Intentionally or not, the Litchfield High School Hall of Fame committee struck a balance in choosing the 2018 class of inductees.
The three inductees, who will be honored Nov. 9 during an open house and later during the LHS indoor marching band concert, left Litchfield to careers in three key areas of the high school experience during their professional careers — science, athletics and the arts.
The 2018 Hall of Fame inductee class includes Dr. Ronald Holmgren, Sharon Euerle, and David O’Fallon.
Ronald Lee Holmgren
A 40-plus year medical career began in the halls of Litchfield High School for Dr. Ron Holmgren.
Holmgren served as chief executive officer and president of Affiliated Community Medical Centers from 2000 to 2015. During that time Holmgren was honored in 2012 as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders in the state by Minnesota Physician, and in 2015 received the ACMC Physician Excellence Award. He also served as vice president of the ACMC board of directors from 1987 to 2000.
Asked about his greatest contribution to society, Holmgren cited his four decades “guiding my patients as their family physician,” serving as chief executive officer and leader of ACMC’s 180-provider multi-specialty medical group, and his community involvement through chairmanship of the ACMC corporate foundation and while serving on the board of directors of the Willmar Area Community Foundation.
He advised today’s Litchfield students to “Make your dreams a reality through hard work and a determined commitment to your goals.”
Holmgren was a three-sport athlete while at LHS, participating in football, basketball and track. He also was a National Honor Society member and served on the prom committee and as a homecoming escort.
From Litchfield, Holmgren went to St. John’s University, then to University of Minnesota Medical School. He served an internship at St. Paul Ramsey Hospital, then did his residency in family medicine at North Memorial Hospital-University of Minnesota.
Holmgren and his wife, Etta, have three children, Aaron, Amber and Britt.
Competitive sports for girls were non-existent during Sharon Euerle’s high school years. But after graduating, she spent much of her professional life participating in athletics from a coaching and administrative position, offering opportunities in sports for young women of another generation.
Euerle, a 1967 graduate of LHS, served and was chairwoman of numerous Minnesota State High School League committees. She was president of the MSHSL Foundation board of directors. She also served as tournament manager for state girls basketball, track and field and softball tournaments through the years.
Asked for her greatest contribution to society, Euerle responded that it was “being a caring person and a positive role model to the many, many students, coaches and colleagues that I have worked with over the years.”
Euerle spent 20 years as activities director at Mankato West High School, retiring in 2009. A graduate of Winona State University, she coached the first competitive high school girls basketball and volleyball teams at St. James, Minnesota.
While at Mankato West, Euerle also was a driving force in establishing girls hockey in the city, as well as helping develop adapted sports programs for students with disabilities.
In addition to her professional work as a teacher, coach and athletic/activities administrator, Euerle has volunteered at her church in numerous capacities, including providing rides to church services for the elderly.
“Enjoy school,” Euerle said in offering advice to current Litchfield students. “Keep friendships you have made. Be involved in activities – athletics and/or fine arts. Work hard. Have fun. Be proud that you are a Dragon!”
David O’Fallon is an experienced educator, executive and leader who works at national and local levels to develop innovative programs to improve education and link learning with the arts.
O’Fallon currently serves as president of Minnesota Humanities Center, where he has helped lead the center on major issues of state, added significantly to its budget and the impact of the organization.
“In this angry and divisive time, the center has deep bipartisan support,” O’Fallon wrote. “It is ‘radically nonpartisan.’”
Previously, he was president of MacPhail Center for Music, one of the largest community music education centers in the country. In eight years as president, he helped MacPhail successfully raise $26 million, more than double its student population and build and move into a new facility.
He also served as executive director of The Perpich Center for Education in the Arts in Golden Valley, Minnesota. During his time there, the center opened a new $6.9 million wing housing music and recording studios, physics, chemistry and computer labs on the 30-acre campus. O’Fallon played a large role in growing the center, doubling the budget and securing state support for the new facilities.
His experience and knowledge has been highly-sought, and O’Fallon consults with educational and arts organizations across the country, in addition to being a speaker at national and international conferences from London to St. Petersburg, Russia. He recently consulted with the Manitoba Arts Council, Florida Music Education Association, and Creative Oklahoma.
O’Fallon also co-founded a theater, now in its 40th year, called In the Heart of the Beast, located in Minneapolis. The Weisman Gallery at University of Minnesota created a major exhibition and publication based on the theater’s work.
O’Fallon earned a Ph.D. from Union Graduate Institute and also received an honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from St. John’s University for his service to and leadership in arts and education.