North Dakota United Foundation promotes educational excellence and quality public services in North Dakota. The Foundation’s goal is to aid educators, public servants and students in achieving greater educational success. The Foundation accomplishes this by providing to individual educators, public servants and college student various grants and scholarships designed to enhance their skills.

The following are the winners of the 2017-18 North Dakota Foundation Awards:

 

Kirsten Aafedt, of Grand Forks, N.D., has been awarded a NDU Education Scholarship from the  North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Aafedt will receive a cash award of $1,000 to pursue her degree in elementary and middle level education at the University of North Dakota.  NDU Education Scholarships are awarded to a student member of NDU, including student NEA/AFT members in other states, who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in education. 

 

Aafedt is a student member of the University of North Dakota’s Student Education Association, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and many honor societies. She also volunteers for events at the Community Violence Intervention Center and worked as an elementary and middle school production instructor.   

 

Alexander Bennett, of Jamestown, N.D., has been awarded a NDU Member/Dependent Scholarship from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Bennett, the son of Amy and Scott Bennett, Jamestown, will receive a cash award of $750 for his freshman year of study.  NDU Member/Dependent Scholarships are awarded to a member, including student members or dependents of an NDU member, who is pursuing post-secondary education in any field of study, including vocational, associate or bachelor degree programs. 

 

Bennett plans to pursue a degree in chemical engineering and German from the University of North Dakota. He has been studying German for the last five years through Jamestown High School and the University of North Dakota. He is active in choir, a member of the National Honors Society and started his own recycling pick-up business. 

 

Braeton Erhardt of Center, N.D., has been awarded the Cindy and Gary Rath Education Scholarship from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Erhardt will receive a cash award of $250. The Cindy and Gary Rath Education Scholarship is available to a student member of North Dakota United, or a North Dakota resident who is a student NEA/AFT member in a other states who is pursuing an undergraduate degree in education.   A preference will be given to a student attending Dickinson State University or Valley City State University.

 

Erhardt is a senior at Dickinson State University where she is studying secondary mathematics education and working on her middle school endorsement. She has been involved in the DSU Student Education Association and has held the offices of secretary/treasurer and president. She also tutors high school students and substitute teaches.  

 

Holly Fiechtner of Fargo, N.D., has been awarded $900 for the Joseph A. Westby Leadership Award from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. The Fargo educator teaches seventh grade language arts at Ben Franklin Middle School. Fiechtner is enrolled in the North Dakota State University’s Educational Leadership program.  

 

Fiechtner exemplifies the spirit of this award created by former North Dakota Education Association’s (now NDU) Executive Director, Joe Westby. Westby recognized the need to encourage members and staff to pursue leadership training. Fiechtner participates in the Language Arts Audit Committee, is a Team Leader, Course Captain and is a member of the MTSS Steering Committee member. 

 

Kayla Helbling of Mandan, N.D., has been awarded the NDU Education Scholarship and the Cindy and Gary Rath Education Scholarship from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Helbling will receive a cash award of $1,500. NDU Education Scholarships and the Cindy and Gary Rath Education Scholarship are awarded to student members of NDU, including student NEA/AFT members in other states, who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in education. 

 

Helbling graduated from Bismarck State College and is majoring in elementary education at Dickinson State University. She is active in Dickinson State’s Student Education Association, an honor student and recently performed with shadow puppets for kindergarten and second grade students at a local elementary school.

 

Mackenzie Holkesvig, of Northwood, N.D., has been awarded a NDU Member/Dependent Scholarship from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Holkesvig, the daughter of Wen

dy and Jason, Northwood, will receive a cash award of $ 750 for her freshman year of Architecture study at North Dakota State University. NDU Member/Dependent Scholarships are awarded to a member, including student members or dependents of an NDU member, who is pursuing post-secondary education in any field of study, including vocational, associate or bachelor degree programs. 

 

Holkesvig is an honor student and member of the North Dakota Academic All-State Bronze Team. She is active in her church as a worship assistant and vacation bible school teacher. She also writes for the local and school newspaper, is a Teacher’s aide for Northwood Public School’s after school program and the Northwood Public Library.  

 

Sharon Klein, of Elgin, N.D., has been awarded the Ron & Ann Anstrom Scholarship for English, Math or Science Instructors from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Klein will receive a cash award of $ 1,100 for her Master of Education in English. The Ron & Ann Anstrom Scholarship Program is intended to assist individual English, math or science instructors to improve their qualifications by attending summer school or engaging in graduate level courses during the regular academic year, online courses or extension courses that are part of a graduate program. 

