Alexandria Public Schools Education Foundation Hall of Fame honorees
The Alexandria Public Schools Education Foundation is holding its third annual Hall of Fame recognition event to honor outstanding staff and alumni who have earned significant distinction or achievement in their chosen field.
The event is open to the public and will take place Friday, September 25 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the District 206 Community Education office, 1410 South McKay Avenue, Suite 201 in the new Woodland Elementary School.
Three individuals will be honored at this year's luncheon - Murrae Freng, choral director for Alexandria Public Schools from 1952 to 1965; Robert "Bob" Rader, social studies teacher from 1958 to 1987; and a special memorial tribute will be made to A.A. "Cap" Paciotti, District 206 teacher and community education director from 1946 to 1977.
Nominees must be graduates of District 206 with a graduation date of 1987 or earlier, or be a former or retired staff member who served a minimum of 10 years and impacted the lives of students.
Final selections of honorees are made by the all-volunteer Education Foundation board.
Established in 2002, the mission of the Education Foundation is to support educational excellence and a passion for learning by partnering with the community. The Hall of Fame event helps support the foundation's endowment, which provides grants that have direct and measurable impact on student learning.
For more information, call Susan Scarborough, Education Foundation chair, at (320) 762-3310, extension 4271.
Freng graduated from high school in Pelican Rapids and obtained a bachelor of arts degree from Concordia College in Moorhead. He did graduate study at St. Cloud State University and obtained a music education degree from MacPhail College of Music in Minneapolis.
He served as music director at Brooten Public Schools from 1946 to 1952 and as choral director for Alexandria Public Schools from 1952 to 1965.
During that time he started an annual Christmas concert in partnership with the school art department; started a clinic/concert tradition with nationally recognized musicians as guest conductors; organized the Jefferson Carolers in 1962; directed the Runic Male Chorus and the First Lutheran Church choir.
Under his leadership, the Jefferson High School choir was selected to represent Minnesota at the North Central Convention of National Music Educators.
From 1965 to 1970 Freng served as assistant executive director of the Minnesota State High School League, and as executive director from 1970 to 1985. During that time, he developed an extensive girls' athletic program, originated a football playoff system including the Prep Bowl, established a class system of tournament play, restructured the league's constitution and by-laws, expanding the democratic process, and merged the private school sector into the league.
Freng retired in 1985 and served as executive director of the Central Lakes Concert Association. In 2006 he moved to Plymouth.
Some of the honors received by Freng include the F. Melius Christiansen Award from the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota in 1986 for outstanding contributions to choral music in Minnesota; one of six selected in 1987 as charter members of the Minnesota Music Educators Association Hall of Fame; grand marshal of the Vikingland Band Festival in 1989; one of 10 inducted to the First Annual Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame in 1991; honored at the American Choral Directors Association's 50th anniversary in 2009 as one of 100 charter members.
Freng and his wife, Helen, have four children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Robert "Bob" Rader
Rader earned bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and master of science degrees in education, with social science and business education areas of concentration, all from St. Cloud State College.
He spent 32 years teaching. From 1955 to 1958 he taught at Battle Lake High School, where he served as head baseball coach, assistant basketball and football coach and as athletic director.
From 1958 to 1987 he was with Alexandria District 206, where he taught social studies, senior social, civil liberties and the law, American and world history, typing, consumer education, business law and religion in America.
During his career he started the first social studies law-related education course in Minnesota at Jefferson High School (JHS) called Civil Liberties Youth and the Law.
He was a contributing author to West Publishing Company's "The Student Lawyer," a text at one time presented to all Minnesota high schools by the Minnesota State Department of Education.
He authored 21 books in law-related and social studies education, and two other law-related products. He started his own educational publishing firm in Alexandria in 1980.
Rader was the first author of mock trials for junior and senior high schools in the U.S. and published first by Justice Publications in 1977.
He innovated and served on the chairing committee for a three-year, one-week mini course program at JHS for all students, teachers and principals participating in new academic work experience or recreational activities. The course became a model curriculum for several other schools in the state.
Rader's educational involvements include serving as officer/board member of the Alexandria Education Association (AEA); chair/elected member of the negotiating team; board member of Alexandria Teacher's Credit Union; chair of AEA fringe benefit committee; member of Hamline University Law-Related Education Board; board member/secretary for Minnesota Council for the Social Studies; appointed member of numerous state curriculum committees in social studies, law education and conservation; selected JHS Teacher of the Year in 1986; started first "slow learner" social studies curriculum at JHS; chair of social studies 7-12 curriculum; started and served as member of first elementary school board in St. Cloud Diocese at St. Mary's School in Alexandria in 1960; negotiated first bus transportation for St. Mary's and Zion students with District 206; composed first educational philosophy for JHS in 1959; member of three North Central Evaluation Committees; helped educate staff and aided in writing of educational objectives for all courses in preparation for North Central Evaluations (first school to accomplish this in Minnesota); nominated for National Social Studies Teacher of the Year; listed in Who's Who national social studies publication; taught American Institute of Banking classes to area bankers.
Rader also served as board member of Project New Hope in Alexandria; volunteering at the Douglas County Hospital Orthopedic Ward; was a member of the Alexandria Human Relations Committee; board member of Douglas County DFL party; board member/secretary of Alexandria Golf Club; served in U.S. Army during Korean War period; member of American Legion and St. Mary's Church, president/officer of Vikingland Barbershop Chorus; member of Vikingland Chorus and quartet.
Rader is currently the president/owner/publisher of Educational Publishing Company (Law Instructor Publications).
He and his wife, Vonnie, have three children.
A.A. "Cap" Paciotti
Paciotti is a graduate of Gilbert High School, Eveleth Junior College and the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture education with minors in animal husbandry, chemistry and biology.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1941, and after three years of training was sent to France from 1944 to 1946. He was discharged as a major after receiving the Purple Heart with cluster, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Croix de Guerre with star, which was twice presented to him by the French government.
Paciotti served as an agriculture instructor at Alexandria Public Schools from 1946 to 1965, as director of Community Education from 1965 to 1977 and as assistant director of adult education at Alexandria Technical College from 1977 to 1981.
He also served as a KXRA Radio sports broadcaster from 1949 to 1985. After retiring from that, he became the public address announcer for all Alexandria Cardinal home football games. He was also the KXRA Radio broadcaster for the Resorters Golf Tournament for 30 years.
Paciotti's community involvement includes serving as instructor of the Veterans Training Program at Central School from 1946 to 1953; editor of Ag Man magazine for 10 years; president of Alexandria Education Association; director of Minnesota Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association; member of Chamber of Commerce Education committee; director of Lake Region Sports Commission; member of Douglas County Hospital Board; member of Alexandria City Council; past commander of American Legion; director and president of Alexandria Golf Club; director of First American Bank for 19 years; board member of Knute Nelson Memorial Home; member of City Recreation Department and Park Board; and at St. Mary's Catholic Church he served as president and trustee of the Parish Council, president of the Men's Club, lay reader and Eucharistic minister, member of the Knights of Columbus and broadcaster of the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass.
Through the years, Paciotti was often referred to as "Mr. Alexandria" and the "Voice of the Alexandria Cardinals." In 1999 he received the Sertoma Service to Mankind award.
He and his wife, Inez, were married 58 years and had three daughters, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.