Clinton Schroeder was editor of the student newspaper and salutatorian of the Class of 1948 at Fergus Falls High School. He went on to attend the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating in 1955. For more than 46 years, he practiced law with the firm Gray Plant Mooty, Mooty & Bennett of Minneapolis, and for more than three decades he represented the poor and led the legal community’s efforts to fund legal services for the poor. He is a past president of the Minnesota State and Hennepin County bar associations, and in 2001 he received the Hennepin County Bar Association’s Professionalism Award. Schroeder has been honored for his support of legal services for the poor in Minnesota by the Fund for the Legal Aid Society.
As a student at Fergus Falls High School, Michael Hiatt was involved in band, choir and orchestra, and in 1972 he was selected to perform in the all-state band. Following graduation in 1973, he earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Concordia College and a master’s degree in music education from the University of Minnesota. His career as a music educator included 16 years at Anoka High School, where he was director of bands and music department chair. He became director of the Professional Development and Research Group and the statewide education coordinator at the Perpich Center for Arts Education, Minnesota’s official state agency dedicated to improving arts education. Hiatt has been an active member of the National Conference for Music Education at both the state and national levels.
Carrie Hefte placed fourth in the 100 backstroke and seventh in the 200 individual medley in the 1976 state swim meet, and her 100 backstroke record at Fergus Falls High School stood for 27 years. Hefte, valedictorian of the Class of 1977, went on to Hamline University, where she graduated summa cum laude in 1981. At the end of the her college swimming career, she held two national records and five Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference records. Her college record in the 200 individual medley was still standing a quarter century later. As a law student at the University of Minnesota, she swam in the school’s intramural swim meet and set one national and three University of Minnesota intramural records. Hefte went on to a legal career in the Twin Cities.
Robert Block became an involved member of the Fergus Falls community when he was hired as District 544 superintendent of schools in 1984. His community endeavors included the Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, the United Way, church activities and student support groups. Following his retirement from the school district in 1995, he won election to the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners in 1999. Block earned degrees at North Dakota State University, Oregon State University and the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He began his education career as a science teacher in Fargo in 1959 and was an administrator at Minnesota State University Moorhead, assistant superintendent in Grand Rapids, and superintendent in Eden Valley-Watkins and Thief River Falls before he joined the Fergus Falls Public Schools.
With his arrival in Fergus Falls in 1981, broadcaster Craig Olson became the voice of Otter sports for thousands of local radio listeners. He averaged more than 100 sporting events per year, as well as hosting morning sports call-in shows and talk shows with coaches. Olson began his radio career at the age of 15 in his hometown of Detroit Lakes and worked in radio in Missouri and Utah before moving to Fergus Falls. He emceed countless athletic awards banquets and programs during his career in Fergus Falls. He was inducted into the Fergus Falls Community College Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. Olson was also nominated as Minnesota Sportscaster of the Year.
Jerry Skogmo, a member of the Class of 1968, was the Otters’ most valuable player in football and basketball, all-state as a lineman, and a state champion and record holder in the shot put while he was a student at Fergus Falls High School. After graduation, he was a three-year starter on the University of North Dakota football team and was twice named all-conference at defensive end. In 1995, Skogmo was named to the “All Century” football team at UND. Following his college career, he played semi-pro football in Madison, Wis., in the fall of 1972 before returning to UND and earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. Skogmo pursued a career in the field of private counseling/psychotherapy.