Klein currently teaches 11-12 English and Spanish I at Elgin/New Leipzig High School. She also teaches German and Spanish over the Great Western Network Interactive Television Consortium and has served as an English Adjunct Lecturer for Bismarck State College. By obtaining her Master’s Degree in English Education at Valley City State University this will enable her to continue to teach dual credit college level courses to high school students. 

 

Steven Henry Lau of Mandan, N.D., has been awarded $900 for the Joseph A. Westby Leadership Award from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. The Mandan educator teaches at Mandan Middle School. Lau is pursuing a Master of Education at North Dakota State University and the Teacher Leader Academy.  

 

Lau enjoys coaching students in sports and academics. His goal is to become principal or athletic director. He currently coaches football, basketball and is the history club advisor and part of the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a new initiative in Mandan to produce college-ready students. This summer he will be leading a student trip to Washington, D.C. and New York.

 

Levi Lemer of Drake, N.D., has been awarded a NDU Education Scholarship from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2016-17 year. Lemer, the son of Candy and Mitch Lemer, will receive a cash award of $500 for his junior year at Mayville State University. NDU Education Scholarships are awarded to a student member of NDU, including student NEA/AFT members in other states, who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in education. 

 

Lemer is pursuing a degree in history/chemistry education with a minor in coaching. He is a member of several honor societies, choir and a recipient of Mayville State’s Larson Leadership award.  

 

Robert Lukens of Northwood, N.D., has been awarded the Ron & Ann Anstrom Scholarship for English, Math or Science Instructors from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Lukens will receive a cash award of $ 2,000 for his Master of Science in Education degree. The Ron & Ann Anstrom Scholarship Program is intended to assist individual English, math or science instructors to improve their qualifications by attending summer school or engaging in graduate level courses during the regular academic year, online courses or extension courses that are part of a graduate program. 

 

Lukens currently teaches 1st grade in Northwood, ND and is in his fifth year of teaching in an elementary school. He is close to completing his master’s degree from Montana State University. He plans to become a board certified teacher in science focusing on ages 11-15 and participate in the Northwood Robotics team. He and his wife have a new son. 

 

Mary McNally of Minot, N.D., has been awarded the NDU Member Grant from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2016-17 year. McNally will receive a cash award of $1,187 to gain Level II Orff through NDSU this summer. The ND United Member Grant Program is designed to assist individual members or a group of members improve their skills through continued education research or the development of materials, techniques or activities to improve public service or public education in North Dakota.  ND United may award at least $500 annually in this area.

 

McNally currently teaches at Edison Elementary School in Minot, ND.  Orff teachers help students become independent musicians by incorporating literature, poetry, speech, song, art, drama, movement, dance, culture, art, and drumming in their classes.  McNally is active in a community folk dance group both as a teacher and dancer.  She is also volunteers her time in the community directing and organizing DoReMi Choir, a children’s choir that meets before school twice a week.   

 

Crystal Michels, of Des Lacs, N.D., has been awarded the Ron & Ann Anstrom Scholarship for English, Math or Science Instructors from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Michels will receive a cash award of $1,150 for her Master of Arts degree in English from Bowling Green State University. The Ron & Ann Anstrom Scholarship Program is intended to assist individual English, math or science instructors to improve their qualifications by attending summer school or engaging in graduate level courses during the regular academic year, online courses or extension courses that are part of a graduate program. 

 

Michels has been an educator for five years. She began teaching in rural schools where she learned to teach a multitude of students with a variety of skill levels. She is currently the department chair at Minot High School Central Campus where she teaches tenth grade English, speech and media journalism classes. Her favorite area of English is teaching writing. She is also the advisor for the school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance where she has learned that all students need to feel accepted and able. 

 

Missy Miedema of Grand Forks, N.D., has been awarded a $450 NDU Member Grant and a $1,150 Ron and Ann Anstrom Scholarship for English, Math or Science Instructors from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. The ND United Member Grant Program is designed to assist individual members or a group of members improve their skills through continued education research or the development of materials, techniques or activities to improve public service or public education in North Dakota. The Ron & Ann Anstrom Scholarship Program is intended to assist individual English, math or science instructors to improve their qualifications by attending summer school or engaging in graduate level courses during the regular academic year, online courses or extension courses that are part of a graduate program. 

 

Miedema is an English teacher at Grand Forks Central High School and is taking graduate level classes to become a dual-credit Composition teacher. The Anstrom Scholarship will enable her to meet the requirements to teach these advanced classes. The member grant will enable her and a colleague to attend the NDCTE conference this summer where they will learn to teach students to read nonfiction critically. They will pass on what they learn to the Grand Forks Public Schools English Language Arts Advisory Committee and engage in a book study of Diving Deep into Nonfiction, Grades 6-12: Transferable Tools for Reading ANY Nonfiction Text by Jeffrey Wilhelm. Mr. Wilhelm will be the keynote speaker at the conference. 

