Who We Are
Board of Directors
LogoThe Duluth East High School Foundation was founded to enhance a world class educational experience for all East High School students by providing financial support for academics, fine arts, student activities, athletics, and campus enhancements.

In the spring of 2011, a small group of alumni, parents, and staff met to discuss ways to develop a source of stable and sustainable income for East High School.

Those discussions identified the need to establish a Duluth East High School Foundation to focus on gathering funds to enhance a world class educational experience for every student.  These funds would not be tied to district budgets, any individual program, or any school administration. 

The nonprofit DEHSF committed itself to raising funds for an endowment, the earnings of which will be dispersed to support academics, fine arts, student activities, athletics, and campus enhancements.

Using a simple, streamlined process, requests for funds will be reviewed by an allocation panel who will distribute grants for unmet needs identified by faculty, students, and administration.

Read more about us in the December 2012 and August. 2012 issure of Woman Today.

Board of Directors

Ken Jenen Ken Jensen, President
Ken spent the last 31 years of his teaching career at East High School, teaching Social Studies and Driver’s Education.  Ken advised the Birch Log Yearbook, the Senior Class, and served as Chairman of the Faculty Council.  Jensen was a C-SPAN Champion Teacher in 1998, A Minnesota Teacher of Excellence in 2003, and a Finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year in 2004.  Ken retired from teaching in 2007.

"You don’t spend your life helping students achieve their highest potential and just stop at retirement.  The East Foundation gives me the chance to give a helping hand to thousands of students who will attend East long after I am gone."

Dr. Jeff Engelsgjerd Dr. Jeff Engelsgjerd, Vice President
Jeff is a native Duluthian and a graduate of Duluth East High School, Class of 1979.  He graduated from UMD with a Bachelor of Science degree and then attended the University of Nebraska College of Pharmacy.  After this he attended Medical School at the University of Minnesota (Duluth and Minneapolis), receiving his medical degree in 1990.  He spent six years in specialty training in Urologic Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, and moved back to Duluth after completing his residency.  All three of his children graduated from Duluth East.

"It is an honor to serve on this board and in this way help the students of East achieve their full potential.  This school provided the foundation for my success and serving in this capacity helps me give back."

Greg Goldman Greg Goldman, Treasurer
Greg Goldman is an East 1969 graduate. He has been with the accounting firm of Kolquist, Seitz & Goldman since 1978 and an owner since 1985. Since graduating from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1974, he has continually served in the public accounting profession. He practices in the areas of personal and business tax and financial planning, management services, business valuations, and litigation support. Greg is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Arrowhead Estate Planning Council. He is Past President of the Duluth Chapter of Certified Public Accountants. Since 1988 Greg has been a member of the Duluth Harbortown Rotary Club. He is a YMCA member and past chairman of the Duluth Area Family YMCA Foundation. He also serves as Treasurer of The VOOM Foundation and the Duluth East High School Foundation.

Mike Miernicki Mike Miernicki, Secretary
Mike Miernicki was born in the "Friendly West End" (now known as Lincoln Park) and has lived in Duluth all his life. Miernicki was educated in the Duluth Public School System and worked as a teacher and Activities Director in ISD 709 for 36 years. As a longtime East High social studies teacher, Miernicki was named an area Terrific Teacher and served on a number of committees. He has worked with teachers, parents, and students to develop meaningful curriculum projects, coordinated the Ordean Stadium renovation, and assisted the Public Schools Stadium project. Mike is currently a member of the Whiteside Scholarship Committee, the Noper Foundation Scholarship Committee, and the Duluth School Board.

Joe Bereni Joe Berini
Joe’s roots are deep at East.  He was involved in Student Forum and was President of his Junior and Senior Classes.  Joe was fortunate to sing with the very first Duluth East European Choir Tour in 1971 as a sophomore and went on to be the President of the Acapella Choir.  He had “great seats” as a member of two East State Basketball tournament teams.  After graduating from East in 1973, Joe completed his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota.  Joe has chaired each of their Class Reunions since returning to Duluth in 1992.  All three of his kids graduated from East and his wife Sandy occupies a Counselor position at East that Joe’s father held for nearly two decades.  He has served on the Duluth East Athletic Association and is an active member of the Duluth YMCA and the Duluth Lions Club. 

“One of the many things I learned from my Dad was to be active in organizations that give back to the community.  East has been such a huge part of my life.  I can’t think of a better way to support East students and faculty.”

Kathy Cortes Kathy Cortes
Kathy is a 3rd generation East Graduate, Class of 1984. She graduated from Hamline University with a Bachelor Degree in Legal Studies and then went on to Hamline University School of Law earning her Juris Doctorate in 1990. After law school, Kathy was the Executive Director of a mediation and arbitration agency in the Minneapolis area for 12 years. In 1999, Kathy and her husband decided to move back to their hometown of Duluth to raise their family. Kathy has been a realtor in Duluth the past 19 years and also does some work on the side for Arrowhead Abstract and Title Company.

“I’m honored to be a part of a Board and serve with three of the best teachers I ever had! The mission of the East High School Foundation is dear to my heart. East High School has always been an excellent school filled with pride, honor and excellence. I look forward to helping to support this tradition.”

Pat Heffernan Pat Heffernan
Pat is a 1991 graduate of Duluth East where he served as President of the Executive Board and Student Forum. Heffernan is married to Carrie Wheeler, also a member of the East Class of 1991 and they have 3 boys - 10th grade twins at East and a 7th grade future Greyhound. Pat is a partner at Wheeler Associates where he has worked since 2002. In 1997, Heffernan received the Donald R. Zander Leadership Award at the University of Minnesota and in 2010 he was honored by the Duluth News Tribune with their 20 Under 40 Award. He has been active in the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce and is currently a board member at St. Luke’s and a Trustee for the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.

