K-12 Notebook: Former Fargo student gets recognition
Sheela Damle faced the most important match point of her life two years ago -- a battle against a lung disorder that kills nearly 80 percent of its victims. But the former Fargo North High School student and tennis player survived --and has gone ...
Sheela Damle faced the most important match point of her life two years ago -- a battle against a lung disorder that kills nearly
80 percent of its victims.
But the former Fargo North High School student and tennis player survived --and has gone on to new victories.
Damle, who just finished her junior year at Grand Forks Red River High School, is North Dakota's 2003-04 Distinguished Student.
The state High School Activities Association presents the award to a junior who is a good role model.
Damle -- who lived in Fargo for 14 years before moving to Grand Forks with her family in 2000 -- fits the bill.
Two years ago she was stricken with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Both her lungs were damaged from a bout with pneumonia and her body wouldn't absorb oxygen.
For a time, it was uncertain whether she would live. She spent three weeks on a respirator in a drug-induced coma. But she rallied, got out of the hospital and began putting her life back together.
Tennis is part of her life -- she was a top player at Fargo North and later at Red River.
She resumed playing tennis after getting out of the hospital. Hard work helped her regain her stamina -- and success on the court.
Hard work and a tutor allowed her to maintain top grades in schools as well.
Damle says her physical condition still isn't quite what it was before her illness.
But she's thankful for all the progress she's made.
And she's thankful for her parents, Jayant and Rohinee.
"They always supported me and helped me," she says.
Pelican picks Baldry
South St. Paul Schools Superintendent Kent Baldry has accepted the same post in Pelican Rapids, Minn.
He will replace Keith Klein, who plans to retire this month after leading the school district for the past 25 years.
Baldry, 53, signed a two-year contract to lead Pelican Rapids at an annual salary of $93,000.
"It's a great opportunity for me to move back to rural Minnesota," he said Thursday. "I applied for the job and things worked out."
Baldry was a student teacher in Pelican Rapids while attending Concordia College in Moorhead more than 30 years ago.
In Minnesota, he has served as a principal in Verndale and Plainview and as school superintendent in Onamia, Jackson, Monticello and South St. Paul, where he earned $128,000 this year.
Baldry said the desire to live in a beautiful place like Pelican Rapids outweighed the dip in his annual income.
"I have fond memories of the area," he said. "And I think I'm not as comfortable in a large metro scene as I am in rural Minnesota."
Baldry plans to start his new position July 1.
Ryan Thoreson, newly graduated from Fargo Shanley High School, has been named the North Dakota winner of the National Peace Essay Contest.
He won a $1,000 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. this summer. He'll compete against other state winners for additional scholarships.
He's the son of Richard and Sue Thoreson.
Graduation ceremonies for seniors at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton High School will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Glyndon school gymnasium.
Eighty-two seniors are expected to receive diplomas, High School Principal Tom Gravel said Thursday.
The district will be the final public school in Cass and Clay counties to hold graduation.
D-G-F opened for fall classes Sept. 9, a week later than most Minnesota schools, because of construction in the district.
Readers can reach Forum reporters Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530 and Cole Short at (701) 241-5557