One of the measures of a successful school district is the success of its graduates. Profiles of graduates featured in the Focus newsletter are archived below.
Do you know someone we should consider for Graduate Spotlight? Let us know! Be sure to tell us the high school and/or the year the person graduated, and tell us briefly why you are suggesting this person.
Our high schools are located in the cities of Andover, Anoka, Blaine, Champlin Park and Coon Rapids.
(05/15/18) Andover High School grad Maddie Rooney brings Olympic hockey gold back to U.S.
Ryan Moller, Anoka High School High School, class of 1998, working on Broadway for hit musical ‘Hamilton’
(01/29/18) Anoka High School graduate working on wardrobe team for Broadway hit ‘Hamilton.’
(10/20/17) From his start as “McGruff the Crime Dog” through his rise to Burnsville’s chief of police, Eric Gieseke credits the teachers and mentors he met during his time in the Anoka-Hennepin School District with setting him up for success.
Keith Kiefer, Coon Rapids High School, class of 1975, armed services Humanitarian Service Medal recipient
(01/26/17) Coon Rapids graduate makes ‘nerdery’ medal-worthy.
(10/28/16) Blaine graduate hits funny bones, cracks ‘em up across the country
(04/29/16) Blaine High School grad’s journey to become an educator brought him back to where it all started: Anoka-Hennepin schools
(01/15/16) Anoka High School (AHS) graduate Maddie Carlos never had a childhood passion for cooking or baking like so many successful chefs and bakers do.
(09/15/2015) Blaine High School graduate Brett Holmgren always had a passion for government — an interest that he can trace all the way back to middle school — but it wasn’t until Sept. 11, 2001 that he discovered his passion and purpose could become one.
Matt Swenson, Champlin Park High School, Class of 2001, senior communications advisor for Gov. Mark Dayton
(04/15/15) Champlin Park High School (CPHS) graduate Matt Swenson was on his way to becoming a Lutheran pastor when one of the worst disasters in United States history set him on a very different journey.
Judge Catherine McPherson, Coon Rapids High School, Class of 1981, district court judge, Minnesota’s 10th Judicial District
(01/08/15) From Coon Rapids High School to district court judge in Minnesota’s 10th Judicial District, Catherine McPherson’s winding road to the bench is a path she never expected to take.
(09/23/13) Minnesota baseball fans, think how exciting it would be to sit in the Twins dugout night after night! That's just what Jamie Hersch, Fox Sports North anchor/reporter, has been doing this summer sports season.
Alona Rivord, Champlin Park High School, Class of 1997, World Wildlife Foundation communications manager
(01/16/14) An animal lover since she was a little girl, 1997 Champlin Park High School (CPHS) graduate Alona Rivord has been able to turn her childhood passion into a pretty great career.
Dr. Chad Richardson, Anoka High School, Class of 1988, director of trauma services at Hennepin County Medical Center
(05/14/14) Anoka High School (AHS) graduate Dr. Chad Richardson has made a career doing exactly what he's wanted to do since middle school - helping people.
(08/22/14) Adam May credits his Anoka High School teachers and education for preparing him to land his dream job.
Graduate Spotlight archives
Profiiles listed by most recent at the top:
- Cody Wiberg, Blaine High School, Class of 1977, Head of Minnesota Board of Pharmacy
- Semhar Araia, Coon Rapids High School, Class of 1995, International Rights Lawyer
- Tarah Andrews, Crossroads Alternative High School, Class of 2004, Fitness Model
- Cordelia Anderson, Anoka High School, Class of 1973, Consultant for Social Change
- Kerry McCauley, Coon Rapids High School, Class of 1980, International Ferry Pilot
- Alicia Ulwelling, Coon Rapids High School, Class of 1990, Helotech, McMurdo Station - Antarctica
- Bradley, Bob and Kate Beahen - Anoka High School, Class of 1999, 2003 and 2005, Performing Arts Careers
- Dr. Vincent Voelz, Anoka High School, Class of 1993, Postdoctoral Researcher, Vijay Pande Laboratory at Stanford University
- Dr. Matthew Hodges, Blaine High School, Class of 1994, Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin
- Kris Helgen, Coon Rapids High School, Class of 1997, Curator, Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of Natural History
- Maria Holland, Coon Rapids High School, Class of 2006, Engineering student at University of Tulsa
- Briana Scurry, Anoka High School, Class of 1990, Olympic Athlete
- Tanja K. Manrique, Coon Rapids High School, Class of 1984, Judge, Fourth Judicial District
- Dr. Rosalie Ambrosino, Anoka High School, Class of 1963, Provost, University of Texas at San Antonio
- Randy Stenson, Coon Rapids High School, Class of 1975, Vocal Music Teacher, St. Mary's International School, Tokyo, Japan
- Joe Davies, Champlin Park High School, Class of 1996, Physicist, University of California-Davis
- Jeffrey Olson, Anoka High School, Class of 1973, Neurosurgeon, Emory University School of Medicine
- Anthony Cox, Coon Rapids High School, Class of 1973, Jazz Musician
- Dale Pomraning, Anoka High School, Class of 1981, Machinist, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks
- Capt. Tamara Ward, Champlin Park High School, Class of 1995, Pilot, U.S. Air Force
- Maj. Michael J. Rounds, Blaine High School, Class of 1984, Engineer, U.S. Army
- Dean Sorenson, Anoka High School, Class of 1982, Director of Jazz Studies, University of Minnesota
- David Schneider, Coon Rapids High School, Class of 1976, Scientist, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Gretchen Carlson, Anoka High School, Class of 1984, anchor/journalist, CBS News