“My time at East was incredibly influential in my life thanks to my fellow Greyhounds and the teachers and staff. I look forward to being a part of the Foundation which will help propel the legacy of our wonderful school for years to come”.

Sheryl Jensen Sheryl Jensen
An educator with the Duluth Public Schools for 35 years, Sheryl Jensen was honored to be a finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year in 2003. She taught at Ordean for 10 years and at East High School for 25 years, serving as chairperson of the East English Department. 
Sheryl has been the managing editor of the area Woman Today magazine, for 15 years. She is currently a board member of the area PBS station WDSE/WRPT and the secretary of the Bluebird Foundation, an organization that gives scholarships to students in the arts. She has been a theater director of sixty productions for the Duluth Public Schools and with many area community theaters.

“I am excited to work with the Duluth East Foundation and to give back to a place that is so near and dear to me. I was honored to be inducted into the East High Hall of Fame in 2014 and look forward to the next chapter in the growth of the Foundation and the selection of the Hall of Famers in future years.”

Steve Patronas Steve Patronas
Steve is a 1989 graduate of Duluth East and is married to Karin Patronas (Vukson), Duluth East graduate, Class of 1992.  Steve has been Vice President - Financial Advisor at RBC Wealth Management since 1996.  Steve is actively involved in the community serving on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Greater Duluth,  United Day Activity Center (UDAC), Boys and Girls’ Club of Duluth Scholarship Foundation, and the Duluth East High School Foundation.

Brian M. Prudhomme Brian M. Prudhomme
Brian Prudhomme is a lifetime resident of Duluth and a 1997 graduate of East. While at East, Brian was the student manager of Boys’ Basketball, and Boys and Girls’ Cross-Country. He served as Class Treasurer twice, was a 4-time Student Forum member, Association President and Treasurer, Sports Editor of the Greyhound newspaper, a member of the A’cappella choir, and he was the founder of the Super Fans. In addition, Brian won the Gregory Irons Award, a 1997 Birchen, and was crowned 1997 Spring King. Brian currently serves as the Public Address announcer for Duluth East athletics, and is co-chair of the Class of 1997 reunion committee.

"Duluth East has a special place in my heart. East gave me so many great experiences in those four years, it’s just an honor to be able to give back. Once a Greyhound, ALWAYS a Greyhound."

Shawn Roed Shawn Roed
Shawn grew up in Lakeside and graduated from Duluth East in 1988. While at East High School, Shawn played on the East Hockey team, ran Cross Country, participated in IM's and was an active member of DECA. He began his East coaching career in soccer in 1993 and started teaching Marketing at East in 1997. Shawn has served as an Assistant and then Head Girls Soccer Coach, Golf Coach, Freshman Class Advisor, DECA Advisor, IM Advisor, Assembly Advisor, Green Club Advisor, Assistant Hockey Boys Coach and is the current East Activities Director. Shawn is a member of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, Minnesota State High School Coaches Association, National Federation of High School Coaches, the Minnesota State High School Athletic Administrators Association and has served on the Region 7AA Board of Directors. He serves on the Birchen Selection Committee, Mrkonich Scholarship Selection Committee and the Duluth East Hockey Alumni Association. Shawn was named Region 7AA Activities Director of the year in 2012 and was named to the Duluth News Tribune's "Top 20 under 40" in 2009.

"East is about the people, the memories and friendships I have from back when I went to East still remain today. Even though we have left the old building behind, the traditions are still strong and alive."

Dnette Seboe Danette Seboe
Danette Seboe is the Principal at Duluth East High School. She has worked in public education for over 17 years and has been an administrator since 2011, previously at Eveleth-Gilbert High School. Danette is the President of the Northeast Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals and was the 2016 Northeast Principal of the Year. She has a Master's Degree in School Counseling and an Education Specialist Degree in Administration. Danette started at East in the fall of 2016. 

"I am thrilled to be a Greyhound and to be part of a tradition of excellence and enthusiasm at Duluth East High School.”

Sally Riesland Sundeen Sally Riesland Sundeen
Sally is a proud graduate of Duluth East class of 1978 and lifelong resident of Duluth. While at East she was a Letter winner in swimming, basketball, track and fastpitch softball and a member of the A'Capella Choir. Sally is married to Garth Sundeen and has three son's, all graduates of Duluth East and residents of the Duluth area. She coached swimming for 32 years, with stints at the YMCA and all three high schools including her last 15 with Duluth East. Since 1984 she has worked as a Special Education Para with the Duluth School School district. "I love being a part of the Greyhound nation. My eight siblings graduated from East and I look forward to my seven grandchildren joining the long tradition of Duluth East grads.” 

"You can be what you want to be if you believe in yourself and work hard anything is possible.”

Karl Wasson Karl Wasson
Karl is a Trust Manager with Wells Fargo Bank.  While his children attended Congdon Park Elementary School, Karl became part of a group that established the Congdon Park Foundation.  As a parent, Karl was surprised to find that East did not have a Foundation to help the school.  Following the graduation of his three children from East, Karl began working to start the Duluth East High School Foundation.

Dave Zbaracki Dave Zbaracki
Dave Zbaracki is a 2001 East graduate. He was a member of the A'Capella choir, Choralaires, and lettered in Alpine Skiing. He was also voted "most school spirit" by his senior class. Dave lives in Duluth with his wife, Anne (née, Stromquist), a 1997 East graduate and physician at Essentia Health, is a full-time dad to Adam (5) and Catherine (7), works at Ski Hut, and is a volunteer coach in alpine skiing and mountain biking. He is active in local politics and has a passion for travel and cooking. 


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