Announcing the 2016 ISD 88 Hall of Fame Inductees

2016 Inductees

The ISD 88 Foundation and its Alumni Committee are pleased to announce the selection of six individuals for the 2016 ISD 88 Hall of Fame. This is the Hall of Fame’s third year of induction. The Hall of Fame seeks to honor individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their lives or vocation and who have made a difference in the communities in which they live, or lived.

The ISD 88 Hall of Fame allows current students an opportunity to understand the value of their education and the possibilities to which it may lead. The Hall of Fame is a way for the school and the community to honor exceptional individuals who, through example, inspire a new generation of students and staff.

An induction ceremony and banquet will be held Saturday, October 1st, 2016 at New Ulm Turner Hall beginning at 5pm. More information on the ISD 88 Hall of Fame and the October 1st event can be found at

The inductees are:

Chris Contag – A 1978 graduate of New Ulm High School where he was involved in sports and academics. Chris received his undergraduate and PhD degrees from the University of MN. He is currently a professor and researcher at Stanford University and he is credited with inventing BLI (Bioluminescence Imaging), a tool used by major research institutions around the world for studying cancer biology and exploring new therapeutic strategies. Chris is also a Scout Master and he is a Board Member of many organizations including the World Molecular Imaging Society, Lynbrook Excellence in Education, and 4 Elements Earth Education.

Henry Epp (deceased) – A beloved High School teacher and coach in New Ulm for 30 years (1952-1982), where he began a state-of-the-art Industrial Arts and Electronics program similar to the STEM curricula we see today. In addition, Hank was a WWII Navy Veteran and was active in many New Ulm groups including the Union Hospital Board and the Vocational Trades Co-Op in Hanska. He was dedicated to youth and he and his wife Elvira were foster parents to 21 children from 1968 to 1981. Hank was an individual whose impact on those he interacted with is still being felt today.

Gene Forstner (deceased) – A 1943 graduate of New Ulm High School where he played baseball and was an active member of the FFA. After serving in the Navy in WWII, he returned to farm in Lake Hanska Township. Gene was a respected member of the Sigel Creamery Board, the Sioux Valley Hospital Board, the Farm-City Hub Club and the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. Gene believed strongly in education and the youth of New Ulm, which he demonstrated during his two terms, and almost 20 years, on the ISD 88 Board of Education.

John Marti – A 1981 graduate of NUHS where he was active in football, track, golf and other activities. John is a MIT graduate, Marine Corps officer, and a University of Oregon School of Law graduate. John began his career as a Judge Advocate in the Marine Corps and later served as federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota. He was recently Minnesota’s Acting U.S. Attorney before joining the international law firm of Dorsey and Whitney LLP in Minneapolis. For the past 30 years, John has been a selfless, dedicated, and committed public servant.

Mary Moriarty – A 1982 graduate of New Ulm High School where she excelled in academics, music, and athletics. Mary is a graduate of Macalester College and the University of Minnesota Law School. She has had a successful career as a litigator and legal educator and is currently the MN Hennepin County Chief Public Defender, the first woman to hold this position. Mary is a tireless advocate for social justice and is involved in many efforts, including Gideon’s Promise and the Innocence Project, to assist those in need in our criminal justice system.

Franklin Stuckey (deceased) – An esteemed High School teacher of Agricultural Education in New Ulm for almost 30 years (1966-1993) where he became an icon in the field of agriculture. He led the largest High School Agriculture program in Minnesota and it, along with the New Ulm FFA Chapter, was respected locally, statewide, and nationally. Frank was active in Sertoma, Our Saviors Lutheran Church, the New Ulm Baseball Association, and was one of the founders of the Farm-City Hub Club, all of which benefitted greatly from his involvement.

Eagles Extravaganza Update

Our Biggest Year Yet!

A huge Thank You to everyone that attended the 2016 Eagles Extravaganza! Not only did we break our record for attendance, we broke our fundraising record as well. Thanks to our sponsors, our donors, and our attendees, we raised over $43,000 for New Ulm Public Schools!



CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook page for more photos if the night!


2016 ISD 88 Hall of Fame Inductees

The six inductees into the 2016 ISD 88 Hall of Fame have been chosen. Watch for an announcement soon!

Plaque Coming Soon

ISD 88 Hall of Fame Page

Eagles Extravaganza Tickets on Sale Now!

Join us for an evening of fun and entertainment in support of New Ulm Public Schools!
Get your tickets at HyVee, Cashwise, the NU Chamber of Commerce, or by CLICKING HERE.

This year’s event will be on Friday April 1st, 2016 at the New Ulm Event Center. Social Hour will begin at 5pm and there will be dinner, a live and silent auction, and other fun games. The evening will end with a concert by the Blue Ringers. We hope to see you there!

Call for Hall of Fame Nominations!

We need your nominations for the ISD 88 Hall of Fame!

Do you know of an outstanding New Ulm Public Schools alumnus? Do you know of a classmate who is doing great work, whether publicly or quietly? Do you have a teacher who inspired you? Or a coach? If you do, please nominate them for the Hall of Fame. Nominations are due April 1st.

Please visit the Hall of Fame page for more information.

Or the nomination form can be found by following this link: 2016 Hall of Fame Nomination Form

Join our Board!

The ISD 88 Foundation has openings on its Board of Directors. If you are passionate about education in New Ulm and believe in the mission of the Foundation: “to enhance education in ISD 88 while creating partnerships between our school, our communities, and alumni”, then we want you.

More information on how to apply, including the selection process, responsibilities, and an application form, can be found in the tabs on the left of this page under How You Can Help>Volunteer or by clicking on this link.

2015 Hall of Fame Banquet: “Great Speeches, Great Night”.

On Saturday evening 9/26/15 over 100 people gathered at the New Ulm Country Club to honor the 2015 ISD 88 Foundation Hall of Fame inductees. It was an evening of laughs, memories, and inspirational speeches. This is the Hall of Fame’s second year of existence and it is proving to be a very successful event. (Click here for more information on the 2014 Hall of Fame Banquet.)

Pictured below (from left to right) are: Ann Vogel, Curt Lambrecht, Shirley Bentdahl (accepting the plaque on behalf of her husband, the late Ray Bentdahl), John Heymann, Kent Knutson, and Franz Marti (accepting the plaque on behalf of his father, Ted Marti).

2015 Hall of Fame Inductees

The following weekend Curt Lambrecht and John Heymann rode in the Homecoming Parade and all of the inductees were honored at halftime during the Football game.

Homecoming Game 2015

2015 ISD 88 HoF Program
Ray Bentdahl (Class of 1955) – Full Bio
John Heymann (Class of 1953) – Full Bio
Kent Knutson (Class of 1970) – Full Bio
Curt Lambrecht (Class of 1971) – Full Bio
Ted Marti (Class of 1968) – Full Bio
Ann Vogel (Class of 1960) – Full Bio

Kent Knutson Accepting Plaque

2015 ISD 88 Hall of Fame Inductees

2015 ISD 88 Hall of Fame Inductees
Press Release May 2015

The ISD 88 Foundation and its Alumni Committee are pleased to announce the selection of six individuals for the 2015 ISD 88 Hall of Fame. This is the Hall of Fame’s second year of induction. The Hall of Fame seeks to honor individuals who have made exceptional achievements in their field and who have made a difference in the communities in which they live, or lived.

An induction ceremony and banquet will be held Saturday, September 26th at the New Ulm Country Club beginning at 5pm. More information on the ISD 88 Hall of Fame and the September 26th event can be found at

Ray Bentdahl (deceased) – A 1955 graduate of New Ulm High School who went on to a successful 44-year career in commercial banking in Southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities. Ray’s civic interests and philanthropy benefited many in both Minnesota and Iowa.