 

Abigail Moberg, of Dickinson, N.D., has been awarded a NDU Member/Dependent Scholarship from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Moberg, the daughter of Susan and Kevin Moberg, Dickinson, will receive a cash award of $ 1,000 for her first year of study in Biology at Dickinson State University. NDU Member/Dependent Scholarships are awarded to a member, including student members or dependents of an NDU member, who is pursuing post-secondary education in any field of study, including vocational, associate or bachelor degree programs. 

 

Moberg is a National Honor Society member and has served as chairperson for two years. She is active in her church and has taught Sunday school, served in various leadership positions and sings in the church choir. Other activities include Sons of Norway lodge musician and is a member of Leadership Dickinson.  

 

Kaitlyn Nelson of Grafton, N.D., has been awarded a NDU Education Scholarship from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Nelson, the daughter of Rebecca and Brent Nelson, will receive a cash award of $1,000 for her sophomore year at Mayville State University. NDU Education Scholarships are awarded to a student member of NDU, including student NEA/AFT members in other states, who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in education. 

 

Nelson is pursuing her degree in elementary education with a minor in early childhood education. She was an advanced level skater with the Park River Skating Club, has been very active in 4-H, and is involved in Mayville State’s Newman Club, Theater and the MSU Student  Education Association.

 

Mariah Sondrol of Bismarck, N.D., has been awarded the Mary Cripps Special Education Scholarship from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Sondrol will receive a cash award of $ 900 to pursue her Master’s degree in Special Education Strategy from the University of Mary. The Mary Cripps Special Education Scholarship is awarded annually to either an undergraduate or graduate student pursuing initial or advanced training in special education. 

 

Sondrol works as a special education teacher at Simle Middle School in Bismarck. As an undergraduate student she earned three degrees (early childhood education, elementary education and special education) in three and a half year! 

 

Sarah Stoltz of Bismarck, N.D., has been awarded the Bill Oban Special Education Scholarship from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Stoltz, the daughter of Susan and Matthew, Bismarck, will receive a cash award of $750 for her junior year of elementary and special education study.  The Bill Oban Special Education Scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding undergraduate student who is preparing for a career in special education. 

 

Stoltz has been on the University of Mary’s Dean’s list for five consecutive semesters, is a tutor at St. Mary’s Grade School, a caregiver at Noah’s Ark Daycare and a coach at Light of Christ Catholic Schools. 

 

Joshua Tormaschy of Taylor, N.D., has been awarded the Ron & Ann Anstrom Scholarship for English, Math or Science Instructors from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Tromaschy will receive a cash award of $ 5,000 to pursue his Master of Arts degree in Mathematics 5-12 from Western Governor’s University. The Ron & Ann Anstrom Scholarship Program is intended to assist individual English, math or science instructors to improve their qualifications by attending summer school or engaging in graduate level courses during the regular academic year, online courses or extension courses that are part of a graduate program. 

 

Tormaschy has been teaching mathematics at South Heart High School for the past nine years where he teaches various math classes and dual-credit courses through Bismarck State College to high school seniors. Prior to entering the teaching profession Tormaschy served in the 75th Ranger Regiment Special Troops Company in the Army. He and his wife live on the family farm and have two children.  

 

Tiffany Towne of Bismarck, N.D., has been awarded a $500 NDU Education Scholarship from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Towne is pursuing a degree in Elementary Education from Dickinson State University. NDU Education Scholarships are awarded to a student member of NDU, including student NEA/AFT members in other states, who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in education. 

 

Towne is a member of several honor societies, a volunteer for Junior Achievement, Central Dakota Humane Society, and Special Olympics. She also serves as the secretary of the DSU Student Education Association. 

 

Sydney Trottier of Bismarck, N.D., has been awarded a NDU Member/Dependent Scholarship from the North Dakota United Foundation for the 2017-18 year. Trottier, the daughter of Dan and Kolette Trottier, Bismarck, will receive a cash award of $1,000 for her freshman year of special education study at the University of Mary. NDU Member/Dependent Scholarships are awarded to a member, including student members or dependents of an NDU member, who is pursuing post-secondary education in any field of study, including vocational, associate or bachelor degree programs. 

 

Trottier is a senior at Century High School where she is Student Council President, Editor of the School Paper, Captain of the Dance Team, and member of the National Honor Society. She also finds time to volunteer at St. Alexius Medical Center, the Bismarck Cancer Center and works as a marketing assistant at Brea Boutique.