District 206 to honor Hall of Fame inducteesThe sixth annual Alexandria School District 206 Alumni Hall of Fame recognition luncheon and celebration is set for Friday, September 21 from noon to 1:15 p.m. at Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria.
The sixth annual Alexandria School District 206 Alumni Hall of Fame recognition luncheon and celebration is set for Friday, September 21 from noon to 1:15 p.m. at Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria.
The Alexandria Public Schools Education Foundation established the event in an effort to honor outstanding alumni who have earned distinction or achievement in their chosen field.
Three individuals will be honored at this year's luncheon - Richard A. "Bud" Peterson, John Hawkes and Joani Nielson. The event is open to the public. For ticket information, contact Susan Scarborough, Education Foundation treasurer, at (320) 762-3310, ext. 4271.
John Hawkes was born and raised as John Perkins in Alexandria. At Jefferson High School (JHS), he tried out for his first play and got the part of Pigpen in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (1975). He loved acting and acted in other JHS productions before graduating in 1977.
After high school, Perkins moved to Austin, Texas and helped found Big Stage Productions. He was a cast member in the national touring production of Greater Tuna.
He performed with the touring company at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Plaza Theatre in Dallas, Texas. He later moved to Los Angeles and produced his own one-man show, Nimrod Soul.
Since then, he has performed in more than 80 TV shows and movies. His most notable roles have been in The Perfect Storm, Hardball, Me and You and Everyone We Know, American Gangster and in the HBO series Deadwood.
Among other honors, in 1976 he won the Chlotrudis Award, has twice been nominated for Screen Guild Actor Awards, and in 2011 received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor in Winter's Bone.
He has also written and recorded songs played in films and TV shows.
Richard "Bud" Peterson
Richard "Bud" Peterson was a 1940 graduate of Alexandria High School.
He obtained a bachelor of arts degree in architecture from the University of Minnesota in 1949 and was a renowned architect in Minnesota from 1957 to 2000, working with Minnesota state colleges and universities to develop their design standards.
Prior to his architectural career, Peterson served in the Army.
He was the youngest Army airman to achieve the rank of major (age 21). He became a famous fighter ace with the renowned 357th Fighter Group of World War II.
He was awarded the Air Medal, three times awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Silver Star and countless Oak Leaf Clusters. France awarded him the Croix De Guerre. He was inducted into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame in 2000.
His famous P51 Mustang Fighter plane was named "Hurry Home Honey" after the way his future wife, Elaine Bjorklund of Alexandria, signed her letters to him.
His father, Harry Peterson, served as superintendent of schools in Alexandria.
Joani Nielson graduated from JHS in 1985 and began her business journey by attending St. Cloud Beauty Academy and becoming a professional stylist in 1987.
Within four years, she purchased the salon where she'd been working and started her own business - Salon Alexis.
Jill Blashack Strahan shared her idea with Nielson for Tastefully Simple - a direct sales company featuring easy-to-prepare foods that guests could sample at home tasting parties.
In 1995, Nielson became the silent founding partner of Tastefully Simple. In 2000 she decided to play a more active role as the company's founding partner and COO. Her current responsibilities include overseing all operational aspects of the company including legal, human resources, finance, distribution, inventory and technology operations.
She is responsible for leading and strengthening all banking, legal and key vendor relationships and she partners with the company's vision team to direct the long-term vision, goals and mission of the company.
Nielson has been recognized as one of the nation's Top 50 Women Business Owners by PINK magazine, and has received several local awards in honor of her leadership and community involvement.