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Newest members joining the BHS Hall of Fame

The Burnsville High School Hall of Fame Class of 2012 represents the tremendous breadth of success achieved by members of the BHS community both at the school and beyond.

2012 Inductees are graduates Mike Corcoran, Joshua David Dahl, Kevin Gorg, Bob Hawkins, Paul W. Jensen and Muriel Thompson.

“The Hall of Fame honorees serve as an example of the quality education that BHS provides and has fostered over the years and as role models for current students and staff to achieve their own success,” according to Dave Helke, principal.

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.

2012 Inductees are:

Mike Corcoran was a teacher in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Schools for 30 years (1971-2001).He taught the popular and path-breaking course, Majority at 18, which provided students an insight of what it meant to be a citizen of the United States and how they could be involved in a democratic government. He also taught Current Events, American History, U.S. Government and World Cultures. He served as senior class advisor and graduation coordinator from 1980-1995 and as president of the Burnsville Education Association from 1991-1995. In 1993, he was recognized as the District 191 Teacher of the Year and went on to become a finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. He was a staff development specialist and graduation standards coordinator for the district from 1995-2001. After his retirement, Corcoran worked at Edina Community Lutheran Church until 2005, when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He then focused his energies on teaching and learning about this disease. He served as a board member of the American Lung Association, served as a spokesperson for OSI Pharmaceuticals, Genentech and Fairview Hospitals. He was the co-founder of the Twin Cities Lung Run/Walk and A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation for which the Angel Foundation awarded him the “Angel Award” in 2009. Corcoran succumbed to lung cancer in March 2009.

Joshua David Dahl graduated from BHS in 2003. He was part of the 2001 Minnesota State High School League State Champion Dakota United Adapted Soccer Team in the fall of 2001. He lettered five times with the soccer team and was named to the State All Tournament Adapted Soccer Team in the fall of 2002. He also received six letters for Dakota United Adapted Hockey. Dahl loved baseball and served as student manager for the BHS varsity baseball team from 2000-2003. He received the Metcalf Junior High award for Outstanding Character in 2000 and was a member of the BHS Homecoming Court in 2001. Dahl also participated in other sporting events as Blaze mascot “Sparky.” He participated in Young Life and training to be a junior leader, was active in his church’s youth groups and served as an usher. He was a dedicated helper with physically handicapped classmates in his special education classes. He also volunteered at Twins Fest for three years prior to his death in January 2004.

Kevin Gorg graduated from BHS in 1985 after helping lead the Burnsville boys’ hockey team to its first ever state championship as the starting goalie. After graduation, Gorg played in the United States Hockey League for the Des Moines Bucs, where he was voted Most Valuable Player of the team and Most Popular Player by the fans. After playing in Des Moines, he played for the University of St. Thomas for four years, winning 3 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) championships and qualifying for the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament his senior year. Gorg was named All-Conference twice during his collegiate career. He began coaching boys’ hockey upon graduation, and served as the Burnsville High School head coach for one year and head coach at Mounds View High School from 1993-98. He then became the first coach of the women's hockey team at St. Thomas, and stayed until 2007. During this time, the team won three MIAC Championships, and he was named the MIAC Coach of the Year in 2003. Gorg has been in broadcasting since 1998 for both Canterbury Park and Fox Sports North. He has also worked for two years for Fox 9, covering the Boys’ State Hockey Tournament. He often can be found on television covering all Minnesota Wild games, along with a number of Timberwolves games, Twins games, and Minnesota Golden Gopher athletic events. Additionally, Gorg can be heard on the radio on KFAN FM 100.3 talking hockey and horse racing for Canterbury Park. He truly is one of the voices and faces of Minnesota Sports.

Burnsville Police Chief Bob Hawkins graduated from BHS in 1978. While at BHS, he lettered in baseball and was a member of the National Honor Society. He earned his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Metropolitan State University and his Master’s degree in Law Enforcement Administration from the University of St. Thomas. He served in the United States Army from 1978-1981 and was a military police canine handler. He began his civilian career as a police canine officer in Eagan. He has served the Burnsville Police Department rising from the rank of Sergeant to becoming Police Chief in 2004. Hawkins was a D.A.R.E. instructor in the schools and also served as a Youth Relations Officer at BHS. As Chief, Hawkins began the B.L.U.E. (Building, Learning, Understanding, and Encouraging) in the School program. The goal of this program is to make connections with staff and students, to become a resource for the school and to build relationships with students through positive interaction and role modeling. He was recognized with the BES Community Partner Award for this program. He has also received the Burnsville Police Department’s Distinguished Service Award twice, the Meritorious Service Award three times and been nominated for Officer of the Year twice. He served as the Burnsville Rotary president in 2008-2009 and serves as president of the Dakota County Chiefs of Police Association.

Paul W. Jensen graduated from BHS in 1985. He lettered in swimming for four years and was a member of the 1985 State Champion 200 medley relay team and was captain of the swim team in 1985. Jensen also served as manager of the girls swim team and lettered once for that. He performed in the stage band and was a member of the National Honor Society. He attended Northwestern University on a Navy ROTC scholarship graduating in 1989 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was commissioned as a Naval officer, serving on active duty until 1998. He continues to serve in the Naval Reserve and has risen to the rank of Captain and is commander of an underwater demolition team based in Coronado. His many awards for military service include the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. After leaving active duty, Jensen began his business career as owner of Jensales Inc. The company encompasses Jensales Restoration and Repair Parts (tractor and industrial parts), JensPrint (commercial printing and custom T-shirt/clothing production), JenSpeed Racing and Development Fabrication, Tryg Document Management Services and the Alden Advance Weekly newspaper. Jensen also is the lead firefighter and lead first responder in the Manchester Fire Department. He is on the Riverland Community College Advisory Board and Business Curriculum Committee, and volunteers with Alden-Conger 4-H club. He services on the Freeborn County Youth Mentoring Program, the Central Road Eacing Association Board and the Carlston Township Road Maintenance Advisory Board.

Muriel Thompson retired from teaching at BHS in 2000 after 32 years at the school. She taught Basic American Literature, American Literature 1600, American Literature 1900, Honors American Novelists and Advanced Placement Literature/Composition (College in the Schools) and served as the Language Arts Area Leader from 1988-1999. She also served as a staff development adjunct instructor in District 191 from 1988-2000 and was advisor to the yearbook and Student Council. She co-founded the Minnesota Writing Project and served as co-director from its inception in 1990-2003. She now serves as director of the group which facilitates summer institutes at the University of Minnesota for teachers toimprove literacy instruction and foster professional inquiry, collaboration and writing in and out of the classroom from kindergarten through college. Thompson was the University of Minnesota co-coordinator for College in the Schools composition and served on many task forces and committees for the Minnesota Department of Education. Currently, she is on a team of kindergarten through grade 16 experienced educators serving on the Language Arts Quality Teaching Network and also on the Consortium for Post-Secondary Success: Pre K-12 Collaboration Group. Thompson has been a prolific presenter and member of professional panels over the years presenting locally, throughout the state, the nation and internationally. She was recognized with an honorable mention for the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Community Service Award in 2009.

Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 10:00