2017 Alumni Awards

2017 Alumni Awards

Outstanding Graduate Award was given to Donald Cedergren – Class of 1948

Donald Cedergren is being honored with the Outstand Graduate Award. Don was born on January 26, 1930 to Edwin and Frances Cedergren in Taylors Falls. When Don was three years old, his mother unexpectedly passed away due to complication from an appendectomy. He was raised by father until 1947 when his father married Ruth Violet, a teacher at Taylors Falls High School. His father also worked here as a driver of their school buses.

Don had various jobs while growing up: delivering newspapers, working on a farm, at a tree nursery, a sawmill and a cheese factory, among others. He enjoyed sports in high school and was on the baseball, football and basketball teams.

In 1948, after graduation from Taylors Falls High school in a class of 14 boys and 3 girls, Don and Lloyd Martinson joined the Marine Corps and were sent to boot camp in San Diego. They were later transferred to San Francisco. Don was stationed there for 20 months and during that time met his future wife, Rosalie Glennon.

The Korean War broke out in June of 1950 and Don was shipped to Korea in July as a Fire Team Leader in the 1 st Marine Brigade. He participated in sever major battles in the Pusan Perimeter, notably the 1 st and 2 nd Nantong battles, among others. During some of those battles he was able to carry a few of his wounded platoon buddies to safety, risking his own life in order to help them.

In September the Marines made an amphibious landing at Inchon on their way to recapture Seoul. Don was seriously wounded on September 23, 1950 about a mile from Seoul. A mortar shell landed in front of him with the shrapnel going through his chest perforating and collapsing his right lung. The middle lobe later had to be removed. After nearly a year recovering in hospitals, Don received a Purple Heart award and a Medical Retirement and returned to San Francisco where he and Rosalie were married in April 1952. All five of their children, Sandra, Therese, Peter, Brian, and Karen were all born there.

In 1961 Don received a BS degree in Engineering Physics from UC Berkeley and worked at various jobs while living there. He and Rosalie also joined a Christian Charismatic Community in San Francisco in 1974 and moved with that community to South Bend IN in 1978 to become members of the People of Praise Community, a
national Organization. In 1994 Don and Rosalie moved to the Northern VA Branch of the community, where two of their daughters and 5 of their grandchildren were living. Three of their children, Therese, Brian, and Karen are also members of this community.

Rosalie passed away peacefully on February 17, 2013. Don now lives with his daughter, Therese’s family in Fairfax, VA, near the campus of George Mason University. The Lord has continued to bless him with good health.

Outstanding Staff/Faculty Award was given to Margaret Peterson (1950 – 1961)

Margaret Peterson is being honored as the Outstanding Staff/Faculty Member. She began working in the school kitchen soon after the lunch program began. She walked to school every morning which was located on the rock just south of the Folsom House. She washed the dishes, the first ones were china, thick and heavy, and the cookware was large and clumsy, this was even more of a challenge because Margaret was only five feet tall and 125 pounds. She remembered when we moved to the new school to in 1952 and the high school students helped move materials by bus from the old to the new school. She enjoyed working with her co-workers and seeing the children each morning.

Her son, Wayne, mentioned that Margaret was a strong supporter of education and considered children lucky to get a high school education since her education ended in 8th grade; as it did for most people in her era. What was different for her and her three siblings, was they were placed in the Wild River Children’s Home in Twin Valley, MN when her mother died of pneumonia in 1919. She remembered that in Northern MN, in 1920’s, high school was for rich kids.

The children say that Margaret loved Taylors Falls for its school, gorgeous scenery and the lovely Methodist Church. When she moved here in 1943, she said, “I don’t want to ever leave here” and she never did. Margaret died last year at an age of 105.

Outstanding Citizen Award was given to Roger Boleman – Class of 1962

Roger Boleman is being honored with an Outstanding Citizen Award.
Roger graduated from Taylors Falls in 1962. He lettered in baseball, basketball and football. He was the co-captain of the football team.

Post-secondary education

Masters of Liberal Studies and Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Minnesota. AS in Technology from Dunwoody College of Technology.

