Two Fargo Public Schools staff members and one Fargo Adult Learning Center (FALC) student recently received top awards from the North Dakota Association of Lifelong Learning (NDALL). NDALL is a state organization comprised of adult learning centers and alternative high schools from across the state. Each year they collect nominations and present three awards: Student of the Year, Educator of the Year, and Outstanding Leadership and Service.
The Agassiz building, where the FALC is located, held a surprise celebration on September 6 to honor English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor Nancy Halilovic (far left), who was nominated for NDALL’s Educator of the Year and selected as First Runner Up, and Terry Cote (far right), Agassiz Network Manager, who was selected to receive NDALL’s Outstanding Leadership and Service Award. They were nominated by Jennifer Frueh, FALC Coordinator (center).
The strength of Halilovic’s nomination rests on her can-do attitude. This past year, the FALC was asked to offer an Elder Citizenship Class for Lutheran Social Services-New Americans. Halilovic was tapped to lead the class. Expecting about 20 students for the class, almost 60 have participated so far, and Halilovic has had to create class materials for multiple levels of English proficiency and bring on multiple tutors. In the nomination letter for Halilovic, Frueh said, “Nancy’s creativity and organization shined during this time as she coordinated multiple tutors to assist in this endeavor.” The class has been a success. Frueh also shared, “The FALC instructors are so very dedicated to their students and the students are the ones that renew our drive and passion every day.”
The transition to GED computer-based testing (CBT) was a major project for the FALC this year. In her nomination letter for Cote, Frueh wrote, “Terry was truly instrumental in the transition to CBT…. Terry is knowledgeable in all technical aspects of his job, but his willingness to quickly help others regardless of what he has on his agenda makes him extremely deserving of the Award for Outstanding Service.”
Terry Cote received his official award in Bismarck at the NDALL Conference on September 12, along with Kaushila Thapaliya, the FALC student selected as NDALL’s Student of the Year. Her instructor, Carrie Smart, nominated Thapaliya for her commitment to learning. Smart’s nomination letter for Thapaliya describes the obstacles this wife and mother of four overcomes daily to attend classes at FALC. In the nomination, Smart said, “Kaushila reminds us to celebrate small victories and strength of character. In my classroom, she is a champion.”
Nancy Halilovic (far left) drove Thapaliya (fourth from left) and her sister, Tika (third from right), to Bismarck and back for the presentation ceremony. Thapaliya and her family rely on public transportation and had no personal means to travel to Bismarck. Frueh commented, “This was their first trip out of Fargo since relocating here two years ago, and I find it fitting that Kaushila traveled to the State Capitol to receive her award.” Also pictured is Carrie Smart (third from left), who nominated Thapaliya for the award, Amy Rand (second from left), Joan Duckworth (second from right), and Rebecca Boyle (bottom, far right). All are ESL instructors at the FALC.
While in Bismarck, Thapaliya and her sister toured the Capitol building and grounds between lunch and the NDALL presentation session. As Thapaliya signed the Capitol guestbook, the receptionist expressed delight to have someone from Nepal visit the Capitol.
Congratulations to these three individuals for their outstanding attitudes and service to others.