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The College of Education and Human Development is honored to recognize outstanding achievements by alumni of the College, and to celebrate those achievements with the faculty, staff, students, and friends of the College, every spring.
A retired superintendent, a school president, a winning hockey coach and, a mental health consultant and veteran will receive alumni achievement awards on Thursday, May 5! UND’s College of Education and Human Development will be honoring four alumni: Mark Sanford, ’66, ’76, Marilyn Guy, ’69, ’71, ’76, Earl Beal, ’87, and Dean Blais, ’82.
The dinner and program will be held on Thursday, May 5, at A Touch of Magic. The social begins at 6 p.m., with the dinner and program at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $15 a piece. To register or send a note of congratulations, please contact Jena Pierce, Director of Alumni Relations and Development at (701) 777-0844 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Every year I am inspired to see what our graduates have done with their lives,” said Dan Rice, Dean of the UND College of Education and Human Development. “It is such an honor to have these individuals come back to campus and let the departments and our faculty recognize their outstanding work!”
2011 Alumni Award Recipients
A native of Watford City, North Dakota, Mark graduated from Minot State University in 1961 and entered the field of education as a math teacher and coach at Stanley, North Dakota. While at Stanley, which included six years as superintendent, Mark received a Master of Education in Educational Administration from the University of North Dakota. In 1971, he moved to Minot, North Dakota, to become principal of Minot High School. While at Minot, Mark played a key role in the design, planning, and construction of Minot High School’s Magic City Campus. Mark received a Doctor of Education degree from the University of North Dakota in 1976 and moved to Grand Forks as Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education before becoming Superintendent of the Grand Forks Public Schools in 1981. Having served as the Grand Forks Superintendent of Schools from 1981-2007, Dr. Sanford has been the longest serving superintendent in the history of Grand Forks Public Schools.
As Grand Forks Superintendent, Dr. Sanford’s tenure was marked by many challenges that led to changes in the delivery of learning experiences to the district’s schoolchildren. Astute management of resources was a hallmark of Dr. Sanford’s leadership and his guidance was a stabilizing factor in the pursuit of the district’s mission—“to provide opportunities for all students to develop their maximum potential.” He was reflective, analytical, and developed measured responses in a thoughtful manner. He was an educational progressive but moved on new initiatives and strategies only after evidence of data-driven research. His leadership was put to the test in the weeks and months following the flood of 1997. Working with both FEMA and commercial insurance representatives, Dr. Sanford skillfully maneuvered through the financial and operational recovery processes, allowing the district to both replace and remodel buildings while retaining the strong financial structure that was a hallmark of his tenure as superintendent.
Over the span of his administration, many changes were introduced. Among the most noteworthy were All Day Kindergarten, Head Start, middle schools for grades 6-8, technology integration, Reading Recovery, increasing programs for adult learners, Community High School (an alternative for students age 16 and older), and development of a collegial partnership with the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
Dr. Sanford was the recipient of the 2001 NDEA Presidential Award for Outstanding Administrator. He also served on several community and state boards, including 15 years on the North Dakota State Investment Board and the Teachers’ Fund for Retirement Board of Trustees. In 2010, Dr. Sanford was elected to the North Dakota Legislature. In 2011, Grand Forks Public Schools renamed its administrative building the Mark Sanford Education Center in honor of this legendary educational leader.
Dr. Marilyn J. Guy is currently serving as Oak Grove Lutheran School’s interim president. For more than 30 years, Dr. Guy has been a professor in the department of education at Concordia College in Moorhead; she is taking a leave of absence from Concordia College to serve as president at Oak Grove. In her time at Concordia, she supervised student teachers, served as the chair of the education department, and was an assistant academic dean. She received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in education from the University of North Dakota.
In addition, Dr. Guy has served on many local, regional and national committees and boards in the area of education, accreditation and community leadership. Since 1994, she has been a team chair and member of the Readers Panel with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, working to accredit K-12 schools and schools of higher education. She was a board member and the president of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, whose members include 800 colleges and universities with teacher education programs. She has also been a board member and president of the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education and an executive board member of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. She was a founding member of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council and also served as its vice chairperson.
She and her family worship at Hope Lutheran Church in Fargo, where she has been the president of the church council and led the recent capital campaign. She was a member of the Fargodome Authority for two terms and also served that board as president. She and her husband, William L. Guy III, have two grown children and one grandchild.
Dr. Guy is the first female to serve in the capacity of president in Oak Grove’s 104-year history.
(Accepting on Blais' behalf is Jeff Bowen)
Dean Blais burnished his already exceptional credentials as one of the nation’s finest coaches during his first season (2009-1010) as the head coach at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He led the Mavericks to just their fourth 20-win season in school history. He also stepped away from his UNO duties for a magical two weeks in which he led the U.S. Junior Team to a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Blais became only the second coach in UNO hockey history on June 12, 2009. In his first year in Omaha, he guided the Mavericks to a record of 20-16-6 overall record and a 13-12-3-2 record in their final season in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association
In late December, Blais took over the reins of U.S. Junior Team at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship. He led the U.S. to a record of 6-0-1-0. The Americans capped it off with a 6-5 overtime win over host country Canada in the gold medal game on Jan. 5, just the second gold ever won by the U.S. in the World Junior tournament.
Blais came to UNO from the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League where he served as head coach and general manager. He was named USHL Coach of the Year, and the Force were named Organization of the Year.
As a college coach, Blais won NCAA Division I national championships as the head coach of the University of North Dakota in 1997 and 2000. The UND team were runners up in 2001, the last of five straight NCAA appearances under Blais. Overall, the native of International Falls, Minn. guided North Dakota to seven NCAA appearances, five regular season WCHA titles and two WCHA playoff championships in addition to the national championships.
Blais is a two-time winner of the Spencer Penrose Memorial Award given to the Division I coach of the year. He is also a three-time WCHA coach of the year honoree. In addition to coaching Team USA in 2010, Blais was the head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team in 1993 and an assistant in 1987 and 1988. He was an assistant for Team USA in the 2000 IIHF World Championships.
He also worked for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League from 2004-2007. He served as associate head coach during the 2005-06 season and as director of player development in 2006-07. In April of 2010, Blais signed a contract extension with UNO taking him through the 2014-2015 season.
Dr. Earl Beal is a consultant on mental health issues related to victims of trauma with specific emphasis on military and veteran populations. He recently retired as an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Community Services at the University of North Dakota. Prior to that, he served as a research analyst developing DoD health and family programs. He also established the Airman and Family Readiness Center at Grand Forks Air Force Base and served as its first director. A disabled Vietnam combat veteran with over 36 years of both military active duty and federal service, he retired from the Department of the Air Force in 2005.
Dr. Beal has been involved in providing family education, counseling and consultation in a variety of settings for more than 40 years. This has included positions as a youth advisor, juvenile court consultant, veteran service counselor, victim/witness advocate and court appointed domestic abuse counselor. He has also held faculty positions with Northland Community and Technical College; Park University; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Air University’s College of Professional Development.
Dr. Beal continues to serve on several local, state, and regional health, human service and veterans related boards and committees. He has earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University; a Master of Science Degree in Human Development Counseling from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University; a Certificate of Public Administration from the University of Southern California; and a Ph.D. in Counseling from the University of North Dakota. Doctor Beal has been married for 47 years. He has two sons, three grandsons, and a granddaughter.