Hall of Fame
Photos from 2013 HoF Football Game and Banquet | Hall of Fame Bylaws | 2014 Hall of Fame Nomination forms

The Duluth East High School Hall of Fame was established in 2012 in a joint effort between the East High School Activities Office and the newly established Duluth East High School Foundation. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize the outstanding achievements made by community leaders, athletes, coaches, advisors, and teachers from East High School.

The selection of honorees is made by the Hall of Fame Committee, a standing committee of the Duluth East High School Foundation. Read more about the Hall of Fame Committee, nomination procedures and criteria for inductee consideration in the Hall of Fame bylaws.

Hall of Fame Class of 2013 | Hall of Fame Class of 2012
Class of 2014

Nominations for the Class of 2014 are due by August 1, 2014
The 2014 Hall of Fame Football Game will be October 10, 2014
The 2014 Induction Ceremony and Dinner will be October 11, 2014

Class of 2013
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Eric Eskola
A Birchen Award winner from the East High Class of 1971, Eskola began working at Duluth’s KDAL radio and TV station while attending UMD. Following his graduation, Eskola continued working at KDAL until 1980 when he began his work with WCCO Radio in Minneapolis. Eric served the last 21 years of his career with WCCO as the radio’s political correspondent where he was often referred to as “one of the best political reporters in Minnesota.” As a member of the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Eric retired from WCCO in 2010.  Eskola continues to co-host Almanac on Twin Cities Public Television which he has done since 1986
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Thomas Little
A teacher at East from 1965 to 1978, Little taught social studies and advised several groups at the school. He taught in Duluth for thirty years. In 1977 he received a Bush Fellowship for his passion about learning and improving the quality of life in his community. Little was appointed as a lecturer for the Staley Foundation in 1981. Tom was the recipient of Minnesota’s Terrific Teacher Award in 1992. He served as a delegate to the City of Duluth’s Inaugural Sister City Delegation to Petrozavodsk, Russia, and was a frequent lecturer and guest speaker for numerous educational workshops and conferences.  Tom passed away on August 12, 2002.

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Thomas R. Nides
A Birchen Award winner from the Class of 1979 and a graduate from the University of Minnesota, Nides was the chief of staff to Rep. Tony Coelho and Rep. Tom Foley. In 1994 he served as chief of staff to U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor.  He has been in a senior officer position with Fannie Mae, Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley.  In 2000 he was the campaign manager for vice presidential candidate, Senator Joseph Lieberman. Following nomination by President Obama, Tom served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 until 2013. He is currently a vice-chairman at Morgan Stanley.
Joe Mrkonich

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Dick Skogg
A teacher at East from 1963 to 1997, Skogg taught math and chemistry. He served as Activities Director during his last five years at East, during which 84 different teams participated in state tournaments, and he was named The 7AA A.D. of the Year.  He coached track for 32 years, cross country for 26 years, and five consecutive State Girls’ CC Championship teams.  Dick was named State Cross Country Coach of the Year for both boys and girls. He co-managed the Swain Cross Country Meet for 24 years. Skogg is a member of the State Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame and the State Coaches Hall of Fame. 

Denise Olson

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Nick A. Srdar
Srdar served as principal of East High School from 1970 until his retirement in 1987. He began his career in education as a teacher in Floodwood, Minnesota in 1956 where he became principal in 1959. Prior to his appointment as East principal, Srdar served as principal at Keewatin, Woodland, and Washington. Nick believed in the potential of all young people and set high expectations for students and faculty. He took great pride in the scholarly achievements of students and in the Good Sportsmanship Award East’s student body consistently received at state tournaments. Nick passed away on November 25, 2009.

Class of 2012
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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.
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Betty Marciniak-Ahrendt
Having recently celebrated her 90th birthday, Marciniak-Ahrendt is best known for writing the lyrics to the traditional Duluth East fight song-The Birchen.  Marciniak-Ahrendt wrote the famous lyrics while attending East as a junior high school student.   Betty’s lyrics literally span the decades with every Greyhound, past and into the future, united by her refrain.  There is no better legacy than being responsible for "East High Rah, Rah, Rah!"

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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 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.
Joe Mrkonich

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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 Olson

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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.




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