DULUTH EAST HIGH SCHOOL
Duluth East Selects Inaugural Hall of Fame Class
The Duluth East High School Foundation has chosen the first five individuals to be inducted into the new Duluth East Hall of Fame. These five have been selected to the Hall based on their contributions to the school, community leadership, academic excellence, outstanding achievement, athletic excellence, and or contribution to the arts.
Joseph (Joe) R. Berini
A Guidance Counselor at Duluth East from 1965-1983, Berini co-founded the Lennon-Berini Scholarship and was also a founding board member on the Mitchell Scholarship Committee. He was a member of the Northeast Counselors’ Association as well as the Minnesota Counselors’ Association for over 20 years. Berini served an assistant coach for Boys’ Basketball at Duluth East from 1968-1975. He also coached the inaugural bowling team at East in 1975, and is a member of the Duluth Area Bowling Hall of Fame. A graduate of Duluth Central, Berini was heavily involved in the Duluth community through his church and his collegiate alma mater of UMD. Berini volunteered as a scoreboard official for UMD football for 50 years and UMD basketball for 30 years. He received the Bruce Bennett Volunteer Award for UMD Athletics in 2004. Berini passed away on January 23, 2010.
Having recently celebrated her 90th birthday, Marciniak-Ahrendt is a Duluth native best-known for writing the first verse to the traditional Duluth East fight song-The Birchen. Marciniak-Ahrendt wrote the famous lyrics while attending East as a junior high school student in the 1930s. Upon finishing her time at East, she entered the workforce at a very young age and took a position cleaning houses to assist her family financially. She later worked at Moland Trucking Company during her adult life and has also been very active with St. John's Church in Duluth. Betty’s lyrics literally span the decades with every Greyhound, past and into the future, united by her refrain. Betty herself still sings the famous tune at any chance she gets, proving there is no better legacy than being responsible for "East High Rah, Rah, Rah!"
Robert (Bob) D. Mix
A 28-year choral music instructor at Duluth East, Mix taught over 7,000 young singers in his career. Upon arrival in 1960, Mix bolstered the Duluth East choir program from one choir to four and also added two chamber groups. He served as the director for Duluth East's two most prestigious singing groups, the A'Cappella Choir and the Choralaires. Both of these elite groups were selected to perform regionally, nationally, and worldwide throughout his tenure. Mix also directed several musicals and produced the spring talent show, "East Side Swing," a show whose tradition continues today. Mix has been a member of MMEA (Minnesota Music Educators’ Association) for over 50 years, and he received the F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Choral Directors’ Association in 2004. Mix is also a member of the Music Hall of Fame at Austin High School (MN), where he graduated in 1949.
Joseph (Joe) W. Mrkonich
A teacher of History, Economics, and Government at Duluth East for 24 years, Joe was a legendary Boys’ Basketball Head Coach from 1963-1970, Girls’ Basketball Head Coach from 1978-1987, and Head Football Coach from 1965-1976. Mrkonich led Duluth East to a combined 336 wins in the three sports, and led the Girls’ Basketball team to four state tournaments. Mrkonich retired from East in 1987, but continued to serve as a timekeeper and announcer for basketball games from 1987-1999. Mrkonich has a scholarship named for him at Duluth East. He passed away on April 14, 2011.
Denise (Holm) Olson
A 1985 Duluth East graduate, Olson was a three-year letter winner in basketball and volleyball. She was named Minnesota's Miss Basketball in 1985 and was a member of the state runner-up Duluth East Girls’ Basketball team that same season. Olson was also a state runner-up at the 1984 Minnesota State Volleyball tournament, and held a 3.5 GPA at Duluth East. She later went on to play basketball for UMD, led the nation in assists at the NAIA level in 1989, and is a 2004 inductee to the UMD Hall of Fame. Olson has also coached Girls’ Basketball at both Duluth Central and Duluth East, and has her jersey #22 retired at Duluth East.
These first Hall of Fame members will be officially inducted during the Hall of Fame Dinner on
Saturday, October 13 - 6:00pm - Duluth East High School
The 2012 Hall of Fame class will also be recognized in a half-time ceremony when Duluth East hosts Rogers High School at the first-ever:
Hall of Fame Football Game - Friday, October 12 - 6:00pm - Duluth East High School
Tickets are $50.00 and include the cost of the dinner, program, and football game.
Tickets will be available to purchase online with a credit card beginning September 1, 2012 at www.dulutheastfoundation.org
Tickets are also available by: