Alumni Success Stories

  • Many students who graduated from District 742 have continued on to make significant contributions and achieve high recognition in a variety of fields. Below you will find some of our talented alumni who have generously shared their stories with us.

    Do you know a former student whose story is inspirational and a testament to the District 742 experience? Share it HERE!

  • Justin Ploof - Tech, 2002

    Posted by Communications Department at 7/20/2017

    Justin Ploof

    As Technical High School revs up to celebrate 100 years of tradition and excellence, 2002 graduate and professional musician, Justin Ploof, will be bringing in the band.

    Justin Ploof and The Throwbacks is a familiar name in central Minnesota. The band is one of the newest sensations on the music scene, especially since their original “Rockumentary” videos, containing vintage footage and narration to accompany their performances, were recently released.

    “I’ve always loved music and loved documentaries as well as performing,” says Ploof. “We create a documentary to accompany the music-whatever we are covering that night. It’s like if you went to a movie theater to watch a movie, only with a live band.”

    Ploof’s band covers many styles of music ranging from The Monkees, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys to others like Eric Clapton and local favorite Bobby Vee.

    Remember Joan Jett or Soul Asylum? Well, Ploof and his band have shared the stage with them as well.

    Ploof’s love of music started at an early age. He’s always loved music, but he “really got into it” while in elementary school when he received his first guitar. His first band consisted of some Talahi elementary friends who owned guitars and a drum set.

    “I’m sure we were a lot worse than we really thought,” says Ploof, looking back at his first band.

    He does remember watching reruns of “The Ed Sullivan Show” when he was younger. Watching the bands made him think that it would be a good job.

    Ploof describes what it feels like to be on the big stage.

     “It’s amazing. You start out in little venues and coffee shops, and it is a far cry from the 30 or so friends that show up to support you. It’s just such a rush that is indescribable.”

    Earlier in his career, he and his family created two albums, and it looked like they were going to get signed by a record label. However, it didn’t pan out at the time. Ploof later started getting a “weird” feeling that he should go out as a solo artist.

    Justin McGuinn is his solo persona and his solo album is “Love Song and Others.”

    “I came up with the name for a two-fold [purpose]. A stage persona:  if I had a different name, it didn’t feel as weird [being a solo artist].”

    The other reason was to keep a similar name.

    Ploof now has a record deal and a new album. A full-length video is also about to be released.

    “It’s been a whirlwind with this whole record deal,” explains Ploof. “I went back to school, and all at once the deal came around.”

    He always advises, “Don’t expect the music industry to be easy and don’t expect handouts.”

    But, he also says, “Don’t be afraid to chase the dream.”

    As most artists dream, Ploof hopes that his music catches on. He loves to create music with other artists and wants to continue following his passion.

    It is more than fitting that Justin Ploof and The Throwbacks is performing at the Tech Centennial Celebration on July 28. It is an opportunity to celebrate Tech’s success through the life and music of such a successful grad.

    Check out his other upcoming performances in St. Cloud.

    Justin Ploof

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  • Chris Jungels - Apollo, 2006

    Posted by Communications Department at 7/5/2017

    Jungels and President Obama

    What’s a Marine’s dream job? How about becoming a part of the Marine One detail to the President of the United States?

    For 2006 Apollo graduate, Chris Jungels, that dream became an unexpected reality.

    As a recent Apollo High School graduate, Jungels remembers setting an appointment with the Air Force to learn about his military options. He’d always had an interest in all things military, especially airplanes.

    When Jungels arrived for his interview, however, the assigned Air Force recruiter was not there. Fortunately, Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Lindsey (from a rival branch of the military) stepped in and ultimately changed the course of Jungels’ career path.

    As a Marine recruit, Jungels was stationed in San Diego for basic training before moving between various locations for the Marine Corps. Along the way, he never forgot how much he loved planes and eventually enrolled in flight school.

    On the first day of flight school, Jungels filled out the necessary background check paperwork including HMX-1 paperwork. At the time, he was not even familiar with HMX-1, the Marine Helicopter Squadron responsible for transporting the President of the United States.

    After graduation from flight school, and to his surprise, his orders came in for HMX-1, a squadron on the east coast.

    Arriving in Virginia, he was asked by his commanding officer if he wanted to see the “white tops.”

    That is when his orders finally sunk in. The White Tops: Air Force One and the President’s fleet of helicopters.

    Jungels spent the first 18 months during President Barack Obama’s term on the “green side” of the fleet: the crew assigned to the support flights which carried the press, Secret Service and advanced teams.

    The last six and a half years, he was assigned to the “white side:” the crew that carried the president, vice president and heads of state.

    “It was so surreal,” remembers Jungels. “The first time, I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh!’ as the helicopter came flying into the South Lawn. You make sure you’re squared away. There is a mob of press on one side and the visitors on the other. You can’t see the president coming out. The press cameras are the cue to let you know to stand at salute.”

    When you’re nervous, you fall back on your drills.

    “Your training really kicks in,” says Jungels. “No emotion. No movement.”

    Jungels also witnessed the peaceful transfer of power from President George W. Bush to President Barrack Obama, an event very few people witness in a lifetime.

    His military training opened up opportunity and provided him with responsibility, structure and the knowledge to formulate plans.

    After his military service, Jungels looks forward to a new journey as a minister and reflects on all he has learned.

    “If you don't challenge yourself, if you never take risks, then you will never grow as a person.”

    “Do the thing that may seem fearful or daunting,” he advises, “because that is where the growth is. In the risk is where the reward is, that is where you find the adventure, the knowledge, and find out who you truly are.”

    He also adds, “Leaders are readers. Read books from all different genres, expand your knowledge, but also go and do what you have learned, take action!”

    As for his time with the president, “It was everything you could imagine.”

    Jungels and his mother with President Obama

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  • Josh Hagemeister - Tech, 1989

    Posted by Communications Department at 5/11/2017

    Josh Hagemeister

    Josh Hagemeister may have just become famous for being chosen as an official fishing guide to Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith for the Minnesota Fishing Opener, but he’s already held in high esteem as a Tech graduate of 1989.

    Hagemeister started his fishing guide business in high school. Dreaming of always owning a guide business, he didn’t let his teasing friends sway him from his dream.

    After graduation, Hagemeister attended St. Cloud State University and pursued a career in English and speech with the hope of obtaining his teaching license in order to allow time for guiding in the summer. He maintained his guiding business throughout college.

    Hagemeister laughs, “I have more college credits than a NASA scientist!”

    He gave back to Tech by working there during his college years as a security officer and has many fond memories of Principal Ed Johnson and the halls of Tech.

    But it was the call of the lakes and rivers of Minnesota that changed his professional course.

    Through his guiding business, Hagemeister got into radio and television production. He was an on-air host of the weekly show, “Outdoors Minnesota,” which also expanded to a magazine that published on a monthly basis.

    Hagemeister soon took over American Bowhunter Magazine, a bi-monthly magazine with about 30,000 subscribers. After a few years, he sold the magazine. It was too much office time. The water and challenge of fishing were still too strong.

    He started working for In-Fisherman as an instructional fishing guide in the Brainerd and Walker areas.

    Then, 15 years ago, Hagemeister and a partner purchased Rainy Lake Resort near International Falls in northern Minnesota. He still owns the resort and has been opening Camp Fish every summer, which is a one-week fishing camp for people who want to learn how to fish.

    “Camp Fish” has become very popular. Hagemeister plans on expanding to more weeks during the year and offering ice fishing as well.

    When Hagemeister looks down the road, he knows he’ll still be doing exactly what he’s always wanted to do. He is expanding his guiding business, Minnesota Fishing Guide Service, with more guides to meet the new challenges of people wanting to learn to fish.

    “If you want to do it [your passion], just do it,” advises Hagemeister. “Don’t listen to anyone else. Keep a clean slate and don’t look back.”

    One thing is for sure. Hagemeister loves what he does.

    “My favorite thing about my job is that it is a constant change and challenge,” he explains. “There is no playbook. It’s all in your hands.”

    And, lucky for us, the St. Cloud area has great fishing according to Hagemeister. His favorite time to fish in the area is late summer and fall.

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  • Greg Klinefelter - Apollo, 1987

    Posted by Communications Department at 4/19/2017

    Greg Klinefelter For police officer Greg Klinefelter, St. Cloud is in his blood. As a 1987 graduate of Apollo High School and St. Cloud State University graduate, the St. Cloud community is his home.

    Klinefelter looks back on Apollo with fond memories.

    “Back then, it was the modular system at Apollo, and it felt so different,” says Klinefelter. “It felt like a college campus.”

    Klinefelter believes that his high school experience was a good one to transition into college.

    “It really helped me be ready for the next step,” he explains.

    After completing his degree at St. Cloud State in mass communications, Klinefelter hit the corporate world. He was in advertising and then became a marketing analyst. However, the corporate world started to take its toll.

    The tipping point came in 1996 when his brother, Brian Klinefelter, was killed in the line of duty as a police officer.

    His parents owned a small landscaping business at the time. Greg moved home to St. Cloud to help out with the business and eventually purchased the business from them.  During this time, his life became very busy and he found himself not having much time to spend with his family.

    It was his newly formed family that started calling out to him: the local police force family.

    “You don’t realize what a close-knit group police officers and their families are,” says Klinefelter. “We were immediately taken into that family.”

    As a way to give back to the police community after his brother’s passing, Klinefelter became a reserve officer.

    In 2005, Klinefelter decided he wanted to become a full-time police officer. It took one year to complete his certificate, and at the age of 38 he was hired on as a police officer at the St. Cloud Police Department.

    Now, 10 years later, he is a sergeant with a goal to reach lieutenant.

    “I love my job. This is why God put me on this earth,” explains Klinefelter.

    He knows he’ll still be a police officer five to 10 years down the road, and he loves to train the younger generations. 

    His advice to those coming up is to not listen to the national media when thinking about law enforcement. He emphasizes that law enforcement is gratifying work.

    “You have to have thick skin and truly believe you are in the business to help protect and serve the people,” says Klinefelter. “ You won’t get monetarily rich doing it, but it is incredibly gratifyingly rich.”

    Stop and say hello to your local police officers and say, “Thank you.”

    And you never know, you may just run into Klinefelter out on patrol.

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  • Jill McGuire - Apollo, 1987

    Posted by Communications Department at 11/30/2016

    Jill McGuire If you’re looking to engineer something and send it into space, Jill McGuire is your person! McGuire, a 1987 graduate of Apollo High School, is a space robotics application office lead at NASA. She and her team, after completing their mission to design and send over 200 tools into space for the Hubble Space Telescope servicing machine, are designing and engineering parts for robots to refuel satellites.

    “I knew from an early age I wanted to be in design,” says McGuire. “I took a drafting class in high school and just fell in love with it.”

    She feels that all the teachers at Apollo were supportive of her and her aspirations, especially since she was busy with athletics.

    Her high school softball coach, John Ludwig, was her inspiration in school. He was instrumental in creating that team atmosphere and thought process, “if one succeeds, everyone succeeds.”

    McGuire describes the new Robotic Refueling Mission she is working on as challenging. By using robots from the international space station, she and her team are designing tools that can be attached to those robots to refuel satellites. The tricky part is that there are three caps all wired together. The robot has to systematically remove each cap, and to do so in a way that does not disturb the fuel because it is highly combustible.

    The goal of McGuire’s team is to use robotics to extend the life of satellites. Today’s satellites only have a 10 to 15 year life span due to running out of fuel. However, the data application software that is used in the satellite is still good and operable.

    In the upcoming year and a half, McGuire will be demonstrating the refueling of a satellite and the transference of liquid cryogens for future missions to Mars.

    What keeps McGuire inspired is the information.

    “Seeing all the pictures and data from Hubble, it’s rewriting the textbooks of today,” says McGuire. “Bringing that data back to students is the biggest reward you can have. It’s just the best feeling--enriching people’s lives. How many people look up [in the sky] and wonder what’s there? And, when they see those pictures, you know in your heart you brought that.”

    McGuire sees herself doing this for the rest of her life.

    “I’ll ride out my career. It will be spent doing robotic technology in space. Robotic technology is still very immature,” says McGuire.

    McGuire certainly has put in the work to get where she is today. Following graduation from Apollo, she attended the University of North Dakota where she was accepted into a co-op with the university and NASA.

    However, she almost didn’t make it in. Her motto: persistence pays off.

    “I never take no for an answer,” says McGuire. “Instead I ask, ‘What will it take?’ It’s just a matter of finding the solution.”

    During the interview process for the co-op, she went through three interviews and there was only one spot left. She continued to follow-up. She was eventually told the position isn’t glamorous. She’d be the only woman with 30 men. They weren’t sure if they were comfortable doing that.

    McGuire simply said, “I’ll take it.”

    McGuire says it was the best experience she could have received. She worked in fabrication, and as an engineer, she now knows both ends of the process. 

    “It makes me a better engineer,” explains McGuire. “Not everybody has that experience.”

    She tells young people looking for a career in engineering, “Don’t give up on that dream. Be persistent. Get your foot in the door any way you can and don’t take no for an answer.”

    McGuire is an inspiring role model of her own advice.

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  • Erin Saupe - Tech, 2003

    Posted by Communications Department at 9/6/2016

    Erin Saupe Some Technical High School graduates head for the Olympics, others like Erin Saupe go on to become Oxford professors.

    Saupe, a 2003 Tech grad, recently crossed the ocean to become an associate professor of earth science at Oxford. Her impressive education journey includes degrees from the College of St. Benedict, University of Kansas and Yale, but she admits there is a certain amount of pressure in taking the position at Oxford.

    “It’s such an adventure!” she says. “Both exciting and a little scary.”

    Saupe will be teaching earth science and evolution to undergraduates at Oxford as well as giving one-on-one, project-based tutorials. She explains that the tutorials are an expectation at Oxford and designed to encourage critical thinking.

    Erin Saupe A published researcher, Saupe will utilize her background to help students study species and communities over time while observing environmental changes.

    Although high school seems a long time ago, Saupe credits some of her Advanced Placement teachers at Tech with launching her on this professional journey.

    “Mr. Gerads is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had—anywhere,” Saupe says, referring to retired Advanced Placement History teacher, Jerry Gerads. “He inspired me to go into geology and become an archeologist.” (Her undergraduate degree.) “He is the reason I fell in love with the past.”

    “My dissertation is dedicated to him,” she adds.

    Other AP instructors at Tech inspired learning in her, too. “Jan Brown in English and Mr. Boatz in Math,” she reflects. “I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”

    Saupe took away other lessons from Tech as well. She ran cross-country and enjoyed it, appreciating the teamwork. She participated in Knowledge Bowl and Youth Service projects and tried out various activities.

    One aspect of her high school experience she feels helped prepare her for a wider world perspective was “hanging out with diverse people.”

    “I even won a Tech Alumni Association scholarship on What Tech Means to Me,” she remembers. “I wrote about diversity.”

    Saupe grew up in Avon township on a six-acre hobby farm where her family kept sheep as pets. “They are our organic lawn mowers,” she says.

    Her mother, Linda Shinehouse Saupe, recently retired from District 742 after 23 years as a school nurse. 

    Erin’s husband Brian Finley works as an auditor for Price Waterhouse Cooper and is transferring to London to share in her adventure. They will live right at Oxford.

    “Oxford is made up of colleges,” she explains. “Kind of like Harry Potter houses,” she laughs.

    Whatever this next year brings, Saupe is excited for the future, building on a sound foundation that began at Tech High School.

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  • Dan Mondloch - Apollo, 2001

    Posted by Communications Department at 8/24/2016

    Dan Mondloch

    He calls himself a third generation landscape painter and jokes that he is genetically expected to paint! His father and great-grandfather were landscape artists. Dan Mondloch, a 2001 graduate of Apollo, is well-known for his beautiful, award-winning, watercolor paintings. He’s been featured in PBS “Postcards,” SPLASH 17 book and Pleinair Magazine’s “PlenAir Collector.”

    Mondloch has been exposed to artistry and painting his entire life. He remembers sitting in his father’s studio as a child.

    “I remember as far back as second grade,” says Mondloch. “I was with my three older brothers, and one day, my dad was doing a demonstration in his studio. He’d do them all the time. It was usually a mountain or a desert. I sat in the back working on my painting and was so proud to show him when I was done. I showed him my painting of my mountain. My dad said proudly, ‘That’s a great mountain! However, today we’re doing a desert!’”

    Dan Mondloch That kind of love and support never stopped for Mondloch, it’s something he’s always appreciated.

    “All of my [District 742] teachers starting in fifth grade were very supportive of me,” shares Mondloch. “My eighth grade teacher allowed me to go to the library to do projects and always said, ‘I’ll be here if you need me.’”

    By the time he was a freshman, Mondloch knew he wanted to paint. While driving with his dad, he told him he wanted to start painting. The next morning, he found all the paint supplies he’d ever need waiting for him.

    It was that February after conferences of his freshman year, when the counselor called him in asking for samples of his artwork. Mondloch was immediately transferred to one of Dennis Hummel’s classes. Mondloch took every art class he could.

    To this day, Mondloch still works with Hummel at the Paramount Theatre and continues to be a valuable source for him.

    By his senior year, his artwork was entered into a high school art show. He received a call to attend the reception. He was surprised to find that he won the Bill Ellingson award for his work.

    Mondloch has found a new passion in painting plein air, meaning open air or outdoors.

    “Lately plein air is my largest passion. My focus keeps changing. I think that’s what keeps me going,” says Mondloch. “That spark to keep exploring, it [plein air] gets me out with that sense of adventure.”

    California, Florida, Maryland and Colorado are just a few states that Mondloch has traveled to continue plein air painting.

    Looking to the future, Mondloch would like to be more nationally recognized and continue to build on the community of plein air painters.

    His advice to anyone thinking about being an artist, “If you’re interested, there will be no shortage of people that say that you can’t or shouldn’t. Stick it out for the long haul. Just know that it is possible. You need to do the business aspect of it. A quote by Frank Webb, ‘Success in watercolors painters is not measured in how many created paintings you have, but by how many acres you have.’”

    Right now, Mondloch is really enjoying life with his wife and new born son.

    Dan Mondloch

     

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  • Laura Nelson Olmstead - Apollo, 1996

    Posted by Communications Department at 5/25/2016

    Laura Nelson Olmstead Apollo Alumna Laura Nelson Olmstead always aspired to be a judge.  Starting June 1, her dream is coming true.  Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton just appointed Nelson Olmstead, a ’96 Apollo graduate, to the Second Judicial District Court of Minnesota.

    Nelson Olmstead attributes much of her learning to her mentor, Honorable Judge Kathryn Quaintance of the Fourth Judicial District Court of Minnesota. Nelson Olmstead clerked for Quaintance out of law school, leading to her appointment to the bench.

    Quaintance says of her former clerk, “She is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. She is down-to- earth, a good communicator and fun to be with.”

    Quaintance explains that Nelson Olmstead has always wanted to follow in the judge’s footsteps. They both practiced at the same law firm and both worked with Advocates for Human Rights.

    “There was a running joke that she [Nelson Olmstead] would run against me and replace me because she was doing all the work,” Quaintance laughs.

    Looking back on her education, Nelson Olmstead contributes much of her enthusiasm to “Boots” Roland Froyen, her high school language arts teacher at Apollo.

    “He has a mind like a steel trap. He remembered everything!” says Nelson Olmstead.

    She also remembers Steve Girth, another language arts teacher. He was an advisor for the literary journal.

    Nelson Olmstead reminisces, “He would sit with you to plan out next steps and where you wanted to be.”

    She believes it just shows how fantastic the Apollo teachers are.

    “The staff were so invested in us,” remembers Nelson Olmstead.

    Her education continued with a year at the College of St. Benedict’s and then to the University of Redlands in California. After graduation, she moved back to acquire her law degree from the University of Minnesota.

    One of her reasons for moving back to Minnesota was the university and its reputation for law school, political activism and human rights. Being a judge incorporates all those reasons. 

    The life of a judge can vary depending on where you live. If the area is big enough, the judges are divided out by law: criminal, civil, family/juvenile, etc. . . . In Nelson Olmstead’s case, she could hear 70 cases in the morning and then hear motions and arguments in the afternoon.

    However, today a lot of states and counties also want judges to be engaged with the community.  Judges may be expected to be out in the public at various events to put a positive “face” on the judicial system.

    “If you’re in court,” says Nelson Olmstead, “you’re already having a bad day.”

    Nelson Olmstead sees herself as a judge for a long time to come. She encourages younger generations also to chase their dreams. Her advice: reach out to the folks in the community who are already in the field. Go talk to a lawyer if you want to be a lawyer or an engineer if you want to be in engineering.  In her experience, community members (like herself) are always happy to take the time to give a sense of what’s it like to walk in their shoes.

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  • John Pederson - Apollo, 1977

    Posted by Communications Department at 4/8/2016

    John Pederson

    John Pederson is an entrepreneur, inventor and graduate of Apollo High School, class of 1977. 

    “Most people in the world see my inventions every day,” says Pederson. 

    Those everyday inventions are in the form of police lights, security lights and architectural lighting.

    Pederson is the current CEO and Chairman of the Board for LVX Systems, which produces a smart, innovative light-emitting diode (LED) technology. His company is currently collaborating with NASA using his light technology, which could be used for future space travel. LVX has the patent on visible light communications, in essence, secure and energy-efficient internet and communications through light.

    John and Irene Pederson Pederson’s vision is taking light to the next level. 

    “Lights will do so many things, [in the future] you won’t be able to remember that at one time light was just light,” he says.

    “I’ve always been self-driven,” states Pederson. “My advice: follow what you like doing. You’ll always do better. I loved school. I love to learn.”

