2018 Alumni Awards

Outstanding Graduate Award was given to Patricia Anderson – Class of 1973


Patricia Anderson was born in Willmar, Minnesota, in 1955, but moved to
Taylors Falls in fifth grade as her father, Dr. Daniel Anderson’s work at
Hazelden brought them to the area. Patti was an outstanding student and
active in many extra-curricular activities in high school including: Choir,
Sextet, Band, Ensemble and Solo contests, Pep Club, German Club, Girls
Basketball, Student Council, and Class Officer. She graduated in 1973 as
an Honor Student.

Patti attended the College of St. Benedict and later the Defense Language
Institute – Foreign Language Center. She served in the U. S. Army for 5 ½
years where she was stationed in Germany. Patricia went on to work for
her country in the Defense Department for 34 years. She currently lives in
Maryland, but her travels have taken her to 26 countries around the world.
Fortunately for her family and friends, Pat makes the annual trek back to
Taylors Falls to enjoy the beauty of the St. Croix River Valley.

Outstanding Staff/Faculty Award was given to
Joe Thimm (1980 - 2017)

Teacher, Coach and student Council Advisor 1980-1991 at Taylors Fall High School.
Established the first computer lab at T.F. School District in 1983.
Taught first college history course for college credit at T.F. H.S. in 1989.
Helped facilitate the successful merger of the Taylors Falls School District with the Chisago
Lakes School District.
Became the Activities Director of the combined school districts in 1992.
Added Boys and Girls Soccer and Girls Hockey as new activities.
Helped facilitate the passage of a building referendum for a new gymnasium, new auditorium and expansion of the athletic fields in 1998.
Became Principal of T. F. Elementary in 2001.
Established districts first math computer lab.
Helped pass referendum for new classroom addition “The Gerald Vitalis Education Wing”.
One of the founding members of the Taylors Falls School Foundation.
Became Superintendent of Chisago Lakes Schools in 2013.
Helped develop a new strategic plan for the plan for the school district, replacing the plan of
1991.
Helped to promote the establishing of 125 college credits at the H.S. of which over 35 are in
the vocational offerings.
Worked with parents and school staff to establish Boys & Girls Lacrosse along with Boys & Girls Trap Shooting, as school sponsored events.
Helped plan and lead the successful passage of a building bond to upgrade security in all our schools, build a new 850 student elementary school to replace Lakeside Elementary, build a Community Center at our High School, add classroom space and a new media center at Taylors Falls Elementary. Assisted bringing all students that were in rented spaces, by the school district, back into remodeled school spaces.
Retired on September 29, 2017 after 38 years in the Taylors Falls and Chisago Lakes School Districts.
Currently volunteering to help oversee the successful completion of all the new building and
renovation plans.

Outstanding Citizen Award was given to Todd Rivard - Class of 1969

Todd graduated from Taylors Falls High School in 1969. At School he
lettered four years each in Football, Basketball, and Track. He was also
active in Letterman’s Club, Class Play, and Annual Staff.

After High School he joined the Marines, serving six years of duty in the
reserves. During that time he attended Aircraft Mechanics School where
he earned his A & P License in aircraft mechanics. With his certification he
worked at Blanca Aircraft in Osceola, WI. In 1974, while employed full time
in Blanca he began his part time duty as Police Officer for the city of
Taylors Falls. He earned his BCA Police Science degree during this time,
and was hired by the Chisago County Sheriff’s Department in 1980. He
then spent the next 18 years primarily as an investigator, advancing to the
title of Chief Deputy from 2001-2002. He ran for and was elected County
Sheriff serving in that position from 2003 until his retirement in 2011.

Todd was also an active member in the Taylors Falls Fire Department from
1965 until 1983. He served as Fire Chief for 4 years, from 1979 thru 1983.
Todd has been married to Mary Ann Swenson since 1971. They raised
three children, and currently have 7 grandchildren.

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 Winton Weslander - Class of 1941

Winton Weslander went to the Jericho School House until seventh grade
when it was absorbed in the Taylors Falls Independent School District. He
graduated from high school in 1941. Winton enjoyed making furniture in
Shop Class and was active in the Glee Club.

The summer after graduation he worked for a local farmer who had been
hurt in a farm accident, and in the following winter for the Triple Glen
Registered Guernsey Farm. The next summer (1942) Winton joined his
Uncle Axel farming on the Weslander Homestead near Palmdale. He
started his own herd, one cow at a time. As time moved on Winton
purchased more cows, but also worked driving a canned milk truck for the
Rivard Creamery in the winter months.

In 1945 he married Dorothy Bjork and together they farmed and raised five
children: Duane, Allen, Joyce, Mark, and Colleen. All the children attended
TFHS and were active in sports, clubs, academics, and music.
At age 95 Winton remains an active member and volunteer of his lifelong
church, Almelund Lutheran. He drives for a few other people who are
unable to drive themselves.



Extra Curricular Award for the Years 1953-1992 was given to Tom Reed – Class of 1961
Tom Reed started school in 1949 in the “Old School” on the hill. He graduated in 1961
as an honor student. During his school years he was an active participant in all extra-
curricular activities but excellent in sports. He lettered in football, basketball, baseball
and track. He co-captained football and basketball, and was All Conference in football.
After graduation Tom attended Hamline University in St. Paul and graduated with the
Class of 1965. While there he played football with his positions being running back and
linebacker. He distinguished his football career by being selected captain during his
senior year and was the lead rusher in 1962. He became a teacher and taught junior
high at White Bear Lake for many years. He taught Physical Education, Health, and
Math. He coached track and football from 1965-1999. Tom was also a High School
Football Official from 1965-1985.

Tom married Karen Bonderson, also a Taylors Falls graduate in 1963. Together they
had four children, Barry, Joselyn, Stephanie, and Brenda. They made their home in
Forest Lake. They have been active in the community with their volunteering and
participating with church activities.
Self-managed web sites powered by iEditWeb, Inc.