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BHS Hall of Fame Class to be inducted Oct. 14

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Burnsville High School will honor four former students, two retired teachers and a state champion team when it inducts its Hall of Fame Class of 2022 in October.  

The newest Hall of Fame class will be inducted at a free public ceremony on Friday, Oct. 14, in the school’s Mraz Center for Performing Arts. A reception will take place at 4:30 p.m. followed by a program at 5:30 p.m. and recognition during halftime at the football game that night.

The Hall of Fame Committee has selected the following for induction this year from 28 nominations: 

  • Glenn Cleveland, retired teacher and coach   
  • James Heighington, Class of 1999, technology and equity leader       
  • Martin Kuz, Class of 1986, journalist
  • Colleen LePrell, Class of 1989, researcher and professor         
  • Kelsey Mann, Class of 1993, film director         
  • Ron Ronning, retired teacher
  • 1977 State Champion Girls Basketball Team

The BHS Hall of Fame was established in 2006 as part of the school's 50th anniversary celebration. It is a way to recognize those who have made exceptional achievements in their field, significant contributions to Burnsville High School and unique contributions to their community on a local, state, national or international level. For more information, visit www.isd191.org/halloffame.  

Inductee Profiles

Glenn Cleveland, retired teacher and coach, was a Burnsville High School staff member from 1967 to 1993, and was named District 191 Teacher of the Year in 1976. He served as president of the Burnsville Education Association from 1972 to 1976, helping to negotiate the first health and benefits packages for teachers. Cleveland helped create the BHS girls golf program in 1980 and coached the boys golf team from 1981 to 1993, with players winning several individual and team state honors. Among his many contributions as a staff member at BHS, Cleveland developed the school’s work study program, counseling at-risk students and helping them find their first jobs and career paths. After retiring, he initiated the Master of Education program at Bethel University. 

James (Halloran) Heighington, Class of 1999, is a technology and equity leader, helping to promote safe access and use of technology for members of the LGBTQ community. At Burnsville High School, he was a member of the track and field and cross country teams, and participated in theater. Since earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, he’s served in several leadership positions, including on President Barack Obama’s White House LGBTQ Tech and Innovation Briefing team, and as advisor to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, where he helped draft the Free & Equal Global Business Standards to address discrimination against LGBTQ employees among multinational companies. He is currently the Global Head of Insights & Reporting at Google, leading workplace diversity, equity and inclusion. Heighington was given the Trevor Project 20/20 Visionary Award for his work at Twitter to advance an empowering future-focused message for LGBTQ young people, and has been a contributor to CNN, The Economist, BBC and the Webby Awards on the subject of making technology safe for LGBTQ communities online. 

Martin Kuz, Class of 1986, is an award-winning international journalist, especially known for his in-depth reporting in areas of crisis, including extensive reporting on the mental health concerns and resilience of deployed U.S. troops, military veterans, first responders, survivors of natural disasters, and people coping with homelessness. He has worked in several war zones, focusing on stories about acts of defiance, courage, compassion and selflessness, including in Afghanistan in 2011-2014, Korea in 2019 and Ukraine in 2022. His investigative story on the flawed case against an Ohio man who had been sentenced to death contributed to the man’s eventual exoneration and release. Kuz has been recognized with dozens of awards, citations and fellowships, including the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism in 2012. 

Colleen LePrell, Class of 1989, is a nationally recognized researcher and professor in hearing sciences, contributing 70 peer-reviewed articles, 19 book chapters and 3 edited books on hearing loss prevention. At Burnsville High School, she was a member of the National Honor Society, marching band and flag corps, and received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. She holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in psychology. LePrell is currently the Emilie and Phil Schepps Distinguished Professor of Hearing at the University of Texas at Dallas and serves as the chair of the Ph.D. program in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. Her research has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and several foundations. In 2014, LePrell received the Golden Lobe Award from the National Hearing Conservation Association.

Kelsey Mann, Class of 1993, is an animator and director, currently working for Pixar Animation Studios in California. At Burnsville High School, he created original comics for “The Voice” and helped design the Blaze logo in 1993. He holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in illustration from Northern Michigan University. During his career, Mann has worked for major production companies including Disney, Warner Brothers, LucasFilm and Cartoon Network. He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in 2007 for his work at Cartoon Network. For his work on Pixar’s “Onward” in 2020, Mann was nominated for an Oscar and received a Saturn Award. He’s currently directing a Pixar feature film that is in development. Mann regularly participates in outreach programs at local schools and youth organizations, helping inspire young people about art, animation and filmmaking. 

Ron Ronning, a retired music teacher and school leader, was a staff member at Burnsville High School from 1956 through 1986, being named BHS Teacher of the Year in 1974. He planned and initiated the District 191 music program, served as BHS Music Department chair and Director of Bands from 1956 to 1968, and helped create the school’s humanities program. Away from BHS, Ronning was an occasional guest clinician, conductor and adjudicator for bands through the Midwest. He was awarded a fellowship at the University of Iowa for Advanced Music Literature Institute in the summer of 1966, and earned the Distinguished Conductor Award from Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity in 1968. In 1979, Ronning wrote “Articulating the Ineffable: Approaches to the Teaching of Humanities,” which was published by the Minnesota Department of Education. 

The 1977 Girls Basketball Team finished the season with a record of 25 wins and 1 loss, winning the school’s first state championship in girls basketball by beating St. Cloud Apollo 46-41 in the title match. It was only the second year that a state championship was held for girls’ basketball. Team members included Dotti Piotrowski, Chris Engler, Suzanne Sienkiewicz, Karen Peterson, Anne Abicht, Terri Wisdorf, Joyce Detlefsen, Sue Kavanaugh, Kris Haugen, Jane Abicht, Karin Orson, Patti Motzko, Kathy Hetterick, Laurie Callstrom, Kris Orson, Christa Meier, Amy McDermott and Donna Peterson. The team was coached by head coach Judy Johnson and assistant coach Harlan Eernisse.  

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