR for any staff member of faculty member who made an impact on the lives of Battle Lake Public School students and retired from the District after serving a minimum of ten years. To nominate, please download the form below and submit via mail to:
Battle Lake 542 Education Foundation
PO Box 184
Battle Lake, MN 56515

2020 & 2021 Hall of Fame Inductees

Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Dan Malmstrom, Class of 1978

• National Rookie of the Year for IBM
• Vice President positions in Great Plains Software
• Co-founder and Ex VP for BeAtHome Internet Automation Company
• Has been featured on ABC, Discovery Channel, and numerous other networks
• Entrepreneur, strategic planner, marketer, visionary, technologist

Gary Nelson, Class of 1947

• 50 year career in law enforcement 
• Golden Glove Boxing Champ 
• Ottertail County Deputy Sheriff 
• Police Officer of the Year 1979 and 1980
• Lawman of the Year 1988 and 2002
• BCA Career Achievement Award
• Community Service Award 1971

Tony Thiel, Teacher & Coach

• Teacher of PE, Health & Math: 1966-1994
• Head Football Coach 1968-1986
• 59th in MN for percentage of wins
• Two State Class C Championships: 1974 & 1977
• MN Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame
• MSHSL Coaches Association Hall of Fame
• MN State University of Moorhead Dragon Fall of Fame

Hall of Fame Class of 2018

James DeMars, 1970

• Classical music composer, conductor, and pianist
• Music performed by national and international professional orchestras
• AZ Artist of the Year, French Order of Arts and Letters, 30 ASCAP awards
• Four Canyon Records albums with R. Carlos Nakai
• Tenured, full professor of music composition at Arizona State University

Todd Olson, 1979

• Vice President of Student Affairs,  Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
• Community Action Program Pioneer Service Award
• Kynewisbok Pioneer Award (outstanding faculty and staff)
• Ph.D. Service Award
• Allan O. Pfinster Academic Excellence Award 

Sandy Thimgan, Teacher

• Battle Lake music educator (1970-2003)
• Advocate/volunteer for Glendalough State Park
• Advocate/board member/artist for Art of the Lakes
• Statewide advocate for music/arts
• Jewelry and paper artist
• Community singer/conductor/musician
• Food columnist for regional publications

Hall of Fame Class of 2019

Chuck Evert, Teacher

• Battle Lake educator, coach, Dean of Students & A.D. (1968-1994)
• Battle Lake Teacher of the Year: 1977
• Park Region Football Coach of the Year: 1988, 1989 & 1991
• Basketball Official for 43 years and Football Official for 20 years
• Region 6 Secretary for the Minnesota State High School League

Barbara La Valleur, 1963

• Photographer, writer, author and editor
• Self-published 20 photo books
• Received the Edina’s Mayor’s Individual Service Commendation in 2017
• Solo photo exhibits in St. Paul, Edina, Fergus Falls and numerous other venues
• Contributor to NextAvenue.org, WINK and other organizations
• Volunteer and fundraiser for many organizations and non-profits

Captain David Nelson, 1967

• Naval career, logging over 4,600 flight hours on numerous aircrafts
• Seven deployments:  Sicily, Iceland and several Western Pacific Locations
• Commanded a squadron of 350 sailors and 9 aircrafts
• Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron SIX in Hawaii, 1989, and the Naval Air Station in Maine, 1993
• Chief of Naval Operations Aviation at The Pentagon
• Survived the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon

Hall of Fame Class of 2020

Marc Berg, Class of 1985

• Doctor of Pediatric Medicine, Medical Director, Professor, Speaker and Author
• CEO and Co-founder of digital health company, Altus Care
• Division Director of Pediatric Critical Care, University of Arizona
• Medical Director of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Tucson, Arizona, 2002-08 & 2014-15
• Teacher of the Year at Stanford University, 2020

Andrew Skalsky, Class of 1995

• Board Certified Doctor in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Neuromuscular Medicine, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine and Electro Diagnostic Medicine
• Author Regional & National Presenter and Professor
• Founder of the Division of Rehabilitation in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Manitoba
• Division Chief of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego, CA
• Associate Professor at the University of California San Diego in the Department of Pediatrics

Robert Wasson, Class of 1953

• Medical Doctor and Captain in the US Navy, 20 years of service
• Board Certified in Psychiatry and Aerospace Medicine
• Senior Medical Officer at US Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan
• Founder of NeuroPsych Associates in Libertyville, IL
• Managed Brideway Psychiatric Program at Lake Region Hospital, Fergus Falls, MN

Hall of Fame Class of 2021

Sonja (Boyum) Meiers, Class of 1974

• Director of Nursing, Winona State University at the Rochester Campus
• Founding member of the International Family Nursing Association
• Presented findings about the state of family nursing across the globe with co-authors from five other countries
• Co-Coordinator of the Taylor Endowment And Nursing Institute and Society, U of M, Mankato