John Heymann – A 1953 graduate of New Ulm High School where he was a three-sport athlete. In 1968 John became president of Heymann Construction Company. His firm has built many New Ulm schools and local commercial buildings, and he is active in many New Ulm organizations.

Kent Knutson – A 1970 New Ulm High School graduate who currently is the artistic director of The Old Log Theatre in Excelsior, MN. Kent has also taught/directed theater productions for the Anoka/Blaine and Minnetonka High Schools during his teaching career.

Curt Lambrecht – A 1971 New Ulm High School graduate who returned to New Ulm in 1983 and became the successful owner of Lambrecht’s Gift Store. Curt has supported our schools, volunteering in music and art events, and has served on numerous committees and boards in New Ulm.

Ted Marti – A 1968 graduate of New Ulm High School where he was active in many sports and activities. In 1975 Ted returned to New Ulm to begin working at August Schell Brewery Company and is now the brewery’s current President. Ted is instrumental in New Ulm tourism and philanthropy.

Ann Vogel, MD – A 1960 graduate of New Ulm High School who returned to her hometown to practice medicine. Doc Ann has since been dedicated to her patients and all things New Ulm, where she is active both behind the scenes and in front.

Eagles Extravaganza Update

The 2015 Eagles Extravaganza was a smashing success! Thank YOU! Over 350 people attended this incredible event and we are overwhelmed with the support that our community showed New Ulm Public Schools. The event raised over $30,000!!








The overwhelming response that we have received from this event was how FUN it was. The parents, teachers, business owners, grandparents, retirees, and community members that attended all had a wonderful time.

Everyone was there to support the students of ISD 88, but the students were a big part of what made the event so successful. From the Pops Choir, Jazz Band, and Payne Street Singers who performed to the Cheerleaders leading the crowd in the school song to the Robotics and Mechatronics Team that gave a demonstration of their robot and to all of the student volunteers who served dinner or sold cupcakes, the kids of ISD 88 showed us how amazing they are. We are so very proud of you!


The money raised at this year’s Eagles Extravaganza will fund the expansion of the STEM/STEAM engineering program to grades 5-8. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and is a program that gives students more in-depth knowledge of math and science in order to create technologies and solutions for real-world problems. STEAM is a similar program but with Art added in to the curriculum. STEM/STEAM curriculum is becoming more and more important for our students to learn because of the increasingly technological age in which we live and in which our students will be employed.


STEM/STEAM is currently offered at the elementary level with programs such as Lego Engineering and Maker Space. The high school offers classes in Engineering as well as the Robotics and Mechatronics Club. The addition of a middle school STEM/STEAM curriculum will help bridge the knowledge gap between the elementary and high school levels.

Additional proceeds from the event will go towards the ISD 88 Foundation and future projects that support the Foundation’s mission of enhancing the quality of education in New Ulm Public Schools.

Thank you again and we hope to see you next year!




First ISD 88 Hall of Fame a huge success!

Remember all the hoopla of Homecoming week at NUHS? Homecoming Court, Battle of the Classes, the Parade? Well this year brought a new addition – the inaugural ISD 88 Hall of Fame with MC Jim Senske, retired teacher and coach.

The Hall of Fame festivities kicked off with one of the six inductees leading the Homecoming Parade. This was mentioned as a highlight for the inductee. Recognition at the Friday night football game followed, where two of the living inductees were in attendance. The BIG event took place on Saturday, September 20th, where five NUHS alumni and one retired teacher were formally inducted into the ISD 88 Hall of Fame. The banquet was held at historic Turner Hall, decorated in purple and white guests were served the famous stuffed pork chops along with a vegetarian option. Old school New Ulm melds with new age eating!

Full bios on the honorees may be found on the Foundations’ website under “What we do”.  If you want to stay connected to what the Foundation is up to, current school happenings and Alumni connections, please subscribe to our newsletter and or view past issues under “Links“.

HOF 2014 Inductees