Professional career

  • Produced over 500 programs for Public Television over my career at the University of Minnesota. Morris. Most notable is a horticulture series ‘Prairie Yard and Garden’,
    which still airs on PBS stations in a five state area. ‘Minnesota: Rivers and Fields’, a 13 part documentary series on the natural and human effects on the Minnesota River watershed. Another documentary I produced is ‘Echo’s of Cry Of The March’, a
    documentary that chronicles the life of one individual's efforts to restore wetlands for their diverse ecological benefits. This program was shown nationally on select PBS stations and nationally on Earth Day in 2012 and received an Upper Midwest Emmy nomination.
  • Extracurricular campus activities and awards
    • Minority Student mentor
    • University of Minnesota, Morris Outstanding Service Award
    • University of Minnesota, Morris Mary Martelle award for significant contributions to the campus community beyond normal duties
    • Served on various campus governance committees and all university committees
    • Grant reviewer for Minnesota Legacy Fund public radio applications
    • Judge for Washington DC, Virginia & Maryland area Emmy awards
  • Community and volunteer activities
    • Volunteered 5 weeks providing video production workshops to Agricultural Extension Agents at the University of the West Indies, Port of Spain, Trinidad and part of USAID
    • Board member Lutheran Campus Ministries, University of Minnesota, Morris
    • Stevens County Historical Society
    • Delivered Meals on Wheels
    • Webelo scout leader
    • Served on various committees including church council at First Lutheran Church, Morris, MN

Outstanding Citizen Award was given to Carl Willard Nygren – Bus Driver 1935 – 1983

Carl Willard Nygren is being honored with an Outstanding Citizen Award. Willard, as he was usually called, started driving bus for Taylors Falls in 1935 as a substitute bus driver for Herbert Dahlstrom, who was a private operator. Willard transported only high school students to Taylors Falls because the elementary students from Palmdale School, Reed School and Jericho School walked to their closest school. He purchased the bus on January 1, 1937 and as the small, one room school closed, he began to transport the elementary students to Taylors Falls also. In 1936 Willard started an auto repair shop on his father’s farm between Palmdale and Almelund (on Emory Swenson’s place). He did repair work there (except when he was in the military service) until 1955 when he purchased the Lundberg Implement property in Taylors Falls and rebuilt it and re-named it Nygren’s Garage.
He was drafted into the Army in 1942, selling his bus to Art Swanson with the agreement to buy it back after the war was over. By the time he repurchased the bus in 1946, the district was already buying the buses and hiring the drivers. In 1958 the school district bought Willard’s bus and he continued to drive until 1983, for a total of 48 years (including military service).
In 1942 Willard married Ardis Mills, a 4th and 5th grade teacher at Taylors Falls Elementary. Ardis retired from teaching in 1977.

Extra Curricular Award for the Years 1915-1952 was given to The First Girls Basketball Team – 1914-1917
Click here for more information.

Extra Curricular Award for the Years 1953-1992 was given to Wayne Johnson – Class of 1959

Wayne Johnson is being honored with the Extra Curricular Award of 1959 because of his continuing high level of aid to Taylors Falls School children.

Wayne began giving to Taylors Falls some years before the present
scholarship and foundation programs began in 2006 and 2008. He feels he received a good education at Taylors Falls and he remembers a lot of the fun and sports. He was very athletic and participated in football, baseball, basketball, track, and still had time to sing in choir. Taylors Falls was small but it put out well rounded scholars in the day.

Wayne was not afraid of continuing his education after High School. He put in four years of night school at Minneapolis Vocational while working at his construction job. He rose to construction superintendent for Gough Co. which he held for nine years. For four of those years he attended night school, this time at N. Hennepin Community College to train for building inspection work. Wayne became a building inspector for the city of Coon Rapids and held that position for 18 years until his retirement in 2007. During that period, he served on the Board of Directors of the 10,000 Lakes Chapter of the ICC Building Inspectors Forum. Wayne has shown a tremendous commitment education at Taylors Falls, and the Foundation wishes to recognize and thank him.