    Looking back at his years in St. Cloud schools, he can name every teacher he’s ever had in District 742, starting from kindergarten. He feels they were all great teachers.  He has no bad memories and is quick to point out that fact is one of the highest compliments he can give.

    However, one pivotal memory in high school does stand out. 

    “I was walking out of the library [of Apollo] and I heard some guys laughing,” explains Pederson. “It sounded like men laughing to me, not boys. That’s when it hit me. We weren’t boys anymore.”

    Apollo at Apollo

    Pederson loves staying connected to Apollo and St. Cloud. His kids are Apollo graduates as well.  Two years ago, Pederson used his NASA connections to bring several astronauts to Apollo. An open public forum was held for students and community members to hear about the astronauts’ experiences, to sign autographs and to answer questions. Pederson was also able to demonstrate his LED technology by giving tours of the Superintendent’s office where the technology is installed.

    Pederson currently lives in Florida where he has an office at NASA.

    He says, “It’s a blast working with people there.” 

    He imagines he’ll be doing the same thing in five to ten years from now. He explains that a project could take ten years to develop.  And that’s what he loves most, seeing the project from beginning to end.

    In his downtime, he enjoys swimming with dolphins and beluga whales.

    However, he misses St. Cloud, stating he is a self-proclaimed “cold weather guy.” He truly loves Minnesota.

    Pederson advises, “To me, the day is successful if you like the day.  I love education and that’s what it’s about . . . Enjoy the time you have. There is an old saying, ‘If it works, do more. If it doesn’t work, don’t do it.’”

    He often reminds his team, “The only thing worse than being copied, is not being copied.”

     

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  • Alise Post - Tech, 2009

    Posted by Communications Department at 4/6/2016

    Alise Post

    Alise Post is a 2009 Tech High School graduate who has hit the BMX world by storm.  After making the USA Olympic team in 2012, she now is preparing for the 2016 Olympics to represent Team USA in Rio De Janeiro.

    BMX is short for bicycle motocross. The races usually entail steep curves and hills, creating a challenge to stay on the bike as well as to master speed.  

    Starting at the age of 6, Post had to conquer her fears.

    “My first race, I got so nervous I backed out, but came back for the second . . . After the first crash, it wasn’t so bad!”

    Post grew up in St. Cloud, Minnesota and started traveling for racing by the age of 10.  By the age of 15, she went international.

    She looks back on her high school years with fond memories, even though she didn’t experience the typical high school life.  Traveling for races and keeping up with her advanced placement classes was somewhat of a juggling act.

    “I was very involved in athletics,” reminisces Post. “The comradery was great. I remember going to Clark Field with friends. [Also] all the teachers were great and fun to be around. They were all so flexible and supportive of me with my BMX career.”

    Post is committed to giving back to younger racers.  Even with a typical day of three to six hours of physical training and the rest of the day in mental and health preparation for the Olympics, she finds time to coach younger racers. She enjoys coaching girls and helping at charity events.  She loves to just show up at a track to ride, and she’s more than happy to give pointers. She wants to help the next generation.

    Alise Post In a male dominated sport, Post relished the competition. 

    “I always enjoyed hanging with the boys,” says Post. “I have two older brothers. I’ve definitely made a few boys cry [winning races growing up] . . . [Now] I really love to come back to Minnesota to focus on girls coaching sessions. There are a lot of little girls now [in the sport] which is amazing.”

    Looking back, Post recognizes the barriers she faced.

    “The challenge was not having a female mentor,” she states. “BMX is very young in the Olympic run. You still have to battle for sponsorships. [But] the world is changing, catering more to women’s needs.”

    When giving advice to the next generation, she wants girls to realize that it’s okay to have messy “helmet hair” and scrapes.  She doesn’t want them to feel timid, but empowered.

    “Everyone starts as a novice, no matter if you are a girl or a boy…[Being an athlete] is a lifestyle.  Every day you have to prepare your body better for the next day . . . I just want people to realize that anyone can do anything,” says Post.

    Looking down the road, Post realizes that she will not always be an Olympic racer.  At this point, she believes that she’ll be done racing by the age of 35. Her next goal is to work in physical therapy, and she would really like to continue working with people in sports.

    One thing is for sure in the future. She loves the St. Cloud area.

    Post states, “I love supporting everything local. My biggest fan base is still Central Minnesota, and it is still my home.”

     

    Update 8-19-16: Alise wins silver medal in BMX racing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

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