by Dani Marchand Journal Staff Reporter
The Arts and Humanities have been a constant hue in the multi-colored palette of Anne-Marit Bergstrom's life, one she has generously spread throughout the community. An advocate of culture and education, she has given of herself and created growing masterpieces in the minds of area students.
Bergstrom was recognized as the first "Hero of Education" yesterday by the Devils Lake Public Schools. The award was created to publicly acknowledge the "time, talent, and treasures" individuals have endowed upon students, said Lee Ann Johnston, Devils Lake Public School Foundation coordinator.
The school board felt "there were so many community members who have given so much to the schools, she said, that the Hero in Education Award will become an annual event." This year, six individuals were considered.
Central Middle School music teacher Verna Brown nominated Bergstrom. The board felt Bergstrom "has done so much to enrich students" through her selflessness, Johnston said.
"She has helped students appreciate and love all forms of music... She has given them the advantage... She has a strong commitment to the community and the schools", Johnston said.
Bergstrom developed the Young Peoples Music Club and has worked diligently in opening children's vistas. She has facilitated in creating a new generation of opera lovers by arranging opportunities for students to attend operas. Teaching also has been one of Bergstrom's loves. She has placed herself in front of the classroom, instructing students in music and French.
Bergstrom said she was honored to be awarded for what she has done, but she stated she didn't do it alone. "You prepared the soil and I had the pleasure of working with them," she told educators. Area teachers have created wonderful opportunities for the students. "The possibilities are endless."
"If I could name a passion aside from my family... it would be education." Bergstrom said education was a "cherished commodity" in her home and her "joy of being with students" has been woven tightly around her heart.
"When Verna Brown was awarded the Teacher of the Year she said 'if I'm a good teacher its because I learned so much from my students.' She said she heard that from my mother."
"Education is a greater defense," she said. "Children are our future and judging by what I see, now our future looks very bright."
"Such individuals who take and active role in creating the shining light on the horizon are an important part of the community," Johnston said. "It is important to have the community become more involved in education since it is the future of our community." Johnston said.